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Government criticised for neglecting environment

Various water channels have been polluted with garbage and responsible government authorities have done little to desilt the channels which leads to flooding in rainy seasons thus easy spread of waterborne diseases.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda marked the launch to the Environment week with attacks on the government for spending more resources on less important priorities at the expense of more important areas like the environment which has seen continuous and rising rates of degradation.

The theme of the week’s events is: Water and Environment Security for Inclusive-growth, a theme that is aimed at re-focusing the economic growth of the country to take care of the environment which will lead to sustainable development.

Speakers accused the government of continuously allocating inadequate resources every year towards protection of the environment which has led to decline in water resources.

Economist, Fred Muhumuza particularly condemned the creation of too many and small administrative units that have seen districts subdivided into smaller units.

He says most districts today are too small and weak to protect the resources and yet the national laws give them the mandate to do so.

The chairman of Parliament’s Committee of Natural Resources, Keefa Kiwanuka says while Uganda has a huge budget of 40 trillion shillings, most of it goes to administrative expenses as well as debt servicing.

Kiwanuka called for a quick debate and passing of the Water Bill now before parliament and the localization of the Kyoto Protocol which will enable enforcement of the laws against both individuals and authorities who abandon their mandate.

In response, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Water and Environment Alfred Okot Okidi blamed the disintegrated approach to development by different agencies of the government which he says makes it difficult to focus resources towards important areas.

He says issues of water and environment must be integrated in all government development plans.

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