Posted on: January 14, 2009 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

Uganda. Polluting factories will be listed in the media every four months, an environment official has warned.

Dr. Aryamanya Mugisha, the executive director of the National Environment Authority (NEMA), said the list would comprise polluting industries and those deemed to be improving so as to achieve compliance.

“The measure will put pressure on industries to reduce the release of effluent and dangerous gaseous emissions,” he said.

Mugisha was on Friday speaking at the end-of-year staff party at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

The water and environment state minister, Jennipher Namuyangu, presided over the function that attracted over 200 people, including representatives from civil society organisations and the media.

Mugisha said the move would also help the public to access information on those who pollute the environment.

In a separate interview, Onesmus Muhwezi, NEMA’s director of environmental monitoring and compliance, said modalities for assessing the best and worst performers were being prepared.

He said the industries and civil society organisations would be informed about the new measures.

He said the approach, which was being applied in countries like Bangladesh, would help the public participate and put pressure on non-compliant industries to improve.

“Public opinion is important because once the consumers are informed about a company that is damaging the environment, they can protest by declining to purchase the company’s products.”

Two years ago, The New Vision ran a lead story titled “NEMA names polluters of Lake Victoria,” which forced some companies to comply with the environment standards after their clients outside the country demanded that they reform.

Kenneth Kakuru, an environment lawyer and founder of Green Watch, a local NGO, proposed that organisations degrading the environment be regularly exposed in the media.

By: Gerald Tenywa
Posted: 11 January 2009