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OP-ED: NEMA can’t imagine the Dubai Marine Experience here in Uganda

An pictorial view of the new Speke Resort Hotel under construction in Entebbe, a project of the Speke Group of Hotels, under the Ruparelia Group.

The environment Act,2019 defines National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) as an agency that is mandated to promote sustainable developments in the country. It goes ahead in section 2 under the principals of management of the environment as an entity which must provide for equitable, gender responsive and sustainable use of the environment and natural resources for the benefit of both present and future generations.

By doing so,this helps government meet their development targets like dams, modern road networks etc. Have you ever heard NEMA stopping a road contractor pouring soil in a swamp?! According to NDP3, one of government development frameworks focus on industrialisation as a strategy to develop our country into middle income status, therefore, when NEMA is giving permits, it must put that in perspective in order to help our country attain sustainable development and be able break the chains of relying on development aid from our good partners from the West.

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On top of that,our youths need sustainable jobs and also our country needs more revenue in terms of taxes. In the same pipe, it beats logic when NEMA joins politicians to begin decampaigning Ruparelia group investor who is constructing a $100m hotel facility at Ssese gate way beach on Entebbe road!!

I mean, while Dubai is the first place that comes to mind when you think of under water hotels,then why not our country Uganda?! When you go to other countries like the U.S where everyone dreams to go are offering all kinds of unsual marine experience in order to attract more tourists and earn forex exchange.

Surely NEMA,why stop people from sleeping on the ocean floor looking up at a constellation of exotic reef fish.So NEMA is supposed to help our country from substance mindset to modern and prosperous nation as per Vision 2040.

Ben Ssebuguzi is an entrepreneur, economist, private sector activist and Secretary General of Uganda Poor Youth movement.


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