By Fred Kiva
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has explained why it has not cleared Mango Tree Company sand mining activities in Lake Victoria.
Two years ago, NEMA instituted Criminal Charges against Mango Tree Company after reports emerged that, the Company whose approval was to construct a ship building yard at Bugiri-Bukasa village in Wakiso District, was reportedly mining sand and dumping it at Miami Beach in Luzira.
“NEMA granted the approval on 1st June, 2016. This certificate is restricted to ship building,” NEMA’s statement issued on Wednesday stated.
The National Environment Management body further explained that, “On the 2nd of September 2016, Mango Tree submitted its Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report to them seeking approval to mine sand from three spots on the lake. The EIA was rejected on 6th September 2016, basing on the fact that disturbances on lake/river beds are prohibited by law. Scooping out sand from river/lake beds leads to a quicker flow of water; leading to lower water levels, and a decline in water quality and supply to surrounding wetlands. This is disastrous for both the human and animal population in the surrounding areas.”
The government agency maintains that it has not approved sand mining in Lake Victoria, for Mango Tree or anyone else, adding that this was clearly communicated by the NEMA Executive Director.