If i was in another country looking at all the circus-show-like headlines coming from our daily papers everyday, it would be my favorite comedy dose. Sometimes i even laugh, but that leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth because the joke’s on me. The common Ugandan. Ok. Lets have a re-carp of what am talking about. We don’t have to go very far. Just this week.
Monday. When our dear leader was discussing sky rocketing commodity prices in Arua he suggested that those complaining could be ‘sick’.Well it seems the health ministry should beef up on their facilities- or is it Butabika- 98% Ugandans are in jeopardy We need medical/psychiatric HELP!
And then we suddenly hear he is planning to go back to the Mabira issue and GIVE -Ladies and gentlemen you heard me right. GIVE OUT FOREST LAND to a sugar mogul. This is what he said. “Lugazi plantation should expand as they had planned, before they were stopped by the riots of (Kitgum woman MP, Ms Beatrice) Anywar and her group by getting the degraded forest land they had wanted,” the President said. This was during the NRM MPs most recent caucus. This time at least they defied these statements with others threatening to quit the party. Well, until NAADS envelopes are passed around the whole group including the opposition.
So State House organizes a tour (someone here in the background shouts “OUR MONEY”) to the degraded land in Mabira forest. It was led by the Enviroment Minister Hon.Flavia Nabugere.They drive to the forest, get guides and take a nature walk-sorry nature drive into the forest looking for these degraded areas. But after 2 hours of driving through the narrow paths, Alas. Nothing! They were met with lush green for miles on end. Someone once said that if you planted a walking stick overnight in the soil of Uganda, it would take root before the morning dawned.It must have been a hilarious sight! By the time the journalists gave up the search our Hon Minister had abandoned the group and was in her hotel in Mukono sipping on some sugar-laden coffee. The irony! Ms Nabugere insisted she had seen the missing trees and defended the proposed give away of part of Mabira.“The parts that I passed I could see some free and bare places at a distance,” she said. “If a nation is to develop, it must exploit the environment. (pregnant pause) This is the ENVIRONMENT MINISTER speaking. WOW! I wish i was South Sudanese right now. I would be in hysterics!
And then- maybe they didnt hear about the above news, but yesterday Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi faced parliament to explain the Mabira issue.He refused to give straight answers, and only told a stormy Parliament that the government was drafting a policy on degazetting the “degraded” part of the forest to be used for other purposes. Mbu he was more shifty than that Sirkumstance guy who “bees” on Radio some Saturdays.(but this ka background guy with his bu-side comments) Of course opposition would not swallow. “The Minister should stop dodging the question. What we want to know is whether the President said he was going to give away the forest or not,” Mr Mafabi said. “If it’s true, then don’t you think the best thing to do would be to plant trees in that degraded part of the forest? This is a water catchment area and cannot be given to investors just like that. There must be a process to follow.” Why isn’t this guy the Environment minister? Okay why isn’t The MAN our Environment minister?
Banange, in case you didn’t know rainforests like Mabira et al , are home to two thirds of all living animals and plant species of the planet. It has been estimated that many hundreds of millions of new species of plants, insects and micro-organisms are still undiscovered.
Mabira is one of the only Two places in East Africa where the beautiful Tit Hylia bird has been recorded. It is also one of the few places in Uganda where the localized Forest Hoopoe, Leaflove, Weyn’s Weaver and Nahan’s Francolin are regular!
Tropical rainforests are called “Jewels of the Earth” and are referred to as the world’s largest pharmacy. This is because of the large amount of natural medicine discovered. there.
They also play a major role in the Global carbon cycle. They are stable carbon pools. Clearance of a forest leads to increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide which leads to increase of atmospheric temperatures in other words Global Warming. Rainforests are the Earth’s Lungs!
Rainforests further cool the air that passes through them. When hot winds pass through the forest the are released cooler than they had been since they soak up moisture from the forest canopy.They are further characterized by huge amounts of rainfall- and in these drought-prone days we really need all the rain we can get.
Mabira is a great recreation area where you can go to escape the chaos of Kampala and Jinja. Conviniently located a couple hours from town it’s a great place to indulge yourself and relax. The setting is amazing, and being in the middle of the forest makes you feel far away from reality, despite being only a couple of km from the main road. The place is good for nature walks, mountain biking, bird watching and picnics with family.
We need this forest. If it goes we shall all suffer. SAVE MABIRA!. SAY NO TO FOREST GIVE- AWAY!