PRESIDENT MUSEVENI has insisted that Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve remain a protected area.
Congolese refugees and local people have been grazing their cattle in 10 per cent of the area with permission from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Now LC officials want that part of the reserve degazetted.
Museveni is right. It would be wrong to succumb to local political pressure.
Firstly, as state tourism minister Jovino Akaki said in Bundibugyo recently, it is no solution to give away the land in parks and reserves because eventually it will all run out and the potential for tourism will be destroyed.
More importantly, the parks and reserves are parts of Ugandaâ€™s national heritage. Every country in the world preserves areas of outstanding natural beauty for future generations.
In the short term Uganda can make money by attracting tourists to its parks but the real long-term value lies in ensuring that Ugandans in future will be able to know what their land once looked like before the advent of industry and agriculture.
Protect game reserves