Ugandan watchdog warns Chinese mining firm
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), a Ugandan watchdog, has issued a warning to a Chinese firm who plans to mine in Lake Victoria.
Naomi Karekaho, a NEMA spokesperson, announced on 31 January that Mango Tree Group Ltd has only received permission to manufacture ships.
The watchdog claims that the firm does have the rights to extract sand from Lake Victoria, located in the south east of Uganda, and that if it proceeds to do so, they will cause severe environmental damage.
“We want to categorically state that Mango Tree Group Ltd’s activities of engaging in sand mining are illegal,” Ms Karekaho stated.
“We only cleared them to manufacture ships after they secured a license from the Uganda Investment Authority, not carrying out dredging on the lake shores.”
“The sites where they want to excavate sand are very crucial. We warned them against tampering with them because any destruction may spark off a serious ecological disaster we may not handle as a country.
“They can think of other areas but an EIA [Environmental Impact Assessment] has to first be carried out.”
On 2 September last year, Mango Tree Group submitted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the exaction of sand from three sites on the lake, which NEMA rejected on an environmental impact basis.