Uganda: Minister Orders KCCA to Stop Polluting Kitezi

Environment minister says encroachers who have destroyed wetlands in Wakiso District will be evicted

The Minister of Water and Environment has ordered Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to find an alternative garbage dumping ground to Kitezi because of pollution crisis in Wakiso District.

Speaking at the Wampeewo playground on Monday, Mr Sam Cheptoris said KCCA should stop downplaying the pollution crisis which it has created in Wakiso District and treat it with the seriousness it deserves because it is a time bomb waiting to spark off a major public health crisis.

"KCCA must treat Kitezi with the seriousness it deserves. I am going to engage them to take their garbage elsewhere. If they were supposed to produce fertiliser and they are not, it is unfair," he said.

He warned encroachers who have destroyed wetlands in Wakiso District that the ministry would evict them.

"No matter how big you think you are, we will ensure that you are evicted. This is unfair. The future of our children depends on how we handle the environment. In Kapchorwa where I come from, our source of water is the forest on Mountain Elgon," he said.

Mr Cheptoris' order follows complaints raised by the Wakiso District chairman, Mr Matia Lwanga Bwanika, to the minister asking the Environment ministry to stop KCCA from dumping garbage in Kitezi landfill. He argued that Kampala Capital City (KCC)obtained authority to dump garbage at the site in 1953 when Wakiso District was still under Mpigi District and the agreement KCC signed was that it will be generating fertilisers from Kitezi.

"Wakiso District is a new district independent of Mpigi district with whom KCC signed the agreement to use Kitezi which is in Wakiso District and we have plans to become a municipality of our own and later upgrade into a city. We cannot do that with all this garbage," Mr Bwanika said.

Efforts to get a comment from KCCA were futile by press time as the known phone lines of Mr Peter Kauju, the KCCA spokesperson, and those of Dr David Seruka, the KCCA director of public health, were switched off.

Meanwhile, on Monday, National Water and Sewerage Corporation commissioned a piped water system serving areas of Kanyanya, Gayaza and Zirobwe in Wakiso District which, according to Mr Lwanga, has been in the pipeline since 1995.

Source: The Monitor.

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