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UPC Calls for More Laws, Diversification of sources of energy and power to conserve the environment.

By Jumah Kakomo

The Opposition Uganda people’s Congress (UPC) party has raised concerns over the escalating acts of environmental degradation across the country.

This follows the occurrence of floods, mudslides, water logging in various parts of the country due to heavy rainfall leading to the loss of lives, and properties which UPC attributes to acts of environmental degradation and lack of adequate, functional laws governing environmental conservation.

Addressing the media at party headquarters Kampala on Wednesday, the party publicist Sharon Arach Oyat noted that the country is now experiencing climate change with its associated problems due to environmental degradation such de-afforestation, wetlands encroachment, bush burning among others, but unfortunately the government has not taken severe actions thus putting the country at stake.

According to Sharon, diversification of sources of energy and power to conserve the environment is a real game changer as both fire wood and charcoal destroy trees and forests. She adds that there is a need to step up with biogas, solar energy and invest more in hydroelectric power generation and distribution at an affordable price as well as boosting the ongoing rural electrification project across the country with a campaign for diverse use of electricity.

She says early this month, the Ministry of Water and Environment (MoWE) informed the general public about the anticipated heavy rains and warned of the rising water levels in Lake Victoria thus causing floods which have not spared the neighboring country, Kenya leading to loss of lives and property.

“UPC would like to register its sincere sympathies to the families that lost their dear ones and to those who were affected by the floods,” Sharon added.

She further revealed that in Uganda, the ongoing rainy season across the country as projected by the MoWE has indeed already affected some parts of the country to varying degrees. For instance, in Karamoja Sub Region, the heavy rains have led to floods and cutting off roads leading to road diversions which are temporary in usage and can equally get affected in due course. Bugisu Sub Region is neither safe as the situation is alarming; rivers Nabuyonga and Namitala have burst their banks. Floods in Dokolo District have displaced many families. In Kasese, Rwenzori Sub Region is not any different which led to the death of some people! In some parts of Entebbe, nature is reclaiming its area. Consequently, roads and bridges get washed away which are very difficult and costly to repair.

However, Sharon highlighted that there is a need to be mindful that a combination of landslides, floods and water logging equally leads to water contamination which is a recipe for the spread of water borne diseases like cholera, dysentery and malaria. She calls for alertness by all stakeholders, especially the general public, to be very cautious of their general hygiene and the Ministry of Health to provide the necessary services to that effect.

“UPC takes note that the effects of climate change are a reality. We therefore need to move in boldly to put in place a number of measures that can help in preserving our environment. Of course, the starting point is afforestation, reforestation and better farming practices which we ought to pay utmost attention to,” Sharon stated.

UPC head of media and communications Faizo Muzeyi

Meanwhile the party head of media and communications Faizo Muzeyi said, UPC is on record advocating for preservation of the environment. Following the legislations that promote the preservation of the environment especially wetlands, rivers, lakes and forests, UPC calls for their implementation without fear or favor. The habit of building in wetlands and water channels has to stop with immediate effect.

“This concerns all of us and we should fight it together,” Faizo said.

Faizo adds that in the meantime, Uganda People’s Congress calls upon the Ministry of Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees under the Office of the Prime Minister to reach out with necessary assistance to the families which are being affected by floods and landslides due to heavy rains across the country accordingly.

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