NEMA registers over 140 cases of environment crimes between July and December 2023

This, the authority says is a way of reinforcing its commitment to environmental protection and conservation.

In the space of six (6) months, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)revealed that they registered 147 cases of environment crimes between July 1,2023 and December 31,2023.

This, the authority says is a way of reinforcing its commitment to environmental protection and conservation.

According to a press statement dated March 6,2024, the cases include: Failure to undertake ESIA (25); Forgery of EIA certificate (4); Illegal salt mining(1); Illegal sand mining (15); Lake shore encroachment (1); Littering (3); Noise pollution (14);Wetand degradation (85); Discharge of effluent substances into the environment (1); and Violation of ESIA conditions (2).

“Wetland degradation was the offense with highest frequency standing at 56% of all cases. This was followed by operating without EIA certificate at 17%, Illegal sand mining at 10% and noise pollution at 9%,” reads the statement in part.

The statement further reveals that NEMA’s legal team has been actively involved in criminal litigation proceedings, achieving positive outcomes in various cases.

“In an unprecedented development, Ice Love Co was fined Fifty Million Shillings (UGX 50,000,000/-) in August 2023 for degrading a wetland; while Lwanga Michael and others were in November last year convicted, sentenced and fined for two counts each UGX 8,000,000, totaling to Sixteen Million Shillings (UGX 16m): one for dumping marram in a wetland and the other for commencing a project without ESIA certificate Administrative Fines and Settlements,” reads an excerpt.

“In addition to criminal litigation, NEMA resolved several administrative cases, emphasizing its commitment to fair and efficient enforcement. A sum of UGX 135m was received through 12 fines in the half-year running from July to December 2023.”

2024 looks brighter

NEMA is confident that this year more wins will be secured through the Courts of Law with more offenders being brought to book.

“For instance, Court in Lira has sentenced Acede Alvimos, 20, to four years in prison or pay a fine of UGX 3m for degrading Ongii Winy Wetland. From the South Western Uganda Regional Office, NEMA has secured a conviction in the case of illegal sand mining along River Rwizi, with the convict earning a six months’ imprisonment. In the same week, a degrader accused of illegally building a bar and restaurant in the banks of River Rwizi was fined UGX 7m.”

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