ENTEBBE – Standing in a green hilly swampy area in Busambaga village in Entebbe, which was once dotted by green trees, papyruses and small water bodies, locals could hardly believe that now in just one year, the area has been turned into a marram quarrying zone, turning the area into an ugly environmental mess.
In this area, the land has been totally degraded, leaving a large hole that could turn into a danger to those who have turned the photoshoot zone into a grazing yard.
Upon visiting the area on Wednesday, PML Daily was able to testify that turning the area into a quarrying zone has taken away its former glory of being the gold and silver of the village.
“Turning the areas into quarrying zones, affects tourism, and other projects that not only contribute at improving health to the locals in these villages and its neighbors, and also affect aquatic life, “said Deborah Kirungi, the village local leader of Busambaga village.
Mutumba Jafferson, a community member said “such actions affect the development of the community, since it greatly affects more so our tourism business, in this area, people could come here to relax their stress, taking photos for their future telling, which made our local still photographers to earn a living, but it’s no more.”
In the last decade, this place was looking like the Garden of Eden, as claimed by the Bible, but its history after environmental degraders invaded the scenery, to gain profits, without thinking about the population living in the community.
Occasionally since her appointment in the office, State Minister for Environment Beatrice Anywar, has always fought to decommission quarries zones, because of the concerns over damaging the environment, and calls the populations to join efforts to restore the ecosystem of the Pearl of Africa.
Geoffrey Mayengo a community photographer, who operates in the area, almost wetted his face “Am heartbroken to see once a beautiful and a peaceful place, was degraded in such a horrible matter,” Mayengo said.
But believes that might have happened in the eyes of the authorities “There is no way this could have happened without involving the local authorities,” he said.
However, when questioned, the local authorities denied such allegations, saying there is no way such evil that could also take lives, including that of their family members, happen under their watch, putting to government that has failed to empower local authorities to fight against such evils inflicted on the environment.
Mrs. Ssemakula Christine, an environmentalist, considered initial losses that the country makes, saying, such places like insect-pollinated flowers that attract insects for pollination, degrading them, is a social injustice on the environment and nationals.
“I have met people in this area trying to have a good time with their families, friends, including white videographer who had come to document the beauty of the place in mother Uganda, such people buy staffs from our local shops, and now since the area is degraded, there is need for them to come back, hence hindering trade” Mrs. Ssemakula stressing her worries.
More than thousands of trees have been cut down, green savannahs slashed away, and almost leaving swamps reclaimed by personal gainers.
Realizing sustainable development and protection of such areas, featuring sightseeing, horticulture programs and protection of leisure parks or areas should be highly considered, according to Mrs. Ssemakula.
When addressing Members of the August house last Wednesday, Minister Anywar, called upon President Museveni to consider using the military to fight environmental enemies, who also happen to be state enemies too.
The environment only employs millions of people, which includes those working in the tourism sector, and if the government does not act upon protecting Mother Nature, hundreds could lose jobs.
“A tour guide like, I would survive without the environment, because even animals we keep in the park would have migrated elsewhere, so the government should consider protecting nature from encroachers,” said Asiimwe Steven a tour guide in Uganda Reptile Village.