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Why destroy the tourist industry and environment?

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd April 2004 03:00 AM

SIR— It is commendable that time and again the New Vision stands up for conservation in Uganda

SIR— It is commendable that time and again the New Vision stands up for conservation in Uganda.
Besides the present attempt to carve yet further into
the Semliki Game Reserve, already cut down in size during the re-drawing of its boundaries in the recent past, there is also the matter of Pian Upe Game Reserve in Karamoja (Nakapiripirit disstrict).

Moves are already underway to degazette this protected area also and turn it into a farming experiment.
To do this, the water of Lake Opeta, which is in Katakwi district but on the border of Karamoja (Nakapiripirit), would have to be tapped. Potentially, the effect is to reduce the water table substantially. Once farming starts, so does fencing.

This will cut off the Karimojong from a permanent source of water for their cattle during prolonged droughts and dry seasons.
Why use protected areas for agricultural development when there are still large tracts of land in the Luweero triangle, for example, where there is more water and people are looking for jobs?

That said, there is already
a fine tourist lodge in Semliki Game Reserve. The effect of opening the reserve for cattle ranching and marginal farming is that it will destroy this investment. Tourists come there largely for game, not to see cattle roaming the reserve
or shambas lining the roads
and tracks.

Wolfgang H. Thome
President
Uganda Tourism Association

Why destroy the tourist industry and environment?

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