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NEMA Makes Strides in Prosecuting Environmental Offenses


NEMA Makes Strides in Prosecuting Environmental Offenses

The National Environment Management Authority, NEMA has reported significant headway in cracking down on environmental crimes, securing a number of convictions and settlements within a span of six months, highlighting its commitment to safeguarding the environment.

Between July 1st, 2023, and December 31st, 2023, NEMA registered a total of 147 cases related to environmental protection and conservation.

These cases include various offenses, like failure to conduct Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIA), forgery of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificates, illegal salt and sand mining, encroachment on lake shores, littering, noise pollution, wetland degradation, discharge of effluent substances, and violations of ESIA conditions.

Wetland degradation emerged as the most prevalent offense, constituting 56% of all cases, followed by operating without EIA certificates at 17%, illegal sand mining at 10%, and noise pollution at 9%.

NEMA’s legal team has been successful in recovering fines totalling 66,000,000 Shillings from two companies involved in criminal litigation. Notably, Ice Love Co was fined Fifty Million Shillings (UGX 50,000,000/-) in August 2023 for wetland degradation, while Lwanga Michael and others were convicted in November, each fined Eight Million Shillings (UGX 8,000,000) for dumping marram in a wetland and commencing a project without an ESIA certificate, respectively.

In addition to criminal litigation, NEMA has resolved numerous administrative cases, collecting fines totalling UGX 135m from 12 penalties during the July to December 2023 period.

William Lubuulwa, Senior Public Relations Officer at NEMA, expressed confidence in securing more victories in court this year. He cited the case of Acede Alvimos, sentenced to four years in prison or a fine of UGX 3m for degrading Ongii Winy Wetland in Lira.

In South Western Uganda, NEMA achieved a conviction in an illegal sand mining case along River Rwizi, resulting in a six-month imprisonment for the offender. Additionally, a perpetrator accused of unlawfully constructing a bar and restaurant on the banks of River Rwizi was fined UGX 7m.

Lubuulwa clarified that all environmental enforcement actions have been conducted in accordance with the National Environment Act No.5 of 2019. He asserted that NEMA’s accomplishments underscore its enhanced capacity to detect, investigate, and prosecute environmental offenses, sending a clear message that environmental protection remains a top priority.

Lubuulwa cautioned the public against violating environmental laws, warning of legal repercussions.


Sarah K. Biryomumaisho is a seasoned multimedia Award Winning journalist with 11 years of experience in broadcast and writing. She is recognized for her expertise in the field and holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere Business Institute, which has equipped her with a strong foundation in business principles. Sarah's commitment to professional development is evident through her continuous pursuit of knowledge and skills. She has obtained a Certificate in Media Management from Women in News, an esteemed organization dedicated to empowering women in the media industry. In 2020, she successfully completed a Course in Wikimedia, demonstrating her proficiency as one of the few Wikipedia Editors in the country. To further enhance her reporting capabilities, Sarah has also acquired a certificate in Gender Justice Reporting from The International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF). This specialized training has equipped her with a deeper understanding of gender-related issues and their portrayal in the media. Throughout her career, Sarah has contributed her talent to various media houses, including six radio stations, where she has showcased her versatility and adaptability. Her most recent engagements include Galaxy FM 100.2 and Radio 4. Additionally, she has served as a writer for Andariya Magazine, further demonstrating her ability to excel in different mediums. Sarah's expertise extends beyond journalism. She has worked as a Digital Communications consultant for the revitalized Uganda Airlines, leveraging her skills to effectively communicate the airline's message in the digital sphere. Her passion for digital media and technology makes her a valuable asset in the evolving landscape of communication. In her entrepreneurial pursuits, Sarah is the proud owner of TheUgPost, a renowned media organization with a strong presence in Uganda and a global reach. Through this platform, she continues to make a significant impact by providing reliable and engaging content to a wide audience. Sarah won the Top Environmental Journalist Award 2023 from Uganda Biodiversity Fund. Twitter;

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