The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has appointed Dr Akankwasa Barirega as the new Executive Director.
NEMA is the agency responsible for coordinating, monitoring, regulating and supervising environmental management in the country.
Akankwasa, whose tenure according to NEMA takes effect on 1st September 2021, replaces Dr Tom Okurut whose contract expired after having served for 10 years since 2011.
“Dr. Akankwasah Barirega has been appointed as our new Executive Director. Appointment takes effect on September 1, 2021. Welcome aboard @ABarirega.” NEMA announced on their official Twitter page.
The National Environment Act, 2019 stipulates that, the Executive Director shall serve for a period of five years and is eligible for re- appointment for one more term.
Akankwasa will have a big task to accomplish especially at this time where the number of people encroaching wetlands continues to increase.
Data shows that from 1994 to 2020, Uganda had lost about 62% of the wetlands cover in Uganda. Kyoga alone has lost about 80.5% of its wetland cover.
Prior to Akankwasa’s latest appointment, the former Makerere University lecturer has been serving at the Ministry of Tourism for 12 years in different capacities.
He has been serving as Head of Department of Wildlife Conservation at the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities for 7 years since 2014. Before that he was Principle Wildlife Officer at the Ministry from 2009 until 2013.
Last year, he was elected Vice President of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wildlife (CMS).
Akankwasa holds Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) , Environment and Natural Resources Management from Makerere University.