Friday August 9 2013

Use culture to preserve wildlife - Nnabagereka

The Nnabagereka, Sylvia Nagginda (L) and her daughter Katrina Ssangalyambogo at the Uganda

The Nnabagereka, Sylvia Nagginda (L) and her daughter Katrina Ssangalyambogo at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe during celebrations to mark Conservation Through Public Health on Wednesday. Photo by Stephen Wandera 

By ALEXANDRINA NAKANWAGI

Entebbe-The Nnabagereka, Sylvia Nagginda, has recommended the promotion of culture as a viable way of conserving wildlife.
Ms Nagginda was speaking during celebrations to mark 10 years of the Conservation through Public Health (CTPH), at Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) on Wednesday, where she launched the omusu (cane rat) exhibit - her clan totem.

“Totems bring people of a clan together and also ensure the respect of those particular animals. They also prevent people from hurting the animals,” she said.

Ms Maria Baryamujura, a trustee of the UWEC, said in line with conserving wildlife and promoting culture through the exhibition of totems, the centre was also planning to invite the Kabaka of Buganda to launch more exhibits of the Buganda totems, as well as an ostrich farming project, to improve the livelihoods of Ugandans.

Dr Gladys Kalema Zikusoka, the founder and chief executive officer of CTPH, thanked the Nnabagereka, who is also the patron of the organization, for presiding over the function.

According to Dr Zikusoka, in the 10 years of the organisation’s existence, they have developed a health monitoring system for both mountain gorillas and the communities surrounding the protected areas.

He added that they had also set up tele-centres for information communication technology, set up conservation and village health teams to provide primary health care, as well as set up income generating activities for these teams.

“We plan to scale up from Bwindi, Virunga and Queen Elizabeth to other national parks in Uganda, East and Central Africa. We also plan to build a more permanent centre at Bwindi,” Dr Zikusooka said.

ABOUT TOTEMS
History. A totem is a being, object, or symbol representing an animal or plant that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, group, lineage, or tribe, reminding them of their ancestry. In kinship and descent, if the apical ancestor of a clan is nonhuman, it is called a totem. Normally this belief is accompanied by a totemic myth. Totems have been around for years and they are usually in the shape of an animal, and every animal has a certain personality.

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