Uganda Police to Use CCTVs to Arrest Environment Polluters

Courtesy pic. PRO Fred Enanga.

The Uganda police force have revealed that among the measures adopted to deal with people polluting the environment is the use of street and highway Closed Circuit Television Cameras -CCTVs.

Police say efforts to warn people against littering the environment with all sorts of plastics have yielded no results and it times technology to be utilized alongside human force to stop the looming danger.

Senior Commissioner of Police -SCP Fred Enanga, said the police officers specialized in environmental protection with work in tandem with inspectors from National Environment Management Authority -NEMA and CCTV experts to ensure dumpers of items deemed dangerous to human existence are arrested and charged.

Plastic dumpers face arrest, and noise polluters will face the same force. Enanga said a decision to get tough on people threatening the environment and human existence has been based on the fact that roadsides, streets, drainages, public, and private spaces are all being filled with all sorts of garbage.

“As you are all aware, the environmental crimes of littering and noise pollution, have become an epidemic. The amount of litter dropped each year is on the rise, with all types of material like plastic bags, polythene bags, food wrappers, boxes, garbage etc, that is disposed of incorrectly, thus reducing or diminishing the value of our natural environment,” Enanga said.

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Flooding in Kampala and its suburbs has become a norm every time there is a downpour. Sometimes Kampala floods even when the amount of rain is not much. This has been blamed on among other things waterways choked by plastics and careless urban authorities that allowed the construction of malls, factories, and rentals in swamps as well as wetlands.

More than 50 people were clinic by floods in various urban and rural areas in Uganda including Kampala, Mbale, Kisoro, Bundibugyo, and Kasese. Human activities like grazing, charcoal burning, clearing forests for commercial agriculture and dumping of plastics everywhere have been listed as factors causing endless floods, unstable rainy seasons, and landslides.

At least 29 people were swept by flash floods in Mbale City while heading for an introduction ceremony. Other people died in floods in areas of Nalukolongo, Ndeeba, Luzira, and Makindye Ssabagabo.

NEMA, police, military, urban, and local governments have all agreed to first conduct environment protection education programs across the country for the next 27 days. After the sensitization programs, the security forces and environmental authorities will start conducting spontaneous operations against polluters.

“The public should know that littering the environment is a crime and that there are laws, which exist to keep our country clean. …the UPF has teamed up with NEMA, Kampala City Authority, UPDF, all Local Governments, NGOs, religious leaders, the business community, the transport sector, schools, the media, and all MDAs,” Enanga said.

Enanga added: “In conducting sustained and robust public education programs, for the next 27 days, on how to counter littering, illegal dumping, and noise pollution. We all need to concert efforts and reverse this trend by turning the declining attitude towards our environment, into a more positive one, for a better environment to live and work in.”

However, urban authorities have been tasked to ensure there are several garbage bins on every street. Apart from the physical education programs, the police, military, and NEMA will use broadcast media and also pin posters.

Weeks earlier, NEMA announced that a fine of UGX6M had been imposed on drivers found without dustbins in their cars. This statement became a mockery on social media and neighbouring countries. Police have installed over 5,000 CCTV cameras on the streets of Kampala and other urban areas.

Kampala metropolitan area which has the highest human concentration over 3,000 CCTV cameras which police believe will be crucial in dealing with environmental polluters. However, there are doubts about the CCTV approach because the first purpose of the cameras was to aid in investigations and fight crime a task they haven’t executed to public satisfaction.

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