Dredging of river is illegal, Environment minister says
AUTHOR: Losike Elia | PUBLISHED: June 9, 2022
The Minister of Environment and Forestry has described the Nile River dredging project as illegal and will not commence until proper environmental assessments are conducted.
Josephine Napwon Cosmos in a press statement on Wednesday said her Ministry has not been officially notified about the project.
She said the news circulating about the arrival of the machines on social media almost took everyone by surprise and prompted the public to question the responsible ministries.
Napwon stressed that such an activity can not be implemented by a single ministry because it includes human and animals’ lives.
“We in the Ministry, are not aware of this development, and we also saw the equipment on social media, but we did not even know the equipment are meant for what until we saw that it is for the dredging of the Nile,” said Napwon.
Hon. Napwon Reveal that the environment ministry and other government stakeholders including the council of ministers are not aware of the arrival of the dredging equipment.
The national minister of environment Josephine said the ministry will not approve the resumption or completion of the canal because of the ecosystem services that the sudd provides.
“How will they even start? I don’t think they will start the project without the environmental assessment. Therefore, since the above process has not commenced, any dredging of the rivers is illegal,” she said.
Hon. Josephine Napwon said her ministry has developed flood mitigation and adaptation strategies that do not include either dredging of rivers or resumption of Jonglei Canal.
Napwon said the environment ministry is waiting for an official notification by the ministry of water resources to assign a team of environmental experts to conduct assessment ahead of the projection.
According to her, the team of environmental scientists will develop terms of reference to conduct environmental social impacts assessment and other studies.
The conduct of the environmental social impact assessment shall be advertised for the bidders and those vetted and deemed qualified to be awarded the contract by the government to conduct the assessment and studies’’, Napwon Explains
This report will be submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry for review and endorsement, and if the report concludes the project has no social impact with recommended mitigation impacts, the project will be given a go ahead.
This morning, authorities in flood affected states announced the installation of the recent imported dredging machines to open a pathway of the Naam river which attracted public reactions.