During the financial year 2018/2019, the Division Council resolved to reclaim the swampland and build a recreation center by clearing the site to plant grass and ecologically friendly trees for shade and build two monumental fish ponds.
A plan by Laroo Division authorities to beautify at least more
than two acres of wetland along Pece stream in Gulu Municipality has stalled.
During the financial year 2018/2019, the Division Council resolved to reclaim
the swampland and build a recreation centre by clearing the site to plant grass
and ecologically friendly trees for shade and build two monumental fish ponds.
But Moses Abonga, the LC 3 Chairperson of Laroo Division revealed that after
securing 350 million shillings under Northern Uganda Social Action Fund – NUSAF
III, they were stopped by National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).
//Cue in; “We thought of…
Cue out…stopped the project.”//
Abonga explained that the development of the leisure ground was to establish a
public resting space and expand the division’s tax base but NEMA stalled the
plan over unclear reasons citing the project did not take into consideration of
Environmental Impact Assessment - EIA.
//Cue in; “We would have…
Cue out…affect the wetland.”//
However, it is not clear if the authorities complied with the requirements of
EIA which ensures that the potential problems are foreseen and addressed at an
early stage in project planning and design to ensure environmental safety and
sustainable socio-economic development.
When contacted, Tony Achidria, the NEMA Public Relations Officer said he needed
more time to contact the authority’s northern regional office based in Lira
Municipality to understand the cracks of the matter.
Recently, Division Chairpersons of Laroo, Pece, Bardege and Layibi in Gulu
Municipality called NEMA to undertake an urgent demarcation of the existing
wetlands to curtail the rampant encroachment of wetlands that has continued to
threaten the aquatic life and ecosystems.
NEMA is a semi-autonomous institution, established in May 1995 as the
principal agency in Uganda, charged with the responsibility of
coordinating, monitoring, regulating and supervising environmental management
in the country.