KAMPALA — The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has today, Wednesday August 5, held a meeting with Mr. Thomson Obong, the Town Clerk, Nansana Municipal Council.
Mr. Obong, who met with the NEMA Executive Director (ED) Dr. Tom Okurut, was in company of Ms. Stella Nalumansi, the Environment Officer, and Mr. Simon Kiguli, the Senior Planner and Head of Natural Resources at the Council.
The meeting was attended by the NEMA Director District Support Coordination and Public Education (DSCPE) Dr. Daniel Babikwa. Other officials included the Director Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Mr. Ayazika Waiswa, the District Support Manager Mr. Edward Odipio, and other senior officers.
The ED, with the visiting team, discussed matters of environmental degradation, national resources management and the environment in general in Nansana Municipality. The half-day event, which started at noon, took place at NEMA House, Jinja Road, Kampala.
Welcoming the Town Clerk, the Dr. Okurut said: “Your visit is a good gesture because it strengthens our collaboration. Today’s meeting will help us work together and be able to speak with one voice on environmental matters.”
He added: “NEMA is ready to support you, and all local authorities that come to work with us.”
Mr. Obong said that their visit was aimed at discussing environmental concerns and challenges in Nansana; and to establish how the municipality can coordinate with NEMA in terms of resource mobilization, monitoring and enforcement operations.
The Town Clerk reported that the municipal council has undertaken a number of strides in ensuring sustainable natural resources. “We have embarked on assessment of wetlands and activities therein, in the municipality,” he said.
He, however, decried the illegal developments in the municipality that arise from “uncoordinated enforcement, unclear environment laws and regulations”.
He was also unhappy with village local leaders in his area of jurisdiction who connive with wrong people to destroy the environment.
Speaking at the same event, Dr. Babikwa, said: “Environment management is a decentralized function and NEMA is just the overall overseer. This is the time local authorities must be very vigilant because unscrupulous people are taking advantage of the Covid-19 situation to abuse our environment.”
On challenges in environment law compliance, Mr. Waiswa reminded the meeting that, “NEMA cannot work alone. Enforcement should be a collective coordinated response if our environment is to be enjoyed sustainably.” He also cautioned local authorities to look out for forgeries from developers that claim NEMA approval.
NEMA and Nansana Municipal Council have agreed to work together in environment issues; with the former promising to share a comprehensive list of all developers approved to do work in Nansana. NEMA will also organize a one-day capacity building workshop on environment for all the municipal council officers.