By Guest Writer

Every day, media reports about environmental destruction across the country that has kept everyone in shock if Ugandans really understand the values of environmental protection.

People have continued carrying out farming in wetlands, forests, lake shores, wildlife conservation areas in broad day light.

For example River Rwizi in western Uganda is drying up due to human activities and it has lost considerable percentage of its water catchment due crop growing on the river banks that has resulted into silting of the river especially when it rains.

The surrounding swamps of the river are being cleared due to human pressure to create land for crop growing and animal rearing. For example   Nyakafumura swamp has been cleared to create land for farming and Kanyabukanja wetland in karungu sub county has not also survived since its now  farmland for grazing animals .

Not once or twice, the president of Uganda has been ordering total ban of rice growing in wetlands across the country indicating a sharp decline in wetland coverage from 15.5% in 1994 to 8.9% % due to encroachment.

The state minister for environment Ms Beatrice Anywar has been also on frontline to arrests and chase all people encroaching on environment unfortunately the implementation of the directives haven’t been successfully due to continuous farming activities in wetlands and forest across the country.


All these destructions have caused negative effects to both human and wildlife. For example the continuous destruction of Bugoma forest have forced the wild animals to attach the community gardens and have destroyed crop gardens and attached human life In Hoima District.

As a result of increased encroachment on Bugoma forest reserve, the number of chimpanzees has significantly reduced according to wildlife conservation society project basing on the census conducted in 2001.

The census indicated that Bugoma forest was home to an estimated 570 chimpanzees but they have now reduced to 390 which is a big loss to the tourism sector. These chimpanzees are killed in process of clearing their habitat for cultivation.

Furthermore due to increased encroachment of wildlife by human activities ,the chimpanzees have now attached both human and crop gardens in surrounding communities in Hoima. Some people have got injuries from attach by these wild animal and some have lost lives  for example in 2014 ,the chimpanzee killed a two –year old child who was kidnapped from the garden in Kibaale district and many other people that have survived and still nursing wounds due to chimpanzee attach.

Crops and gardens haven’t been spared for example of recent  a herd of 45 elephants from Murchison falls National park  destroyed  community crops in Lii sub county in Nywoya district. This has called off the residents now to be enemies of these wildlife and many have been killed.

The continuous encroachment of nature by human activities have caused a negative impacts to the tourism sector and human life. The increasing deforestation and oil extractions have increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that come along with a lot of respiratory diseases which affects all of us.

Therefore I call upon all stakeholders especial NEMA, NFA to carry out mass sensitization campaign to educate the public about values of environmental conservation and all human activities in Eco sensitive areas should be stopped to protect nature.

The author is Gerald Barekye {geraldbarekye@gmail.com}, Research Associate.

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