As the country is trying to engage water and environment as a strategic driver in attainment of sustainable development goals 2030, Matia Lwanga bwanika the LCV Chairman for Wakiso has attached the environment degradation problem to lack of political will and job security.
While addressing fellow panelists and environmentalists during the Uganda Water and Enironment Week (UWEK), Matia lamented that environmental degradation and water pollution is rampant in the country because the big wigs are the main actors of deforestation and environment pollution yet they are supposed to be the major actors in implementing environment friendly acts among fellow members of state.
‘Some one hires a big tractor. Picks soil and within one weekend, he can dump in ten acres of wetlands. He can buy his way. He can corrupt the RDC and everyone. ’
He further revealed that peasants’ level of environment pollution is at low levels compared to those of dignitaries in the government and the private sectors.
‘Those so called big wigs who are very powerful, knowledgeable and very rich, there degradation is at very high rate. Their situation is totally different from that of a peasant who plants yams in Bwayise or constructs a semi mad house in a wet land.’
He further stressed that officers in government organizations cannot proceed with their duties towards the ‘big people’ as they risk losing their jobs.
‘If someone very powerful is degrading the environment, an officer in NEMA or ministry of water knows it is just by one phone call that he will lose his job.
While addressing the possible strategies for a pollution free environment, the Bwanika intensified that the government should not only empower organizations like NEMA but also provide the necessary equipments for service delivery.
Bishop George Bagamuhunda of Kigezi diocese emphasized both religious and cultural leaders to embrace and preach environment programs.
‘As religious institutions we are citizens of this country. We should continuously engage at district level, and include water and environment in our programs
George disclosed on how man’s activities have brought great destruction to the environment and this has resulted into soil erosion, floods, air pollution among others.’
On the same theme, Paul Mafabi the former director of Environment and Natual resources emphasized religious leaders to specialize one of the Sundays in a month at the Church and Mosques for environment as the Church commemorates youth’s day, prayer days and others
‘’you can come together under the Uganda Joint Christian Council to implement several programmers of environment in your places of worship’ he said
Environmentalists also suggested the behavioral change strategy. They advised the government to put penalties in order to sustain good behavior towards the environment and evangelize on the benefits of keeping water and environment safe.