Urgent call for environment court to combat climate crimes

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During the 7th Uganda Water and Environment Week 2024, the Minister for Water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris, emphasised the crucial need for the government to expedite the establishment of an environment court.

This initiative aims to address climate crimes and enhance the restoration of degraded water bodies, increasingly encroached upon due to population growth.

"Increasing population has led to the encroachment of wetlands, resulting in degradation. There is an urgent need to scale up the restoration of degraded water bodies and enforce regulations," said Cheptoris.

Eng. Silver Mugisha, managing director of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of collective action and innovative solutions to manage the water crisis and protect the environment.

"Collective action and innovative solutions are essential to managing the water crisis and ensuring future water security," said Mugisha.

Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera emphasized the detrimental effects of poor wetland management on climate change and productivity.

He expressed confidence that the establishment of an environment court would effectively address climate crimes and protect vulnerable ecosystems.

"Climate change is projected to put up to 80 million people at risk by 2050 in sub-Saharan Africa, with Uganda particularly susceptible to this devastation," warned Buteera.

These statements underscore the urgency of addressing environmental challenges in Uganda, particularly the degradation of water bodies and the need to combat climate crimes.

As the nation grapples with increasing population pressures and environmental threats, concerted efforts and institutional support, such as the establishment of an environment court, are crucial for safeguarding water resources and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

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