The Ministry Of Water And Environment has expressed the need for a mind-set change in handling water and environment resources if the country is to survive the negative impacts of the misuse and climate change.
While launching the activities of the 5th Uganda Water and Environment Week 2022 (UWEWK) 2022 at the Ministry Headquarters in Luzira, the state minister for water Hon. Aisha Sekindi Combating the challenges of water and environmental degradation as well as impacts of climate change should not be restricted to the government institutions alone but requires all stakeholders.
‘’ Aware that water is life and environment is health, it is critical that we join hands to protect and restore water and environment in order to benefit from their services more especially in this era of climate change and COVID 19 pandemic. The challenges and effects of our deeds affect all, both poor and rich, women, children and men, including all other natural resources’’, said Sekindi on behalf of the Minister of Water and Environment Hon. Sam Cheptoris.
As a pre-event for the UWEWK, the minister also flagged off a 450 km walk for the Water, Environment and Climate Change team which started from the Ministry in Luzira and will go via the Eastern route up to Mayors Gardens in Lira by 18th March, 2022.
The activists under the Walkers Association led by Godfrey Walker Ayeni aims to increase advocacy about water, environment and climate issues to the public and various stakeholders.
Flagging off the walkers, Sekindi called upon all stakeholders to join the campaign in restoring the green environment, protect the water and environment resources including forests, water bodies, wetlands and land emphasizing that water is life and environment is health.
‘’ The impact of climate change brings additional risks and challenges with severe negative impacts, in all angles; socially, economically and environmentally. Since 2019, Uganda has been experiencing intensive rains resulting in floods with tremendous damages and losses, including loss of lives, settlements, threats to major water infrastructures, essential services and property. These unfortunate events have resultant negative impacts to our efforts in socio-economic development of our country’’, added Sekindi before sounding a warning to all those in illegal protected zones of the lake, rivers, wetlands, mountain slopes and forest to vacate or else be evicted.
The launch was attended by officials from Buganda Kingdom led by Owek Mariam Nkalubo Mayanja Minister of Environment and Bulungibwansi, Development Partners, Representatives from Food and Agricultural Organization, Vi-Agroforestry, Directors and Commissioners in the Ministry of Water and Environment, National Forest Authority (NFA) and Civil Society Organizations.
Owek Nkalubo noted that it’s a duty for everyone to protect the resources around them for the current and future generations.
On behalf of development partners, James Walusimbi ,the Country Manager, Vi-Agroforestry expressed gratitude to the Walkers for their continued dedication in promoting environment conservation.
During the walk, there will be several stopovers at designated points along the route to among others join communities and institutions in creating awareness, demonstrating best practices and action on the ground for clean and healthy water and environment.
It was also revealed that the National Forestry Authority (NFA) will provide one million (1,000,000) assorted tree seedlings for planting as part of the celebration of the Uganda Water and Environment Week 2022.
The Official UWEWK will take place at the Ministry Headquarters Auditorium in Luzira from 20th March 2022 until 25th March 2022.