Gov’t Conducting Impact Assessment on Isimba Dam Bridge Despite Being Under Construction

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An aerial view of Isimba Dam

Members of Parliament have questioned Government’s decision to spend 1 billion shillings for an environmental Impact Assessment on the Isimba Dam Bridge.

Officials from the Ministry of Energy led by the Minister Mary Goretti Kitutu were on Tuesday appearing before the Physical infrastructure committee to answer to investigations into the alleged swindling of 24 billion shillings meant for the Isimba Dam Bridge.

The committee chairperson Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko was shocked to know that although the bridge is under construction, government was still conducting an Environmental impact assessment meant to evaluate the likely environmental impacts of a proposed project while taking into account the socio-economic, cultural and human-health impacts.

Suzan Lakot Oruni, the Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) representative questioned why funds are being wasted to do an assessment, and yet the project was already being implemented.

The Ministry of Energy Permanent Secretary Robert Kasande says that although the assessment had been done for the entire Isimba project because the bridge was initially meant to be constructed alongside the dam, they didn’t do an earlier impact assessment but the National Environmental Management Authority- NEMA asked them to do another assessment for the construction of the bridge upstream.

James Waluswaka, the Bunyole west MP questioned what will happen if the assessment conducted reveals that a dam cannot be constructed in the area.

Kitutu apologized to the committee saying it is unfortunate it happened like that but promised to rectify it. She says from her experience in the Ministry of Environment, Environmental Impact Assessment comes before the Project.

She says an assessment cannot be done as a way to try and correct what was not done.

The committee did not conclude on the matter on how to proceed except the Ministers apology.

(URN)

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