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Isimba, Karuma contractors get green light from Nema

National environmental body, Nema, has said it is satisfied with efforts undertaken so far by contractors of the Isimba and Karuma hydropower dams to protect the environment.

Heavy earth-moving construction at projects such as Isimba and Karuma usually erodes the environment.

Construction works at Karuma, located near Murchison Falls national park, could disrupt wildlife. Sam Cheptoris, the minister for Water and Environment (MWE), said companies have improved on their waste management since officials from Nema visited the dams earlier.

Karuma dam under construction

“Our concerns were mainly in two areas, compiling of stones [muck] and we told them after that; the environment must be restored to the same level they found it, also in Isimba the situation is the same,” Cheptoris said as he and other government officials toured both project sites in Kiryandongo and Kayunga districts between July 23 and 25.

He said the aim of the site visits was to assess the impact of the multimillion projects on the environment. Earlier complaints Dr Tom Okurut, the executive director of Nema, said the companies should commission a plan on how they will dispose of all the waste.

According to Nema, some complaints have been addressed and they include; distribution of protective personal equipment (PPE), the project areas have been fenced and efforts should be made to maintain the fence.

“Contractors need to prepare restoration plans of all muck disposal sites and all temporary infrastructure within and out of Karuma Wildlife Reserve that are not in use should be decommissioned ,” he said.

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