KAMPALA – As the world is going through a terrible situation of ending global coronavirus pandemic, so many schools of reasoning have come up stating that the pandemic started from an animal market in Wuhan China where the virus likely hurdled from an animal to a human being, while others have said that it’s the increase in the climatic changes that lead to spread of the virus and thereafter the virus has put everything to a standstill of both the formal and informal sectors.
The findings so far show that to stem the spread of fatal illnesses such as COVID-19, Ebola and other diseases that jump from animals to human beings, it is imperative to promote environmental conservation, provide clean renewable energy, decrease population growth and undertake under measures.
However, some scientific research has shown that destruction of the environment such as cutting down of trees, reclaiming of swamps among other activities has increased the homeless of these animals and hence increasing the interaction between animals and human beings giving chance to cross of virus infections such as COVID-19, Ebola among others.
Surpassingly, the Uganda government is still seeking more for bidders of its oil blocks such as the Ngaji block that is locked in the ecosystem areas of Queen Elizabeth national park which hosts some the world’s rare spices so of which are endangered spices and these animals will be put at risk if the government continues to allow the investors to bid for such oil blocks that are located in eco-sensitive areas.
If the government allows the oil exploration in the eco sensitive areas, this will not only put them at risk but it will put the entire global at risk of infections because the rate of human to animal interactions will increase hence leading to the spreading of viruses that the animals have to the human being which is very risk to human life.
However, this will also lead to climate change which has been characterised with increase in temperatures that will at some point make the spread of diseases much easier because some of these infectious diseases are being spread quickly through these high temperatures which the Ugandan government is not ready to take care of because of the cost it comes with.
On the other hand, the communities are concerned that if the Ugandan government allows the presence of oil activities in the eco sensitive areas such as the Ngaji block which has been put up for bidding to the investors then their lives will be rained because they have depended on the tourism for their livelihood which will be no more if the government of Uganda finally gives up the Ngaji block to investors.
It’s very sad for a country like Uganda that is seeking to attain the middle-income status to destroy its natural beauty in name of oil exploration yet it can earn more from her natural resources through tourism and on the other hand reducing the chances of contributing to the increase in the global temperatures by allowing oil exploration activities have been connected to the increase in temperatures that is produced during the oil production process.
Oil-related activities in the Ngaji block will not only increase the global temperatures but also contribute to the easy spread of the COVID-19 virus by giving it the avenue (increase in temperatures) to spread easily among the population.
The writer, Edwin Mumbere is as climate activists.