By Ivan Mwine
The environment Act, 2019 defines National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) as an agency that is mandated to promote sustainable developments in the country.
It goes ahead in Section 2 under the principals of management of the environment as an entity which must provide for equitable, gender responsive and sustainable use of the environment and natural resources for the benefit of both present and future generations.
By doing so, this helps government meet their development targets like construction of dams, modern road networks etc; but have you ever heard NEMA stopping a road contractor from pouring soil in a swamp?
According to NDP3, one of government development frameworks focus on industrialisation as a strategy to develop our country into middle income status, therefore, when NEMA is issuing permits, it must put that in perspective in order to help our country attain sustainable development and be able break the chains of relying on development aid from our good partners from the West.
On top of that, our youths need sustainable jobs and also our country needs more revenue in terms of taxes.
In the same pipe, it beats logic when NEMA joins politicians to begin decampaigning the Ruparelia Group investor who is constructing a $100m hotel facility at Ssese Gateway beach on Entebbe road!!
I mean, while Dubai is the first place that comes to mind when you think of under water hotels, then why not our country Uganda?
When you go to other countries like the U.S where everyone dreams to go, they are offering all kinds of unusual marine experience in order to attract more tourists and earn foreign exchange.
Surely NEMA,why stop people from sleeping on the ocean floor looking up at a constellation of exotic reef fish?
So, in a nutshell, NEMA is supposed to help government develop and transform our country and people from a subsistence mindset to modern and prosperous nation as per government’s Vision 2040.
Ben Ssebuguzi is an entrepreneur, economist, private sector activist and Secretary General of Uganda Poor Youth movement.