Uganda has marked the launch to the Environment Week with attacks on the government for spending more resources on less important priorities at the expense of more important areas like the environment which has seen continuous and rising rates of degradation.
This week’s events theme of the is: Water and Environment Security for Inclusive Growth, a theme that is aimed at re-focusing the economic growth of the country to take care of the environment which will lead to sustainable development.
Speakers accused the government of continuously allocating inadequate resources every year towards protection of the environment which has led to decline in water resources.
Economist, Fred Muhumuza particularly condemned the creation of too many and small administrative units that have seen districts subdivided into smaller units.
He says “most districts today are too small and weak to protect the resources and yet the national laws give them the mandate to do so”.
The chairman of Parliament’s Committee of Natural Resources, Mr Keefa Kiwanuka, says while Uganda has a huge budget of Shs40t, most of it goes to administrative expenses as well as debt servicing.
Mr Kiwanuka calls for a quick debate and passing of the Water Bill now before parliament and the localisation of the Kyoto Protocol which will enable enforcement of the laws against both individuals and authorities who abandon their mandate.
In response, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Water and Environment, Mr Alfred Okot Okidi, blames the disintegrated approach to development by different agencies of the government saying makes it difficult to focus resources towards important areas.
He says issues of water and environment must be integrated in all government development plans.