Wednesday July 30 2014

We have too many national parks

Uganda has too many national parks for her land size. We only need to keep a few conservation areas, declare Murchison Falls National Park a government ranching scheme, irrigation for cotton and food crops. The schemes should be settled by people along the lines of Gezira in Sudan, with towns built along the banks of the Nile. Queen Elizabeth needs to be de-gazetted and land allocated to pastoralists and cotton out-growers, with a government ranch and cotton schemes, as the nucleus farm.
Tourists are more attracted to prosperous countries, with booming economies than poor ones where citizens live on the fringes of wildlife. Moreover, we can have conservancy, where people live alongside animals in the same areas. In Karamoja, Kidepo national park needs to keep half its current size. Lake Mburo National Park should revert to a conservancy, where people live alongside animals. These parks were established in the era when Britain needed to keep Uganda as her leisure backyard, and hunting grounds, while developing Kenya as their home. We need animal sanctuaries and conservancy zones, not whole regions into national parks while we live a wretched life
Sandra Birungi,