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Vigorous Monitoring, Routine Inspection Chases Illegal Sand Miners from Lwera-NEMA

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Dr Jerome Sebadduka Lugumira, the Natural Resources Manager in Charge of Soils and Land in NEMA, says that only seven out of the 20 companies that were mining sand from 23 sites in Lwera by October 2016 have managed to stand the test of time.
04 Jun 2020 08:47
Minister Beatrice Anywar's vehicle cruises through a road in Lwera which was submerged.

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Vigorous monitoring and routine checks by the National Environment Management Authority- NEMA has forced some companies to abandon sand mining in Lwera swamp along the Kampala-Masaka highway. 

Dr Jerome Sebadduka Lugumira, the Natural Resources Manager in Charge of Soils and Land in NEMA, says that only seven out of the 20 companies that were mining sand from 23 sites in Lwera by October 2016 have managed to stand the test of time. 

//Cue in; “There were twenty...    

Cue out...allowed them to operate.” //  

Some of the licensed firms include Capital Estates Company, Parkson Hong Kong Investments, Seroma Limited, River Katonga Investments and Pastor Samuel Kakande’s, Aqua World Limited. The remaining firms were dragged to court for contravening NEMA guidelines.

Dr Lugumira reveals that when NEMA issued a notice to all sand mining companies to comply with a number of rules and regulations in 2016, the majority of them failed and were suspended from carrying out any activities in the wetland. He, however, faults Mpigi and Kalungu district authorities for allowing artisanal miners to continue extracting sand from Lwera without NEMA’s approval.

//Cue in; to date there...

Cue out...we  are in court.”//   

Dr Lugumira disclosed this during a visit by the Environment State Minister, Beatrice Anywar to inspect sand mining activities and rice growing scheme in the 20km long stretch, which is being blamed for the rising water levels that have resulted in severe damage to Kampala-Masaka highway and resident’s property. He assured residents that the strict measures put in place to save Lwera swamp from destruction by sand mining activities and restoration cannot allow environmental degradation.

  

//Cue in: “So if it...

Cue out.... they have recovered.”//   

The Restoration process of Lwera swamp, according to NEMA Executive Director, Tom Okurut involves the removal of the topsoil to extract sand and return of the soil after two months before they plant grass.  

//Cue in; that’s why I...

Cue out... are so big.” //

Despite the explanations by environmental experts, residents attribute the challenges related to the increasing water levels they are facing in their areas on sand mining.   

//“Cue in: We have seen...

Cue out... mubumenyi bwamateeka?” //