By George Busiinge
Journalists in Bunyoro have been challenged to prioritize environmental issues in their reporting as a way of creating civic awareness
Ivan Amaniga Ruhanga, the manager extractives at World Wide Fund (WWF), speaking at a one day media training on environmental reporting at Glory Summit Hotel Hoima last week, said little space in the media is given to environmental issues in the region.
Ruhanga said there is a lot to cover about environment now that the region is about to start producing oil and gas. He said media practitioners should report responsibly to enhance good governance in the country.
Birrah Nassah the executive director mid-western region ant-coalition (MIRAC) requested the media houses to always consider environmental stories as far as oil and gas is concerned.
Michael Businge, the coordinator for Bunyoro Albertine Petroleum Network on Environment (BAPENECO) said much more environment reporting by media houses operating in the region is needed.
He said the training was aimed at building capacities for media practitioners on matters of environment which attracted journalists from Masindi, Buliisa, Kiryandongo, Kibaale, Hoima, Kagadi and other districts from Bunyoro region.
BAPENECO also trained environmental monitors from Bunyoro region in different skills. Busiinge while taking to Earthfinds said that the monitors were trained in compensation and resettlement, monitoring company compliance with environmental standards, grievance interaction mechanism in oil and gas industry and waste management.
Meanwhile Giles Agambe, the executive director, REIGN Uganda added that limited budgets at lower local government in the environmental conservation sector needs key advocacy and attention if the environmental issues are to succeed.
He says this limits the environmental officer’s efforts to monitor and implement environmental related laws.