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NGO rallies Karimojong to protect the environment

The Karimojong elders at the meeting in Kaabong recently (PHOTO/File)

MOROTO – The advocates for Natural Resources and Development (ANARDE) a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has on Friday, September 6 launched a campaign sensitize the community in Moroto in a bid to protect the environment.

This follows the high rate of deforestation in the district for fuel. The trees have been mainly cut as a source of firewood. The event which took place at Lavender Hotel in Moroto district was aimed at saving Karamoja region from the current situation.

Mr. Frank Tumusiime, a Lawyer and coordinator at Researcher Advocates for Natural Resource and Development noted that Karamoja region will become the worst desert in less than 20 years from now due to high rate of tree cutting if there is no action taken.

“Protecting the environment is a patriotic duty for all Ugandans. The environment is not only a socio-economic factor but also a national security paradigm,” he said.

According to Mr. Tumusiime, the campaign involves identification of community environment committees saying they will not stop until environmental protection becomes a reality in Karamoja.

He also asked the government to design programs that will benefit the local community that will enable them get alternatives sources of cooking as opposed to cutting down trees for charcoal burning.

“We have also learnt that most families in Karamoja have no other alternative means of survival that’s why they are destroying the environment, we call upon the government to look at any suitable means for the survival of our people so that they stop depending on cutting down of trees,” he noted.

Karimojong men cutting down a tree for charcoal burning in Moroto district last week (PHOTO/Jonathan Opolot)

Mr. John Lotyang, Moroto district’s Natural Resource Officer hailed the campaign and appealed to other development partners to join.

“The Fight for environment protection in Karamoja needs a collective effort not only by ANARDE but we should support ANARDE to achieve their goal,” he said.

Mr. Jackson Angella an opinion leader and a resident of Rupa Sub County asked the government to reduce the price of gas and electricity in the country arguing that the high prices are enabling the charcoal business to boom.

“When you do assessment you find that there is high demand for charcoal in towns because they can’t afford gas and electricity but if the price of these two things is lowered people will be using electricity and gas and nobody will use charcoal,” he asserted.

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