The Katikiro of Buganda Kingdom Charles Peter Mayiga has shown concern over the increasing encroachment on the natural environment within the kingdom and Uganda at large.
Mayiga noted that the initial natural beauty of the country will soon turn out to be a myth if no action is taken to have it restored.
As part of the restoration mechanisms, Mayiga urged the population to stop the use of single use plastics and ‘kaveera’ noting that it should be a collective effort, spearheaded by all institutions, regardless of being private, NGOs or government institutions.
“Acquire a water bottle and learn the behavior of refilling as opposed to using and damping. All institutions in Buganda should institute Kaveera check points and not allow Kaveera in their premises. This will not only keep the environment clean but groom citizens who are environmentally conscious,” he said.
Speaking at a partnership launch ceremony between Buganda Kingdom and World Wide Fund for Nature at Bulange Gardens, Mengo on Thursday morning, the Katikkiro noted that they intend to work towards nature recovery not just in the Kingdom but Uganda at large.
He further said that in addition to climatic hazards such as floods and landslides, the continuous abuse of the natural world has also brought about other deadly negative effects.
“As you can see, the situation is not good at all. We need a collective response to end this crisis. Additionally, the frequency and number of new zoonotic diseases, originating in animals and transmitted to people, has risen drastically over the last century,” he said.
He added that if an effective fight is to be attained, the root causes of the attacks on the natural world such as unemployment among youths and large conversion of natural forest land to agriculture must be addressed first.
“Youths unemployment and poverty is leading to destruction of forests, wild animals (some of which are our totems) and wetlands in search of sand and clay, charcoal, timber and bush meat. These are the challenges we should address first,” he revealed.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the deadly covid-19 pandemic, the katikiro called upon every household in the country to plant a lemon or citrus tree noting that it won’t only boast the home economy and health but also contribute to natural recovery of a green Buganda and Uganda at large.
“I also call upon our Government to step up conservation of the remaining forests and water bodies as well as prevail over the Private sector’s manufacturing and importation of polythene bags/papers,” he said.
The Acting Country Director, Simon Peter Weredwong said that Buganda Kingdom provides a platform to reach not only a big number of people but also national coverage.
“The Kingdom runs several schools, health institutions and businesses that would benefit most from strategies being promoted through this partnership,” he said.
“I am glad and thank the Kabaka for embracing conservation in his kingdom. Together, we look forward to a strong endorsement and mainstreaming of environmental conservation and nature recovery in the kingdom to reverse the loss of nature,” he said.