The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) says that it has never given sand mining permits to Chinese to operate in Lwera wetlands in Kalungu district. This follows members of parliament recently protesting against the mining of sand in Lwera wetlands and in Lake Victoria by Chinese.
The Executive Director of National Environment Management Authority, Tom Okrot, told the parliamentary committee on Natural Resources chaired by Kiboga East MP Dr. Keefa Kiwanuka that Ugandan applicants go to NEMA for mining permits in partnership with Chinese. He however says that he has no instructions since government does not deny foreigners permits to engage in mining of sand. He says that though foreigners like Chinese are being resisted they are efficient in mining sand since they use modern machines to carryout mining instead of using hoes. He adds that NEMA is in the process of regulating the digging of fish ponds in wetlands so as wetlands are not abused. He further clarifies that NEMA can only cancel the permits if some one dug the sand mining sites deeper contrary to the law .