MBALE–Although a number of districts have passed ordinances to address the environment and natural resources management challenges, Mbale district local government is yet to pass its ordinance.
Drafted in 2012 and termed as the Mbale district environment and natural resources management ordinance, the ordinance that is meant to address the management and natural resources challenges has just been shelved by the council.
The district environment officer, Charles Wakube, said the ordinance has never appeared in any of the order papers since 2012 for discussion and debate by the local council.
“We have a lot of challenges regarding our environment because of lack of an ordinance, this explains why many people have encroached on the river banks built residential houses and schools in wetlands,” Wakube said.
The district natural resources officer, Anna Nakayenze, said whereas the government has put in place several policies, strategies and institutions for managing the environment and utilization, a local ordinance in Mbale to affect this is lacking.
Nakayenze warned that human induced climate change is likely to increase average temperatures in Uganda by up to 1.5 ºC in the next 20 years and by up to 4.3 ºC by the 2080s and that passing some of these ordinances early would help reforest the country to save us from climate change impacts.
She asked the district local councils in Mt Elgon zone districts and the entire country to spearhead protection of the environment and natural resources by encouraging every citizen to plant trees in their gardens.
Muhammad Mafabi, the speaker Mbale district local council, consented the ordinance has been shelved but was quick to add that no councillor has ever brought it out for mention.
“Whatever is to be discussed is put on the order paper and I know that we drafted an ordinance to address the environment and natural resources management challenges in the district but it has remained shelved because councilor don’t talk about it,” Mafabi said.