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Saleh: choose between protecting sand & joblessness

MPs on the committee of Natural Resources and officials from NEMA examine the effects of sand mining on Lake Victoria in Wakiso last year

President Museveni's brother, also senior presidential advisor on security and defense, Gen Caleb Akandwanaho (Salim Saleh) has backed the excavation of sand from lakes saying Uganda has no choice if it's to embrace industrialisation.

Recently, leaders and environmentalists led by Wakiso district chairman Matia Lwanga Bwanika accused Chinese companies of degrading Lake Victoria while excavating sand. There have been a similar outcry from Masaka where Chinese firms were accused of degrading wetlands in Lwera along the Kampala-Masaka highway.

Most of this sand is sold to construction sites in Namunkekera rural industrial centre in Kapeeka town, Nakaseke district for construction works. It will also be used as raw material in making ceramic tiles.

Saleh, who is also chairman of Namunkekera rural industrial centre says that the revenue and employment that will be generated from industries being constructed using the sand outweigh the environmental concerns raised.

Saleh explains that the companies were licensed by Uganda Investment Authority, Ministry of Water and Transport, National Environment Management Authority, among others, to engage in sand mining with a view that this can help to protect the lakes from unregulated mining.

Saleh however, notes that area politicians have delayed the activities which have also paralyzed construction of industries in the industrial centre adding that Uganda must make a painful choice to either allow sand mining to facilitate industrialisation or allow its citizens remain jobless.

"My appeal to you is that you have seen, you have come out to only one industrial centre, and you have seen the demand for sand. I have also informed you that the costings of the standard gauge railway which were a problem, have been cleared now the SGR is going to start. The SGR alone requires 12 million tons of sand. Where shall we get that sand from? For Namunkekera, for SGR, for Zhou in Tororo, for all the hydro electricity dams that we’re supposed to be constructing? That is the question which is bothering me now that all of us must answer," said Saleh.

Jerry Zhou the business supervisor of Goodwill (Uganda) Ceramic Company Limited, a company being constructed at Namunkekera says that they currently need 2000 tons of sand to complete the construction of industries that will manufacture ceramics. However, he adds, that they are facing a supply shortage.

Zhou adds that they have so far injected $15 million in construction works and they want the company to be operational by March this year. He adds that 10 companies are also set for construction within Namunkekera but all these need sand for construction and the government should decide whether the raw materials are available or not.

Mendy Yu the business officer of Mango Tree, a company engaged in sand mining refuted the accusation of degrading the lake and instead accused local politicians of frustrating their activities. Mendy insisted that they are working within guidelines from Uganda Investment Authority and Ministry of Works.

Last year, district leaders and officials from National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) blocked Mango Tree Group from excavating sand in Kawuku village, Nkumba parish, and Katabi town council on grounds that the company's activities had a negative impact on the eco-system of the lake shores.

NEMA also issued a statement indicating that the license they issued to Mango Tree, is only limited to making ships and not sand mining. The company started operations in 2015 while making cargo ships and later crossed into sand mining. Afterwards, its officials camped at Saleh's home in Kapeeka asking him to intervene and ask government to allow them to proceed with their activities. 

Comments

0 #1 Empayppayi 2018-01-16 13:41
We may have to import sand from Mombasa and Dar es Salaam in order to protect our environment.
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0 #2 smusumba 2018-01-16 15:08
I choose the environment the chines can set up his industry in Sudan, Chad, they have a lot of Sand.

The cost benefit analysis of destroying the entire eco system of a lake can't be compared to creating 20 Jobs for Ugandan and 200 for the chines.
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+4 #3 Ugthinker 2018-01-16 17:23
Mr Salim Saleh sir,
You have never been entrusted you with environmental protection, NEMA is!

Keep your developmental goodwill to yourself if it’s going to cost us and future generations life!

Ugandans would be so naive to trust the same gang that has stolen, destroyed everything to be so concerned about their employment!
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+3 #4 Lakwena 2018-01-16 18:03
This guy Saleh cannot be a Ugandan. He and his elder step brother Mr. M7, only think of money (wealth) as end in itself; which is environment mean nothing to them.

In their lifetime while in Uganda, they are in cahoot with other heartless foreigners, like the bloody Chinese and Indians, to destroy Uganda once and for all.

E.g. the banality of giving away Mabira Forest for growing sugarcane, the give away of kalangala Island to grow palm trees for oil is the evil to climatically destroy Central Region.

In Amuru and Adjumani, they want to give away Joka Forest to Madhvani to grow sugarcane, are some of their wildest dream to desertify Uganda in the shortest possible time possible.

In other words, Satan and his agents live in Uganda.
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+4 #5 Phalanch 2018-01-16 19:11
This is what it means selling off Uganda in parts, Destruction of nature is not job, selling off the nation to chinese making all these stupids deals that only gain u You are have bad people .

The nation is watching and looking on, soon or later some one will pay for these atrocities.
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0 #6 miki 2018-01-16 21:39
I agree with Mr. Salim Saleh that there can be a balance between exploitation of a nation's natural resources and environmental protection.

The only problem is that Mr. salim Saleh seems to be the wrong person to make that argument if history is anything to go by.

Most things with Mr. Salim Saleh's thumb print never bear fruit for anybody except himself and his family.

And this thumb print is always the starting point for a trail of destruction, rapacious greed that knows no bounds and eventual failure.

And all of this does not matter as long as he is using somebody else's money and now in this case some else's environment.
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+3 #7 kelem 2018-01-17 10:32
Greedy bushmen selfishly selling off Uganda.
What makes this chap an authority/expert in all things!!!

These guys have impoverished Ugandans and are now using poverty as a tool for control and manipulation.

I curse the life blood of this government !!!!!!
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+1 #8 Betty Nalubega 2018-01-17 14:42
My question to Gen-Saleh is : what would the Chinese in China choose between destroying the enviroment and buiding factories ?

If our ancestors who built this country had your kind of mentality , there would no sand left for new-comers to mine.
Our people do not eat or breath railways.

Haven`t you people looted enough already ?
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0 #9 rubangakene 2018-01-17 23:26
Degradation of the lake means that the lake will no longer be able to sustain the life of fish and fish is one of the best nutritional food left for Ugandans.

This man, Saleh; does he actually know why his tomatoes grown in Luweero have failed to sell internationally?

Oh, yes; it is because the land was degraded by the foreigners who are here to "milk" the economy quickly and go.

Everyone thinks that Uganda is a "low hanging fruit tree" where you can just pick a fruit as you walk past.
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