Leaders in Kayunga and Kamuli districts have jointly implemented a ban on sand mining in the River Nile, with the decision coming into effect this week. The ban stems from ongoing conflicts between sand miners from Kamuli District and fishermen from Kayunga District over disputes related to fishing and mining boundaries along the river.
The directive was issued during a meeting held at Bugondha Primary School in Mbulamuti Sub-County, Kamuli District, where local leaders from both districts, including chief administrative officers, district chairmen, district fisheries officers, resident district commissioners, and district police commanders, gathered to address the issue.
Encroachment on river banks has become a growing concern in the area, driven by increased demand for land. Some individuals, including businessmen, have established structures such as hotels and gardens in conservation zones. This encroachment threatens the vital River Nile, which is the world’s longest river and a crucial source of water and fish for millions of people in Uganda and neighboring countries.
Fishermen from Kayunga have accused sand miners from Kamuli of conducting unauthorized sand mining operations within their territory. The tensions surrounding these disputes had resulted in the arrest of some sand miners from Kamuli District who were found mining sand on the Kayunga side.
Following the meeting, Mr. Moses Ddumba, the Kayunga Resident District Commissioner (RDC), announced, “We have resolved that River Nile sand mining activities have been banned, and anyone found mining sand in the river will be arrested and prosecuted.” Most sand miners are young individuals who venture about 30 feet into the riverbed to collect sand. They load the sand onto canoes and transport it to the riverbanks, with the earnings from a single trip amounting to approximately Shs 800,000.