Wakiso | Pepper Digital – Developers in Wakiso wetland have decried National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) attempt to demolish their structures; slapping them with a 24-day ultimatum.
This development comes after NEMA issued a restoration order to developers in Kimbejja wetlands in Kira Municipality, Wakiso District to raze down their structures and restore the wetland within 24 days.
This follows reports that a number of developers had encroached on the wetland contrary to the law.
“NEMA has been undertaking periodic inspections of the wetlands in and around the Kampala Metropolitan area to ascertain their status,” Mr Tonny Acidri, the NEMA deputy spokesperson said.
He noted that the developers did not follow the procedures to build in wetlands and thus all construction works were stopped and builders were ordered to vacate the building sites.
Mr Acidri said the developers did not have the required permissions to carry out the construction.
However, one of the developers says the plots in question have land titles despite being in a low land area.
“The houses which are in the surrounding area actually are in the low land, and they have approved plans and structures,” says John Musoke, adding that the land that was demarcated by NEMA is different from theirs.
Mr Acidri responded that privately owned land is also subject to environmental impact assessment.
“If anyone has documentation to that effect, they are encouraged to check with the respective authorities for authenticity to see whether they are actual land titles,” Mr Acidri said, noting that NEMA has stopped issuing permits to develop property in wetlands.
The developers say that the district planning authorities and Kira Municipality inspected and cleared them to develop their plots in line with environmental guidelines.
“Right now we are trying to develop this land under the guidance of Kira municipality and the division and what they actually told us is what we are doing. We excavated, put the stones underneath, water is moving well and there are no floods here, we are ready,” Mr Musoke added.