By Abdulkarim Ssengendo
PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has cautioned Ugandans against destroying natural resources and advised those who have encroached on them to willingly vacate.
The President also urged community and religious leaders to use radios to educate people on the importance of natural resources and how they should co-exist with them.
â€œGod created natural resources like rivers, lakes, forests and wetlands and knew how important they were. So why do you destroy them?â€ he asked.
Museveni also warned environment officers to desist from using excessive force while evicting people from wetlands
Museveni commended the people of Buhweju district for protecting their natural resources.
He said the problem of encroaching on natural resources is common in Ankole and Kigezi regions.
Museveni noted that the weather in Ankole and Kigezi regions had changed and this had led to little rainfall resulting from destroyed natural resources.
He made the remarks on Saturday at the opening of the sh290m Ruhaero Mission Hospital theatre.
Ankole Diocese Bishop Fred Sheldon Mwesigwa said about 393 operations had been done at the theatre. Mwesigwa appealed for more support to faith-based organisations which he said provide 60% of services in the country.
He also appealed for ambulances, expansion of the hospital and purchase of the remaining equipment.
Healthcare state minister James Kakoza said the health ministry would give the hospital the remaining equipment. On the same day, the President laid the foundation stone for the construction of a multi purpose block at Bishop Stuart University.
He contributed sh370m towards the construction and promised them a science laboratory.
Museveni, however, said there was need to develop human resources, saying the country cannot develop without them.
â€œHuman resource is an important factor for the development of a country. When you compare the GDP of Saudi Arabia and Japan, Saudi Arabia, which is rich in oil and petroleum, has a GDP of $300m. Japan, which is not rich in oil, has a GDP of $4.5 trillions. This is because Japan developed its human resource,â€ he said.
Museveni said the NRM government introduced the Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education programmes to develop skills among the youth. He appealed to teachers to implement the programmes and cautioned them against illegal charges.
He said in this financial year the Government would embark on increasing electricity supply, construction of roads and rehabilitating old ones, construction of railway lines and introducing free higher and technical education.
Museveni said Ntungamo-Mirama hill, Ishaka-Rusindura-Kagamba, Mbarara-Katunguru-Ishaka, Ibanda and Nyakahita roads would be worked on.
He underlined the need for the integration of Africa to resolve internal conflicts and weaknesses with in African countries
He observed that African countries were colonised because of the weaknesses of African chiefs who could not come together and defend themselves
â€œWe have internal weakness exploited by people who do not care about us. As Africans, we need to come together if we are to be respected,â€ he said.
Higher education state minister Mwesigwa Rukutana and Animal industry state minister accompanied the President at the functions.