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