BUNYORO – The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is disseminating the National Environment Act (NEA) No.5 of 2019 among the local civic and opinion leaders in the Albertine Graben and beyond.
The reforms in the old law were informed by the need to address environmental concerns arising out of petroleum activities and midstream operations, among other needs.
NEMA is the government agency charged with regulating, monitoring, supervising, and coordinating all activities relating to the environment in Uganda.
The two-day exercise will see NEMA officials headed by the Executive Director Dr. Barirega Akankwasah engage oil/gas practitioners and other stakeholders in the region, and also inspect the environmental practices at Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP).
“This is unique activity aimed at publicizing some popular aspects of the Act,” Ms.Naomi Karekaho, NEMA’s Corporate Communications Manager, said.
The visit that has started Friday, April 29 with a half-day workshop at Kabalega Resort in Masindi aims at sensitizing leaders at various local levels. In attendance are the Masindi District leadership including the Resident District Commissioner and the Chairperson LCV, leaders from Hoima, Buliisa, Pakwach, and Nwoya, among other districts.
Launching the popularization drive, Dr. Akankwasah said: “We are seeing increasing cases of environmental degradation in forms of pollution, flooding, litter, and the others that we need to act as a team to protect our environment.” He continued that it is, therefore “important that the new law is supported”.
The RDC Mr. Emmy Ngabirano thanked NEMA for the move, saying: “As people of Masindi, we must be ready to change with the changing trends…and I think this new law came in the same spirit. We must vigorously defend our environment”.
The field activities including the inspection in MFNP will physically observe how the Act is being put to use in the implementation of Oil & Gas activities.
In this activity, NEMA is being supported by a group of social media influencers, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Government Citizen Interaction Centre. Both institutions are represented on the field visits.