BY Jolly Gwari
Mpigi – Uganda’s water central industrialization journey started with walking for water, Environment and climate change on March 10 2020.
Throughout the week, several activities have been lined and these include; walking for Water, Environment, and Climate Change that set off March 10 -20, 2020. Other activities will focus on clean-up and restoration activities organized by regional partners of the Water Ministry.
Notably, the 330-kilometer walk started from Mabira Forest in Buikwe District to the River Rwizi catchment in Mbarara in western Uganda.
An opportunity by health officials to sensitize Masaka people about the #coronavirus during our walk for water , environment and climate change. #UWEWK20 @min_waterUg @Env_Alert @EU_ENV @UNEP @theGEF @ntvuganda @DailyMonitor @bukeddetv @newvisionwire @BBCAfrica pic.twitter.com/ddTDcWX7d3— Walkers Association of Uganda (@walkers_uganda) March 16, 2020
Remarkably, ‘walking for water’ participants stopped at Mitala Maria, Buwama sub-county, Mpigi District on Friday, March 13, in a tree-planting procession led by Honorable John Bosco Seguya. In addition, Seguya, (MP Mawokota South), argued locals to involve children, share climate change and environmental conservation messages.
He further explained that the role and information of climate change has for a long time besieged adults, leaving out children as culprits of environmental degradation due to lack knowledge on how to protect the environment.
“Children especially boys who are left to wonder looking for firewood should be informed about methods like re-afforestation. This is the easiest way they can participate,” Seguya enlightened.
He also clarified that conserving the environment saves the government from excessive expenditures. The government has to acquire loans to fund the climate change activities which would be preventable in the first place if precautions were taken by the public.
More so, Geoffrey Ayeni, the chief walker called upon the populace to appreciate, and participate in the 10 days walk and advised those that haven’t walked to at least plant trees. He also explained that the walk is to show commitment to conserve the environment, and how he is devoted to finishing the 330kilometres without giving up.
He also applauded the locals of Mpigi district for preserving forests and called upon everyone to opt for bioenergy instead of cutting trees for firewood.
The walkers that walked via Masaka provided an interface for sector actors, stakeholders and the general public to exchange knowledge and relevant information on how to conserve the environment. Hon. Florence Namayanja of Bukoto East joined the walkers and participated in tree planting at St. Maria Goretti Mpugwe primary school.
Hon. Namayanja notified the public to do their part in protecting lakes and forests as part of protecting humanity. She also commended the ministry of water and environment for working tirelessly to save bushlands especially Manywa close to Lake Nabugabo.
While in Masaka, the walkers together with district officials and members of Masaka District Farmers Association participated in cleaning the town. Godfrey Kayemba, the mayor Masaka town council called upon locals to vacate and protect swamps and forests.
He also advised the public to plant trees, especially fruit for healthy purposes. “These fruits are good for immunity and now that viruses like corona are threatening, it is preventive as one has a good immunity system” Kayemba said. He later also appreciated the walkers for being patriotic and setting a great example.
Walking for Water, Environment and climate change intend to contribute towards the attainment of sustainable socio-economic transformation in achieving Uganda’s National development plan and vision with the aim of creating awareness for environmental conservation and most significantly to save River Rwizi in Mbarara district.
Sam Cheptoris, the Minister of Water and Environment reveals that this year’s water and environment week – an annual event now in its third year, will focus on the centrality of water and environment resources in Uganda’s quest for sustainable industrialization, employment and wealth creation.
Sam Cheptoris and the Permanent Secretary Okot Okidi called a press conference at the Ministry Headquarters at Luzira on Friday on 7TH March 2020. They highlighted the importance of the walk and the water week.
While addressing a press conference at Kampala suburb which neighbors the northern shores of Lake Victoria, Cheptoris, said since its inception in 2018, the event seeks to contribute towards the attainment of sustainable socio-economic transformation of Uganda.