Friday February 23 2018

Let’s not turn Uganda into a desert

Report after report has come out warning of the alarming rate at which forests, woodlands, and wetlands, among others are fast disappearing. However, the serious ruling NRM government has paid little or no attention to the outcries. As a consequence, Uganda has for nearly a decade, been increasingly experiencing prolonged scotching drought.
Before the NRM party came to power, Uganda used to experience milder sunshine and temperature like that you experience when driving through Mabira forest. In the early 1980s and earlier, children used to go out of their houses to their during morning hours for sun-bathing, but these days, it is becoming very hard for children to withstand the morning sunshine.
The yellow grass that used to be rare around Lake Victoria basin during the dry season, is now a common sight. Not only that. Even some banana plantations these days have to be maintained using some form of irrigation, especially during the dry season.
In spite of all this, the reluctant NRM government continues to host a big number refugees from neighbouring countries.
Some people see the state of affairs as a simple matter, but imagine what will happen when all crops fail in one season.
Environmentalist and concerned citizens have been warning that at a rate of 92,000 hectares of forest destroyed every year, Uganda will not have any forest in a decade to come!
Interestingly, NRM government has been saying Uganda will attain a middle income status 2020, only less than two years from today. For sure, given the rate at which forests are cut down, wetlands filled with sand for construction purposes, and woodlands not protected either, it will perhaps be easier for Uganda to become a desert than attaining a modest goal of becoming middle income country.
Unless government takes drastic action aimed to conserve our forests, wetlands and protect our lakes and rivers, among others, the future the country’s future generation is bleak.
Kennedy Kabonge,