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Urgent Call To Safeguard Uganda's Wetlands Environmentalists Rally for Swift Enactment Of Conservation Bill

Urgent Call To Safeguard Uganda’s Wetlands: Environmentalists Rally for Swift Enactment Of Conservation Bill

In a bid to protect the fragile wetland ecosystems in Uganda, environmentalists have called upon the government to expedite the enactment of the Wetland, Conservation, and Management Bill.

This urgent plea was made during the commemoration of World Environment Day, organized by Community Integrated Development Initiatives (CIDI) at Kiswa Primary School in Nakawa Division.

With the aim of raising awareness about the significance of wetland conservation, this gathering served as a platform for various stakeholders to unite in their cause.

Hellen Kasujja, the Deputy Executive Director of CIDI, passionately urged Members of Parliament to ensure the swift passage of the bill into law, highlighting the pressing need to combat encroachment on wetlands. “We implore the government, particularly the cabinet, to expedite the progress of the wetland preservation and management bill.

However, it is not enough for the bill to simply reach Parliament. It is equally vital that extensive consultations take place with the communities and key stakeholders, including the private sector, businesses, and academia, to gather their input,” expressed Kasujja.

Underlining the importance of collaboration among all stakeholders, Kasujja reiterated CIDI’s mission to conserve the environment and protect wetlands. These areas serve as crucial natural filters, essential for maintaining the health of our water, soil, and ecosystems. “Our goal is to unite all stakeholders in the conservation of the environment and the protection of wetlands, which play a vital role as filters for our health, water, soil, and ecosystem. We must zealously safeguard wetlands, as they provide indispensable services,” emphasized Kasujja.

MP Highlights Consequences of Investor Encroachment on Wetlands

Eng. Ronald Balimwezo, the Nakawa East Member of Parliament, directed his concerns towards the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development for granting land titles to investors in wetland areas. He highlighted the detrimental effects of such development on water filtration, leading to the contamination of Lake Victoria with heavy metals, garbage, and maggots.

Balimwezo further pointed out the financial burden placed on the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, which has to invest significant resources in treating the water impacted by wetland encroachment. “National Water and Sewerage Corporation bears a substantial cost for water treatment, which ultimately affects our people by making water unaffordable,” added Balimwezo.

Emphasizing the need for environmental care, Balimwezo stressed the role of the environment as our lifeline. He pledged to advocate for the environmental conservation bill in Parliament, aiming to combat ecosystem degradation. “We are already experiencing the consequences of environmental degradation, as evident in the heat we are enduring today. As members of Parliament, we will tirelessly push for the enactment of the environmental conservation bill to protect our ecosystems,” affirmed Balimwezo.

Seniors Without Borders Empower Children in Climate Education

Hazrah Okema, the Country Representative for Seniors Without Borders, one of the funders of CIDI, highlighted a shift in their approach from mitigation to adaptation, acknowledging that climate change is an ongoing reality.

Okema emphasized the integration of climate change education into children’s learning as a strategic investment towards equipping them with the skills required to adapt and innovate in response to climate change. “One of our key strategies involves empowering young children by integrating climate change education into their learning process. By doing so, we aim to equip them with the necessary skills to adapt and innovate, ensuring a more resilient future for all,” stated Okema.

Through the combined efforts of environmentalists, stakeholders, and passionate individuals, the urgent call for the protection of Uganda’s wetlands resounds.

With the swift enactment of the Wetland, Conservation, and Management Bill and a focus on collaboration, consultation, and education, the preservation of these invaluable ecosystems can be successfully achieved, safeguarding the health of our environment and future generations.

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