In Summary
  • Only three companies have licences to undertake sand mining in Lwera, Kalungu District according to Mr Vvuba but only two are operating after the third opted out. Mr Vvuba identified the companies as Heshaduo, and Lwera Sand Dealers, both owned by Chinese nationals.
  • Lwera Town clerk Aisha Kitenda said the town council expects to collect at least Shs 36 million as revenue from the sand mining, up from Shs16 million last year.
  • Mr Richard Vvuba, the Kalungu District environment officer said the company was only discovered a day before the arrival of the MPs but was ordered to stop operations until licensed.

Kalungu. MPs on the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament have expressed shock at the extent of wetland degradation arising from sand mining in Lwera, Kalungu District.

The MPs were also jolted to learn that Seroma Ltd, a local sand mining company, was operating without a licence.

Mr Richard Vvuba, the Kalungu District environment officer said the company was only discovered a day before the arrival of the MPs but was ordered to stop operations until licensed.

The MPs, however, accused Mr Vvuba of collusion. “There must be some connivance and you are very unserious. How can you say you did not know this company has been operating here, just next to the road?” Wilberforce Yaguma, the Kashari North County MP asked.

Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja also wondered how the company could operate for three weeks without the knowledge of both the town council and the district leadership.

“Sand mining is good investment but it is degrading the environment, especially around Lake Victoria. It seems they were given an open cheque to extract even inside the lake” Mr Alex Byarugaba, the chairperson of the committee, said.

He added: “We want to have this resource but their exploitation should be controlled, we also want to see what programme is planned after decommissioning this site.”

The committee is reviewing whether those engaged in sand mining are doing it legally and are licensed, where the mined sand is taken and whether the companies are following the preconditions set by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

Only three companies have licences to undertake sand mining in Lwera, Kalungu District according to Mr Vvuba but only two are operating after the third opted out. Mr Vvuba identified the companies as Heshaduo, and Lwera Sand Dealers, both owned by Chinese nationals.

Mr Vvuba also told the MPs that some of the finest sand is exported to Dubai for glass making while some more are exported to South Sudan for construction work, among other uses.

Lwera Town clerk Aisha Kitenda said the town council expects to collect at least Shs 36 million as revenue from the sand mining, up from Shs16 million last year.