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Environmentalists Back Museveni on Fish Farmers Utilizing Wetlands

The National Environment Management Authority-NEMA Executive Director Dr. Tom Okurut says the laws allow sustainable wetland utilization although the activity should be set at a level that can be maintained for the future.

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Environmentalists have backed President Yoweri Museveni’s idea of fish farmers using periphery of the wetlands.

President Museveni fronted the idea during the recently concluded presidential tour on wealth creation awareness.

The President has in the past issued directives to evict wetland encroachers so as to protect and preserve the environment.   

The National Environment Management Authority-NEMA Executive Director Dr. Tom Okurut says the laws allow sustainable wetland utilization although the activity should be set at a level that can be maintained for the future.   

According to Okurut, commercial fish farming is one of the best activity that can be done and cause no negative impact on the ecosystem.

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Okurut argues that there are different types of wetlands including the season, floating among others and all have different means how the activity can be carried out which knowledge can be shared to the people who intend to take up the activity.      

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The National Association of Professional Environmentalists Executive Director Frank Muramuzi says that fishing farming does not affect the ecosystems. 

He, however, points out that NEMA should ensure that the fish ponds constructed within a wetland should be on the sloping sides of the wetland.   

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Muramuzi adds that the feeds to be used should meet a given standard to ensure that no dangerous substance finds its way into the water cycle. He also calls for close and regular monitoring of the projects by environment authorities both at the local government and NEMA.

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Statistics from fisheries directorate at the Ministry of Agriculture Animal industry and fisheries indicate that currently there are over 3000 fish ponds in Uganda.  

Wakiso LC V Chairperson Matia Lwanga Bwanika notes that although the move seems to be good, it may end up giving several people with they own interest to keep destroying wetlands hiding behind fish farming.   

//Cue in: “ne muntobazi mulimu…

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