ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATIONISTS HAIL COMMUNITY GREEN RADIO FOR PROVIDING A PLATFORM TO CONSERVE THE FORESTS IN BUNYORO

Environmental conservationists operating in Bunyoro sub regio have hailed NAPE for establishing Community Green Radio which has given them a platform to address the masses on the need to protect and conserve the environment.
This was during the visit to Ongo Community Forest in Masindi district and Bugoma Central Forest Reserve in Hoima district on 10th and 11th October 2017 respectively by NAPE and its implementing partners; Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), the Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) of the Shared Resources, Joint Solutions (SRJS).
The field visit was aimed at learning and appreciating the initiatives taken by communities and different stakeholders in promoting food security, water provision and climate resilience amidst oil exploration and forest degradation challenges through sustainable land use and forest conservation.

WE WORK HERE: NFA's Stuart Maniraguha explains to Mr. Henk during a field visit to Bugoma forest in October this year. Community Green radio has been working with authorities and communities to ensure forests are protected and conserved.

Despite massive sugarcane growing in Masindi which is a threat to food security, the Ongo community in Budongo Sub-County have shunned the move and embarked on planting trees and rehabilitating Ongo Community river line Forest as they grow food crops. The forest that is in Budongo forest corridors in Masindi which sits on 197 hectares is being managed by Ongo Forest Community Land Association and supported by ECOTRUST.
While addressing the partners, Ms. Pauline Nantongo, the ECOTRUST Executive Director hailed Community Green Radio for always hosting their team whenever they want to talk to communities on planting trees for their own benefit as well as environmental conservation.
 “As ECOTRUST we need to thank Community Green Radio for hosting my staff. This has helped us talk to wider community whenever we want to talk to the communities on the need to plant trees and adopt best land use practices where trees can be planted with food crops to address food security,” Ms. Nantongo said
In a field visit to Bugoma forest reserve where NAPE has been supporting National Forestry Authority in carrying out community engagement meetings with other stakeholders to harness sustainable management solutions of conserving the forest reserve, it was observed that communities adjacent to the forest are also planting trees alongside food crops.
Mr. Stuart Maniraguha, the NFA manager for Budongo systems applauded NAPE for supporting NFA and establishing Community Green Radio which has become a mouthpiece for environmental conservation in Bunyoro sub region.
“Communities now realize the need to protect the forest reserve which had become a hot spot for sugarcane growers and other illegal activities. The radio has strongly helped us in conserving Bugoma by exposing those engaged in illegal activities in the forest and giving us a platform to talk to communities,” said Mr. Maniraguha.
Mr. Rajab Bwengye, the Coordinator of Programs at NAPE hailed the initiative of communities for actively getting involved in tree planting near the forest reserves which he said is good to for food security and increasing the acreages of forests.
The radio has played a very big role in exposing threats faced by Bugoma forest like agricultural encroachers, timber cutting and political interference.
 Early this year, the former Hoima Municipality Mayor, Francis Atugonza was claiming 239 hectares in Bugoma forest reserve to be of Ababyasi clan. Bunyoro Kingdom is also battling a court case with NFA claiming ownership of 5777 hectares of land under Block 2 of the forest reserve in Kyangwali Sub County in Hoima district.
Shared Resources Joint Solutions is a five year program which focuses on strengthening civil society to promote International Public Goods (IPGs) which is food security, water supply, climate resilience and biodiversity in Murchison and Queen Elizabeth Landscapes through lobby and advocacy.
COMPILED BY PRECIOUS NATURINDA

LACK OF COMMUNITY AWARENESS AND POOR DISPOSAL OF WASTES A MENACE TO HUMAN LIFE.

While oil waste and other chemical wastes are harmful to both human life and the environment, its incumbent upon individuals and all stakeholders to play a role in the sound management of chemical wastes since wastes are part and parcel of the industry and cannot be easily avoided.

NAPE’s Senior Programme Officer-Administration, Energy, Climate Change and Chemical Management Kamese Geoffrey while addressing trainees during Awareness raising workshop on sound Chemical management at Riviera Hotel in Hoima, said Poor disposal of chemical and oil wastes in the present situation is hazardous to human life and Environment due to lack of community awareness on Chemical management.

Kamese explained that Plastics were few in the past years than in the present and were disposed of easily but presently, not every house hold has Composite pits and the number of polythene bags has increased making waste management inevitable.

 “Wastes should be carefully handled because the way they are generated is not the same since Population growth has increased, the rate of waste generation is high provided that the number of polythene bags, plastics and other wastes have increased” said Kamese.

He further elaborated that minimizing the amount of waste we generate is important because it cuts costs of disposal and recycling, helps to conserve resources and minimize pollution which is successful through Reusing strategy by donating used items to charity, reusing boxes, papers, plastic and wrapping paper, buying groceries in bulk.

To raise awareness on the challenges associated with oil wastes and other chemical wastes, communities should share knowledge on sound chemical Management which also help generate home grown ideas and approaches on managing chemicals and how communities can contribute towards alleviating possible waste management challenges.

However, it’s noted that the responsibility lies in the hands of Community members to engage their leaders on waste management challenges by articulating issues as community members are always emotional when it comes to establishment of dumpsites meant for proper disposal of garbage. 

Story By Dorcus Drijaru