The government of Uganda has issued a ban on illegal sand mining activities in Kikuube District. The District Local Government directed the ban in Kisenyi village, Kinogozi parish.
“We promise to ensure all sand miners in the area stop the mining operations and apply for environmental clearance certificates, from the district natural resources department to mine sand. over 40 trucks ferrying sand are loaded every day yet the people extracting the resource are not registered,” said Kikuube District senior environmental and natural resources officer, Pauline Nambi.
According to the officer, the sand extracted is sold to SBC Uganda, a company contracted by government to construct Hoima International Airport. She identified some of the business people who are engaged in illegal sand mining as Abu Ndahura and Hassan Mugenyi who she says extract sand and sell it to SBC Uganda.
The unregulated and illegal sand mining has prevailed in Kikuube district despite the negative impacts of the activity on the environment, such as fragmentation of the land scape resulting in open pits which are habitant for disease-carrying vectors, such as mosquitoes.
Nambi adds that the district needs to formulate regulations to guide the sand mining business, have an EIA and also register all the people extracting the resource in the area so that they can be able to pay taxes to the district.
Amlan Tumusiime, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner says extraction of sand from Kisenyi village should stop with immediate effect until when the business is regulated. Tumusiime argues that despite the demand for sand to support the construction sector and major infrastructural development projects such as Hoima international airport, roads among others, sand mining is an activity that must be regulated to ensure sustainable extraction of the resource.