By Paul Kato
As Uganda is concluding the celebrations of this year’s Water Week under the theme Water and Environment for Climate Resilience Development, a lot needs to be done to achieve the set goals of combating climate change.
Uganda continues to grapple with floods, prolonged drought and change of seasons among others.
The Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) has been trying to ensure that critical ecosystems such as forests, water bodies, wetlands and others are protected from human activities such as deforestation, mining, agriculture and others.
Sensitive biodiversity zones are still under pressure from local communities, investors and rich businessmen carrying out agriculture activities and mining.
However, to overcome the human activities that contribute to the destruction of protected areas, MWE and other sister agencies need to work with the parliament to review and operationalize environmental laws.
The ministry also has to increase
environmental budget allocation for running the ministry’s work, stop all oil activities and other oil-related activities in protected areas like national parks, water bodies, wetlands and forests.
Also, the ministry must increase investments in the renewable energy sector, especially solar which is reliable, affordable and clean and ensure that there is increased access and participation of women in clean energy because they are vulnerable to the climate crisis.
In addition to that, the ministry and the sister agencies need also to sensitize local communities about the relevance of conserving the environment and empower women and the youth to partake in eco-friendly activities.
These eco-friendly activities may include fish rearing, beekeeping and growing fruit trees, training the local communities the good methods of farming and cancelling all the land titles that were issued in the wetlands.
The above solutions will help to increase the efforts of environmental conservation, mitigate the climate change that Uganda is grappling with and reduce environmental cases caused by encroachers in the country.
Therefore, I call upon the Ministry of Water and Environment and other sister agencies to work together to ensure that the above environmental conservation measures are implemented.
Paul Kato is a Research Associate and Environmental Activist.