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NEMA Clears Chinese Firm Operations in Katonga

NEMA had halted the construction of warehouse units by the said company near Katonga bridge in Mpigi district along after receiving complaints from Masaka District Chairman Jude Mbabali. According to Mbabali, the Chinese firm was degrading the ecosystem by dumping the soil in Katonga swamp.

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The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has cleared a Chinese plywood Company Zhong Bang Industries Limited, to resume their operations in Katonga having found that they have not violated the environment.   

NEMA had halted the construction of warehouse units by the said company near Katonga bridge in Mpigi district along after receiving complaints from Masaka District Chairman Jude Mbabali. According to Mbabali, the Chinese firm was degrading the ecosystem by dumping the soil in Katonga swamp.  

But Dr Tom Okurut, the Executive Director of the National Environment Management Authority-NEMA says that investigations into the matter have found no violation of environmental guidelines by the company. He refutes reports that the investor had backfilled in the river. 

As such, NEMA has given a green light to the Chinese firm to continue with its activities.

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Zhong Bang Industries reportedly purchased 40 acres of land from the area. But reports indicate that NEMA advised that only six of these were fit to be used, according to the environmental impact assessment that had been carried out. 

Dr Okurut, however, notes that during their investigations they found that the company was operating on the recommended six acres, and had used an extra acre of land to temporarily stockpile soil which had been graded from the construction site and were ready to remove it after afterwards. 

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The Ministry of Water and Environment which had picked interest into the matter and had sent officers from its wetlands department to carry out investigations has also backed off.  The Permanent Secretary at the ministry of water Alfred Okot Okidi observes that NEMA is competent enough to handle the matter. 

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At the peak of the controversy, the Chinese admitted having ferried marram which was dumped in the swampy area to prepare a landscape for vegetable production.