The Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources has halted the practice of sand mining to all companies in Mpigi, Kalungu and some parts of Wakiso districts due to the environmental destruction which they say has negatively impacted on the environment.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the chairperson of the Committee, Alex Byarugaba said that sand mining activities especially in the areas of Lwera, Katanga wetland in Mpigi and Katinda in Wakiso district have effected on the natural habitat and caused adverse effect on the wetland.
He further expressed worries that despite the important role the sand plays in the construction industry, the country might run out of it in the next ten years given the pressure put on Lake Victoria by the sand miners who use heavy machinery without extraction limits.
Byarugaba said that it’s unfortunate that in their field work tour of the mentioned areas, it was found out that the companies mining this sand are doing it illegally since the permits issued to them by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) are for carrying out fishing but not mining of sand.
The committee now wants all the activities of the mentioned companies involved in sand mining to be halted with immediate effect until NEMA reviews their permits.
However, Byarugaba further faults NEMA for its negligence in monitoring the activities of these companies on the lake
He said that NEMA should give the restoration orders to these mining companies to restore the destroyed part of the environment at the shores where they have been operating.
Byarugaba further decries the loss this sand mining is to causing to the natural habitat in the lake and government especially infrastructure such as Masaka road which he said is frequently wearing out fast due to heavy sand transported by heavy trucks and this has caused some curving in on some sections.