By Guest Writer
Editor, last week the media reported about the Government of Uganda planning to restore 850 square kilometers of the forests and wetlands across the country.
This is a very good initiative because it is aiming at restoring back the affected sensitive biodiversities and supporting the already existing forests and wetlands.
The initiative by the government of Uganda will help to mitigate the serious climatic changes the country is already grappling with; such as prolonged drought, flooding, outbreak of army worms, change of seasons and others.
The districts grappling most with the serious climatic change across the country include Rakai, Karamoja, Kasese, Butabala, Isingiro, Hoima specially Kabaale – Buseruka sub county and others.
Currently the negative impacts of the climate changes are affecting different sectors in the country such as agriculture which employs about 80% of the Ugandan population especially the women who are known of providing food for their families and the youth who are un employed, education sector and families.
This was evidenced in Rakai where both the children and the women are walking 4 to 6 kilometers to fetch water hence leading them to miss some lessons and other sectors like health and electricity as well.
It should be noted that initiative of restoring about 850 square kilometer of forests and wetland across the country should engage mostly the women and the youth because they are the ones who are mostly affected by the negative impacts of climate change.
The government needs also to be engaging them in environmentally friendly activities such fish rearing, bee keeping, fruit growing and others.
This will help them to protect the restored forests and wetland, the existing critical biodiversity and at the same time provides food, employment, incomes, and fire wood for cooking and attracts the rain fall and others.
The restoration of the forests and wetlands needs to start from areas which are highly affected by the climate change including the oil affected areas such as Kabaale Buseruka which is already facing serious climate change.
It is noted that oil refinery affected persons are already experiencing food insecurity because the maize, beans and other dried due to much sunshine and army worms.
I call upon the government of Uganda to prioritise the women and the youth in the initiative of restoring 850 square kilometer of forests and wetlands.
This will help women and unemployed youth to get enough food, income, employment and the same time supports environment.
The author is Emmanuel Ongyeer -working with Oil Refinery Residents Association (ORRA) from Kabaale-Buseruka, Hoima district.
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