By Joseph Kasibante
MOST politicians in Uganda allow votes to weaken national values. They chose the easy way of playing their political cards, by compromising the law for votes.
Therefore, the support to turn Uganda into a better nation should be vested in civil society organisations.
To the genuine environmentalist, Mabira forest reserve and Centenary Park have the same ecological value despite the difference in size. Whoever protected Mabira forest reserve, if did so in good faith, should be the same to protect Centenary Park from being clogged.
A sober planer to recover Kampala from its sorry state has to rectify the obvious wrongs before putting on ground meaningful plans. Kampala for centuries has been run on political influence and cheap popularity.
If we dare and lose the vitality of the decisive and courageous Executive Director Jennifer Musisi then Uganda will never get a modern Capital City but a big populated backward, confused, shameful slum, with garbage, cattle and goats aboard.
City planners worldwide are becoming more involved with environmental concerns. Environmental planning coordinates development to meet objectives for clean air and water; removal of toxic and other wastes; recycling of resources; energy conservation; protection of wetlands, beaches, hillsides, farmlands, forests, and floodplains; and preservation of wildlife, natural reserves, and rivers.
Historic preservation strives to keep important buildings and places as part of the permanent environment and uses them to finance the maintenance costs. That is the direction KCCA Executive Director is taking to realise Watson Churchill description of Uganda “The Pearl of Africa’ and giving the taxpayers value for our taxes.
Scientists agree that if pollution and other environmental deterrents continue at their present rates, the result will be irreversible damage to the ecological cycles and balances in nature upon which all life depends. Scientists warn that fundamental, and perhaps drastic, changes in human behaviour will be required to avert an ecological crisis.
To safeguard the healthful environment that is essential to life, humans must learn that the earth does not have infinite resources. Earth’s limited resources must be conserved and, where possible, reused. Furthermore, humans must devise new strategies that connect environmental progress with economic growth.
The future growth of developing nations depends upon the development of sustainable conservation methods that protect the environment while also meeting the basic needs of citizens.
Many nations have acted to control or reduce environmental problems. For example, Great Britain has largely succeeded in cleaning up the waters of the Thames and other rivers, and London no longer suffers the heavy pollution caused by industrial pollutants.
Japan has some of the world’s strictest standards for the control of water and air pollution. In Canada, the department of commerce has developed comprehensive programmes covering environmental contaminants. In Uganda, it is the opposite.
The Minister of Commerce and Trade recently publicly blasted and labeled the Kampala Capital City Authority Executive Director a terrorist for trying to control environmental contaminants at the Centenary Park. If it was Amin’s era for such utterances would have earned the decisive, executive director a firing squad.
The history of the United States modern environmental movement is rooted in a 19th-Century New England philosophical movement called ‘Transcendentalism’ whose leaders included the poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson and the naturalist and author Henry David Thoreau. In their writings, both men expressed astonishment for the natural world, believing that humans and nature shared a divine spirit.
Emerson asserted that nature was eternal and capable of recovering from mistreatment at the hands of humans. Thoreau, more protective and pessimistic, has been quoted as saying, “Thank God, men cannot yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth.”
I know with my genuine example given above the Pharisee- self righteous Ugandans will retort; ‘This is not Great Britain, this is not Canada, Japan, United States, or Kenya, this is Uganda’!
Many U.S. states have also established environmental protection agencies. Citizen groups, such as the Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society, educate the public, support environment-friendly legislation, and help assure that federal and state laws are enforced by pointing out violations.
In Uganda, there are very few environmental protection groups. The few operating are under the fear of politicians who are in partnership with the environment predators.
Uganda politicians on top of their zeal for ‘Democracy’ they should admire and copy Wangari Maathai, Kenya’s environmental and pro-democracy activist who became the first environmentalist and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in her native Kenya that succeeded in planting 30 million trees in an effort to help halt deforestation.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee recognized her for these and other efforts, noting that “peace on earth depends on our ability to secure our living environment.
To the Uganda vote hunters don’t sacrifice our living environment and the pride of our Capital City. Instead educate the public, support environment-friendly legislation, and help assure that central and local government laws are enforced by pointing out not condoning violations.
Writers is the President, National Taxpayers Protection Organisation, freelance researcher and writer