KAMPALA — More roads and fuel stations have been approved by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) during the 2020 January – March Quarter.
According to NEMA documents, a total of 265 certificates of approval were issued to developers. NEMA made 74 approvals in January, 61 in February, and 130 in March.
Sharing the development with this reporter at NEMA House in Kampala on Friday, August 7, Ms. Margaret Aanyu, the Environment Assessment Manager, NEMA, said: “This is an impressive performance. Prospective developers have continued to submit their project details despite the challenges of Covid-19.”
Ms. Aanyu said: “There was no significant difference between the total number of approvals issued during the first Quarter of 2020 and the number issued in the last Quarter of 2019 when we made 273 approvals.”
She further revealed that a total of 466 Project Briefs/Environmental Impact Statements were submitted to NEMA by developers during the period. Out of these 265 projects were approved.
She called on all developers to always seek NEMA’s guidance before they embark on any developments and activities that require environmental and social impact assessments (ESIAs).
The National Environment Act No.5, 2019 requires developers to subject their works to ESIAs before they commence their activities. The aim of the ESIAs is to evaluate the likely environmental and social impacts, risks or other concerns of a proposed project or activity to the community.
Approved projects ranking
Five categories of projects ranked high in the overall number of projects approved during the January–March, 2020 period. These were: Fuel facilities that totalled to 85; 71 infrastructure (roads & housing) projects; 26 processing/manufacturing industries; 23 ICT projects; and 19 mining projects. Records indicate that these five project categories have been leading during the previous quarters.
More roads and fuel stations, if well handled, can translate into more job and other opportunities for the communities within which the projects operate.
During this period, Oil and Gas, as well as Pest Control were the worst performing categories, with each one of them achieving one approved project.
In an earlier engagement, the Authority’s Executive Director Dr. Tom Okurut said: “Big projects are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of our work. Many of them come to us voluntarily, and through environmental and social impact assessments we are guiding them to realise their project dreams.” Dr. Okurut also called on all prospective developers in Uganda to always seek guidance from NEMA as provided by the law.