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Govt urged encourage Covid recovery to include environment

Govt urged encourage Covid recovery to include environment

Environmental activists have asked the government to include environmental protection in its Covid-19 economic revival.

Dr Arthur Bainomugisha (executive director of Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment) stated that government intervention programs such as Emyooga and Parish Development Model and assistance packages for companies that were affected by Covid-19 must also invest in conserving nature and natural resources.

Dr Bainomugisha stated that people should be guided when engaging in various economic activities to reduce deforestation, wetland regeneration, pollution, and degradation of rivers, lakes, and other environmental issues.

He made the appeal during a meeting for members of Uganda Green Economy Network that was held in Kampala last Thursday.

The meeting’s purpose was to generate momentum for policy reforms that promote green recovery as one strategy for Covid-19 recovery.

Dr Bainomugisha pointed out that water bodies like River Rwizi in Western Uganda, River Kafu in the East, and Lake Victoria in the East were already being affected, among other things, by human activities like rice growing, sandmining, brick laying and charcoal burning, and the disposal of waste into rivers.

Evidence has shown that Lake Victoria’s size is decreasing due to the pressures surrounding it. River Rwizi is shrinking, particularly in the catchment areas Buhweju, Sheema. This is due to sand mining, and the release of waste into it. Rice growers have degraded about 10 percent of River Mpologoma.

River Kafu is experiencing the same thing, he explained. Charcoal burning and agricultural activities are affecting this lake.

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He threatened to name those in authority who engage in activities that have an adverse effect on the environment.

Nathan Mununizi, a senior environmental officer in the Ministry of Water and Environment said that there is a need for follow-up of people who have moved from urban centres to rural locations during the lockdown. He suggested that some may be destroying our environment to make ends met.

Andrew Masaba, the acting commissioner for Development Assistance and Regional Cooperation within the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, advised local authorities to create budgets that are sensitive towards biodiversity.

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