Where a few months ago, beautiful indigenous trees stood tall, many planted by Heads of States from other countries as a symbol of solidarity and friendship, a five star hotel is being constructed by a Chinese consortium at a rapid rate, despite major objections by local residents, environmentalists and other interested parties.
The Environmental Management Agency have put up a legal fight to halt construction saying a proper Environmental Impact Assessment had not been carried out prior to starting the development and was only submitted once construction was under way. The council has reiterated that no developments are allowed to take place on wetlands and recommended that urgent measures be taken to stop the development.
Council also said the government had not stated their intention for the use of the land when they acquired it, stating it was in the ‘national interest’. Is destroying a vital wetland to make way for a hotel in our national interest?
Where is the cohesion and co operation between the various authorities to say ‘no’ this is not right and to put a stop to it? As is too often the case, the laws in place to protect our environment appear to have been disregarded and, despite all the protests and legal applications, construction continues.
Maybe it is time for outdated legislation to be addressed and amended and to streamline co-operation between relevant authorities. Cases such as this are a sad indictment on the lack of protection and conservation of our environment.
There can be no justification for any development to take place on a critical natural resource of this nature, it is irreplaceable and it will be the next generation who will look back and ask ‘why?’
We need to stand together as a responsible civil society who truly cares for our environment and communities and let our voices be heard.
– www.environmentafrica.org “Think globally, act locally”Post published in: Environment