Dr Rugemeleza Nshala, an Environmental and Natural Resource Lawyer, has said most environmental agencies in Africa are weak, lack the required independence, staff and resources to enforce environmental laws.
He said these agencies are easy to be manipulated and they see themselves as governmental bodies required to give effect to government wishes.

Dr Nshala was speaking on the topic: ?Oil, Gas and Mining: A Social and Environmental Challenge? during a training workshop organised for journalists from three African countries in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The workshop was to introduce the journalists to some of the critical issues surrounding the exploration, management and utilization of oil, gas and mineral resources in Africa.

?They have the country?s mandate yet they are based in capital cities and are unable to reach and monitor petroleum activities in the entire country,? he added.

He said civil society involvement in enforcement of environmental laws and rights was key to demanding accountability and to monitor environmental agencies and oil companies operations.

Dr Nshala urged stakeholders to bring lawsuits against environmental agencies and oil companies for environmental pollution or against any exploitation.

He called on the media to forge collaboration with Parliamentary Environmental Committees to hold to account and monitor environmental agencies and oil companies.

?Expose bad practices of foreign oil companies nationally and internationally,? he said.

Dr Nshala said there should be an institutional strengthening and independence of environmental agencies to ensure that they assume and perform their tasks as per the laws.

He said many African countries have enacted petroleum exploration and exploitation laws even where there has not been any discovery of oil.

Source: GNA


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.