By Katherine Nabuzale
We may try to put blame on others and make excuses for failing to meet our expectations or responsibilities. However, the issue of protecting and conserving the environment doesn't call for such trivialities as those.
Environmental conservation and protection involves each and every one and requires no blame or excuses. It is more paramount to ask ourselves if each of us is doing their part in as far as our environment is concerned.
We simply can't afford to have towns devoid of greenery like leisure parks, urban forestry and no preservation of Eco-systems any longer. Towns full of buildings of which human activities in there contribute to the greenhouse effect are causing more harm to our environment. Swamps being traded for development yet these are supposed to be water beds is worsening the whole predicament thus, beckoning on global warming.
The consequences of filling swamps are more evident than ever especially when it rains; the water has no outlets necessary to reduce the downstream impact of runoff by filtering and holding water after heavy rains or big storms.
Climate change is affecting all of us hence the pressing need of comprehensive measures and plans to enhance resilience to unusual weather events while protecting the environment.
People in authority should wake up and use their mandate to see that no part of Uganda is spared in the spirit of protecting and conserving our environment.
We need grave laws on this subject if there is to be any success in fighting global warming. Laws like, around every home should at least be a tree to reduce wash-outs during rains would go a long way in the plant more trees campaign.
In addition, sensitising and educating homeowners, builders and communities on the importance of tree cover, grading and proper disposal of garbage would help them develop plans that really serve them as well as conserve the environment.
Planting water-friendly plants that can make use of water and develop larger root systems especially in flooding prone areas would be a bonus to our environment. Nevertheless, not removing mature vegetation in the first place is a much more effective remedy (a great way to preserve those mature trees with large root networks)
One sure mechanism to save our forest cover is for the Government to make electricity more affordable and investing massively in alternative sustainable energy sources. Uganda, like many other developing countries, uses little commercial energy for cooking.
The widely used energy for cooking is fuel wood that is wood and charcoal. In rural areas, people use wood for cooking because most of the areas are not connected to the electricity power grids or they simply can't afford paying electricity.
Same scenario is true in urban places where people have even more bills to pay vis-a-vis the high cost of living. Therefore, solid investments in renewable and sustainable energy for instance, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and geothermal and biomass will provide affordable electricity across the country.
By increasing competition and diversifying our energy supplies, general energy tariffs will consequently stabilize.
The Government should also urgently consider improving and streamlining the transport sector so that more people can comfortably use public means instead of private vehicles to reduce on carbon emissions. In regard to plastic bags, bottles manufacture and use, a law should be passed and implemented demanding that monetary value is added to them .This will prevent against careless disposal of plastics boosting recycling and inevitability protecting the environment.
Uganda is gifted with sunny skies; heat from the earth, plant residues; animal and human wastes and fast-moving water can each provide a vast and constant replenished energy resource supply.
These diverse sources of renewable energy have the technical potential to provide all the electricity the country needs as well as help to mitigate the unemployment crisis by creating jobs. Furthermore, extensive use of sustainable energy will widen the tax collection base thus boosting the economy.
Let each of us play our part in protecting our environment. Reduce, reuse and recycle.
Small steps like reduction on unnecessary consumption to avoid wastage and overproduction, proper disposal of garbage and wastes, grading plastics for recycling, carry your own shopping bag, save energy by lighting only needed lights, turn off electric appliances when not in use, maintaining your cars in good mechanical condition to reduce on over burning of fuel, consider car pools when traveling to the same destination, use both sides of paper while printing to save trees.