Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Bishop of Kigezi Diocese George Bagamuhunda has said that the church and cultural leaders have a mandate to protect the environment, citing the Biblical scripture which says the environment existed before man. This was at the ongoing second Uganda Water and Environment Week (UWEWK) in Entebbe.
Bagamuhunda said that man’s actions have brought untold destruction to the environment, resulting into floods, soil erosion, air pollution among others. “It is the duty of the church to transform the communities so that the environment is protected,” he said.
“As religious institutions we are citizens of this country. We should continuously engage at district level, and include water, satiation and the environment in our programmes,” he added.
Former Director of Environment and Natural Resources, Paul Mafabi said that religious and cultural institutions should be involved in environmental protection interventions, observing that some of them already had programs for the youth like tree planting.
“You can come together under the Uganda Joint Christian Council to implement several programmers of environment in your places of worship,” Mafabi said.
Alfred Okot Okidi, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water and Environment said that the ministry had been involving communities and churches through promoting the go-green programme.
In a related session, the LCV Wakiso district Matia Lwanga Bwanika has scoffed at elite citizens who cut down forests for economic gain.
He was speaking at the ongoing UWEWK, where he described such people as a shame to the country. “The nation is now facing a crisis as result of people’s irresponsible actions affecting the environment,” Bwanika said.
“There is a lot of effluent, dumping in the lakes, rivers, dumping in wetlands and encroaching on wetlands. Sand mining is one of the activities which has come up of late, knowledgeable people are the ones doing it. Let us use this opportunity to collectively speak out against the crisis.”
On the same theme, Kamwenge district chairman, Aggrey Natuhamya has said protection and restoration of wetlands is key to provision of water for all. He reported that his district had restored three wetlands after sensitizing communities on the dangers of degradation.
“We need to educate the people about the importance of wetlands, “ Natuhamya said, urging Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to support in this matter.
He said that there is a lot the NGOs can address since they have the capacity to do so.
SOURCE: UWEWK newsletter