After Mabira, corporate threat to Ugandan Nile islands nature


Hippopotamus in Uganda

Mabira forest is not the only case where sellouts to corporations threaten the nature of Uganda.

From New Vision in Uganda:

Uganda: Twenty-One River Nile Islands Sold

New Vision (Kampala)

11 May 2007

Posted to the web 14 May 2007

Gerald Tenywa
Kampala

THE National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is disputing the lease of 21 islands in the Nile River to a private company.

Adrift, a company involved in whitewater rafting, acquired the islands for 49 years from the Kayunga district land board.

But the Government watchdog on environment is seeking to have the lease titles cancelled.

NEMA wants the islands to be protected for ecological reasons.

It proposes that two of the 21 islands, at Kalagala and Itanda, be gazetted as part of the nearby Kalagala forest reserve.

The 21 islands cover over 100 hectares. They range from less than one hectare to 30 hectares.

“The river islands are ecologically sensitive areas and it is in everybody’s interest to protect them,” said Patrick Musazi, the Kayunga district environment officer.

“We believe that exclusive ownership would undermine the public’s interest. We don’t want to block development.

We can authorise certain interventions provided they are not destructive and can be monitored,” he added.

NEMA has stopped Adrift from building a multi-million dollar hotel on Kalagala, pending approval of the environmental impact assessment study.

Among the many animals there is the hippopotamus.

Anthrax kills 82 hippos, 9 buffalo in Uganda: here.

5 thoughts on “After Mabira, corporate threat to Ugandan Nile islands nature

  1. Uganda: Maathai Pleads for Forests

    New Vision (Kampala)

    17 May 2007
    Posted to the web 18 May 2007

    Harriette Onyalla
    Kampala

    KENYAN Nobel prize winner and environmental activist, Prof. Wangari Maathai, has cautioned African leaders against destroying forests for short term economic gains.

    Maathai told delegates at the 82nd Rotary District 9200 conference yesterday at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala that desertification could undermine the economic gains Africa has made and keep the continent in a vicious cycle of poverty.

    Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace prize in 2004, was speaking via a video link from Nairobi, Kenya having failed to travel to Uganda due to ill health.

    She warned that the Sahara Desert was rapidly spreading to East and Central Africa while the Kalahari Desert was claiming former green belts and this may turn the continent into a desert.

    “While trees and the environment can thrive without human beings, we cannot do without trees. So protect our environment especially forests,” the environmentalist said amidst chants of ‘Mabira’ from the over 1,000 delegates.

    There were demonstrations in Kampala over the proposed give-away of part of Mabira Forest to a sugar producer.

    Maathai called on African governments to show more commitment to protecting forests because trees absorp greenhouse gases and warned that Africa could become the worst hit by the current climatic changes.

    She thanked the British government for supporting efforts to safeguard forest ecosystems especially in the Congo Basin and requested every family to plant trees.

    The Nabagereka, Sylvia Nagginda, said Buganda kingdom will establish a balance between economic progress and environmental protection.

    “Environmental protection and economic progress must go hand in hand because economic progress cannot be sustained if environmental protection is not taken into account.” The meeting was held under the theme ‘our environment – our future’.

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