Continuous sand mining activities in Lwera wetland pose a serious threat to transport along the Kampala-Masaka highway.
Lwera, a stretch covering 20-kilometres from Mpigi to Kalungu district has been degraded by sand mining activities, destroying the entire Lake Victoria catchment area.
The activities have created dangerous open pits that are filled with water now on the verge of crossing through the road, the main gateway to Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gerald Ssenyondo Kikyamu, the LCIII Chairperson of Lukaya Town Council said that although sand mining existed in Lwera for many years, the use of heavy machinery had turned it into a deadly activity that is leaving the terrain bare.
James Musisi, a resident of Kamuwunga village feared that many of them could be displaced by the sand mining activities.
Water and Environment Minister Sam Cheptoris said that the National Environment Management Authority-NEMA had ordered all companies excavating sand in Lwera wetland to restore the dug pits.
However, Mary Goretti Kitutu, the State Minister for Environment said that companies involved in sand mining are licensed to do so and as a geologist, she doesn’t see any danger of mining sand there.
Kitutu explained sand deposit in Lwera wetland happened in 1962 and they will reoccur around 2050 to refill the place.
A report by Natural Resources Parliamentary committee of 2016 revealed that the miners were not paying royalties because sand is not considered as a mineral under article 244 (5) of the Uganda Constitution.