An evaluation of the participation of potentially affected public in environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for manufacturing and processing industries in Uganda
This data was collected in Uganda between 2018 and 2019 to assess the participation of the potentially affected public in environmental impact assessments (EIA) for manufacturing and processing industries. It was part of a PhD research in environmental governance and management. The specific research was on; Stakeholders’ capacities, institutional and regulatory framework and influence on the implementation of EIA follow-up in the central Uganda’s industries. Stakeholders capacity and the institutional and regulatory framework are considered important context factors in influencing the effectiveness of EIA implementation at both assessment and follow-up stages of the EIA process. This data was collected to assess the participation of potentially affected public in EIAs for manufacturing and processing industries. The data was collected using questionnaire administered for 100 households around 4 industries within central Uganda. The 4 industries were systematically selected from a list of 16 manufacturing industries which were issued operation licenses by the environmental regulator (the National Environmental Management Authority between 2000 and 2005. The questionaire covered important aspects of community capacity in terms of knowledge and awareness, access to EIA information, environmental stewardship, social cohesion, participation in EIA during assessment and EIA follow-up activities such as monitoring, post environmental audits or evaluation, management and communication . The assumption was that, these factors influence the participation of potentially affected public in the EIA process. at both assessment or pre-approval decision and post decision stages. The data was analyzed mainly using descriptive statistics though regression analysis was used but the results were not used in the main reporting, though it revealed that, most of the selected parameters for community capacity had postive significant impact on participation of the potentially affected public in EIA activities at both pre-approval decision and post-decision activities. The study revealed that there were fairly good legal provisions for public participation and involvement in EIA. However, public participation was not well legislated in the early phases of the EIA process and the later phases particularly final decision making and EIA follow-up. There were gaps between law and actual practice due to many contextual factors including developer – led public participation and involvement, weak monitoring by the regulator, weak community cohesion and environmental stewardship, limited dissemination of EIA information and lack of community awareness of potential environmental and health impacts of projects. The paper made several recommendations to enhance the participation and involvement of the affected public in EIA.