NTUNGAMO – Ntungamo District leaders have accused the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) of failing to arrest rich people who have depleted water catchment areas in the area.
Speaking during an advocacy meeting on conservation held in the district council hall on Wednesday, Ms Dinah Tumwebaze, the district senior environment officer, noted that NEMA has not done much to implement the environmental policies and laws accordingly.
The coordinator of the Operation Wealth Creation programme in the district, Brig John Tumwebaze, asked NEMA officials to arrest all rich people whom he called ‘untouchables’ to restore the degraded areas.
Brig Tumwebaze noted that leaders will not keep lamenting yet there are environmental laws in place.
While visiting Rufuuha catchment area in Rweikiniro and Ngoma sub-counties in Ruhaama and Rushenyi counties respectively, the leaders were shocked to find a 1.5km trench and eucalyptus trees in the middle of the wetland in Rwendahi, Kayenje, Rweikiniro and some parts of Ngoma.
The advocacy meeting was organised by Ab’Endagaano Development Foundation (ADEFO), a local NGO. The founder of ADEFO, Dr Penninah Jambo Beinomugisha, castigated the selfish people who have degraded the Rufuuha wetland.
However, Ms Tumwebaze revealed that the district is coming up with the environment ordinance to protect and restore the wetlands encroached on in the district.
The Rweikiniro sub-county chief, Mr Robert Turihamwe Rwekuuta, commended the NGO for the initiative which will see Rufuha wetland restored and promised to arrest those who have degraded it.
The area councilor, Ms Juliet Mpamize Buriiku, challenged religious leaders to always sensitize public on the dangers of wetland degradation.