The ongoing construction works of refurbishing Speke Resort Munyonyo which extend to the shore of Lake Victoria have been approved by National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).
And Ruparelia Group of Companies headed by Sudhir Ruparelia is not degrading and filling Lake Victoria but rather securing the garden which was earlier affected by the unprecedented rise of Lake Victoria to a record 44 feet.
Various properties on the shores of Victoria across Uganda were affected by the rising water levels.
The Lake extended to about 20 metres inside Munyonyo Resort flooding the grounds which initially were used to host a couple of activities including weddings, music concerts, goats’ races and many more.
Sudhir who is erecting East Africa’s biggest convention center that will host Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit and later G77 China conference next year, has since embarked on securing the already soaky land into use by rising the ground to curtail water from extending to the resort’s compound in case the Lake strikes again.
The process has been approved by NEMA. The authority publicly defended Sudhir following a video that circulated on internet alleging that the tycoon is filling with soil while encroaching on the Lake.
“As you might aware, Uganda will host the Non Aligned Movement & G-77 Conferences next year. Venue: Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, as such the compound is being raised to prevent flooding of the gardens,” NEMA said on twitter.
“The approval given required management to replant grass that was removed from the same area. However, NEMA will follow up to ensure compliance with approval particularly maintenance of L. Victoria integrity.”
NEMA further clarified that water front developments are approved world over, to attract tourism.
“This is a chance for Uganda to tap into #BlueEconomy potential”
And also the law gives Government permission to build projects (in the interest of public good) on public lands like roads, railway lines, marinas in wetlands provided they follow conditions given by NEMA.
Sudhir also took the media to Munyonyo to ascertain facts about the same allegations on Tuesday morning.
It should be remembered that a year of extraordinarily heavy rains, that started in April 2019 pushed the lake’s water level up to 13.4 metres (44 feet) by May 2022, breaking the previous 1964 record, according to the Lake Victoria Basin Commission. Even though the lake water levels later receded, Uganda’s National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) in May 2023 warned of abnormal rains. Indeed in the same month, there was significant flooding in the Lake Victoria basin, marked but the washing away of the River Katonga bridge on the Kampala-Masaka Road.