NEMA OPERATIONS: Seven Foreign Nationals Held Over Illegal Sand Mining

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The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), in conjunction with the environmental police, has arrested seven foreign nationals in connection with illegal sand mining in Lwera Wetlands in Kalungu District.

The suspects were raided during the Tuesday, June 9, 2024, operation conducted by the NEMA.

According to a source, the operation started at night along Kampala Masaka Road and led to the impoundment of 13 Sinotruks and four excavators, among other equipment.

The authorities stated that investigations into the matter are being concluded and the suspects will be charged in accordance with the law.

In April 2024, NEMA put an end to all illegal sand mining operations in Lwera and ordered the miners to rehabilitate the portion of the wetland they had damaged.

The restoration effort is one of several operations being conducted by NEMA presently to free Uganda’s Westland and other delicate ecosystems.

Westland degradation is a crime under Section 55 of the National Environmental Act, Cap 181, and is punishable with a fine not exceeding Uganda Shillings 600 million, imprisonment not exceeding 12 years, or both.

Recently, NEMA evicted encroachers from Lubigi Westland to restore the Westland.

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