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Flooded beaches ordered to close

Pricilla Ray

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has directed Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to close three beaches and two markets, citing “untenable” use after rising levels of Lake Victoria.

Nema also ordered that gardens of Speke Resort Munyonyo be closed for putting up non-approved structures on the shores.

Gaba, KK and Ddundu beaches were ordered to cease operations while markets at Mulungu and Gaba landing sites were ordered closed, with Nema asking KCCA to relocate all vendors working there.

The first casualty of the closure yesterday was Mulungu Landing Site where vendors were evicted.

Nema executive director Tom Okurut yesterday said he recommended the closures in an April 24 letter to KCCA executive director Andrew Kitaka.

“Yes we asked for closure of various places, including markets and beaches. I understand steps at Mulungu have been taken,” he said by telephone.

In his letter, Dr Okurut asked KCCA to declare all buildings in the flooded swathes of Speke Resort unusable by the public.

Dr Okurut said Nema’s rapid assessment established that the flooded sections at Gaba, Mulungu as well as the beaches were illegally reclaimed from the dry lake shores and structures therein erected with no approval.

“The current lake level is expected to remain so for a foreseeable future and renders any use of these sections untenable,” he wrote.

The proprietor of Speke Resort Munyonyo, Mr Sudhir Ruperellia, also told Daily Monitor by telephone that only his gardens were affected by the water.

“The main Munyonyo hotel is okay. It’s only the gardens that were affected and good enough there are no structures there,” he said.

Early on Sunday, police witnessed the eviction at Mulungu, which had been peaceful until area Member of Parliament Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West) ordered the vendors to return their property into the market.

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