Minister Kizige

Kamuli-Busoga Sub-Region has been called upon to desist from cutting down the remaining trees and instead embrace environmental conservation through planting of more trees especially during this rainy season.

State Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Moses Kizige said on Sunday April 8, 2018 that much as sugarcane growing is now a source of income to many in Busoga, it must not be done at the expense of environment destruction.

He was speaking at Nabirumba play grounds in Nabirumba Sub County, Kamuli district in Bugabula constituency where he is also the area Member of Parliament during his belated Easter Cup football tournament finals sponsored by Dr Aalon Williams a friend from Trinidad.

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He said that it was the responsibility of every citizen to play a role in environmental conservation. He added that the effects of the wanton destruction of the forest cover in Busoga were already being felt across the region.

Last week there was a storm at Bulungu Zone, Namukunhu in the neighbouring district of Buyende in which a church collapsed, plus the wall killed a six-year-old Primary two pupil.

“The innocent blood would have not been lost if there were some trees around the church to break the wind. Therefore, the activity of sugarcane growing should be regulated to ensure that whoever engages in it doesn’t cut down trees,” he said.

In 2012 district leaders held a meeting at Busoga square Jinja to devise means on how sugarcane frowning should not affect other structural activities. It was derived at that small land holders should leave sugarcane growing to those with chunks of land. But this recommendation has remained a pipe dream for lack of by-laws to effect it. As a result, trees are being cut down on a daily basis without replacing them which has exposed the region to dangers.

Last year in September, over 300 pupils of Primary three and four at All Saints Bugadde Primary School in Kityerera sub-county, Mayuge district missed school for a whole month after a hailstorm destroyed their classrooms.

The storm blew off the classroom roof top and also left other buildings badly damaged.

Godfrey Gubi, the Head teacher says that at first they thought they could conduct lessons from outside as they mobilized resources from parents but the move failed because they were always disturbed by the rains.

In February last year, one person was reported dead, hundreds injured and over 600 homesteads ravaged by a storm that left over 3,500 residents without shelter in Kagumba and Balawoli Sub Counties in Kamuli district.

Wayante Tibadiba, 56, a resident of Bugaga village in Kagumba Sub County died after she was crushed by the falling walls in the night rainstorms that pounded Kamuli and Buyende districts for six hours.

Her husband, Samuel Lisata, 70, survived narrowly when he hid under the bed as the storm hit harder with hailstones and high speed winds, before the entire house collapsed.

The storm was punctuated by lightning, thunder and high speed winds that left hundreds of huts and houses shattered.

The most hit villages included Kiige, Bugobi, Busongole, Butyama, Iganga, Bukabbeto, Bugaga, Kibuye, Kasolwe, Kyamatende, Busige among others.

In Bugaga village, the worst hit was Denis Muwereza’s family, whose entire house was blown to bits with the occupants suffering injuries.

“I don’t know how we survived. It was by God’s grace,” Muwereza recalls, adding that it rained for three hours non-stop.

The roof of the five classroom block at Kiige Primary school, under the Universal Primary Education, which housed 750 pupils, was blown off, before the walls collapsed.

Other schools that were damaged beyond repair included Bugobi Junior School (380 pupils) and Wiseman Nursery and Primary School Bugaga (230 pupils), in Kagumba Sub County.

At Iganga Primary School, three teachers escaped with injuries when wind blew of their newly constructed quarters.

Leaders believe that the cause of all this is the cutting down of trees which would naturals act as breaks to the wind.