By Nabendeh Wamoto
Where did Bamasaba of modern times on Mt.Elgon, Uganda side not Kenya go wrong about their habitat and heritage to the point of endangering themselves?.
Conservation is internationally described as the protection of flora and fauna, an area placed under public control for the protection and preservation of wild vegetation and animal life for the benefit, advantage and enjoyment of the general public whose boundaries cannot be altered either by presidential or royal decree except by competent legislative authority i.e. the August house (Parliament) of Uganda.
Therefore, issues of hunting of fauna and collection of flora is prohibited except again with permission of the conservation authorities like Uganda wildlife Authority.
It must be recalled that conservation of game for example started with rulers (Kings) who used to go hunting in the wild. However as people learnt how to develop and use sophisticated weapons (firepower), they threatened the Kings’ interests by reducing the number of game so in order to protect their interests, the rulers put regulations on the hunting activities which protected game.
The Roan Antelope in South Africa for example exclusively belonged to the Kings and in the same way Ivory in Tooro belonged to the Omukama (Tooro King) and no other person was allowed to own the trophy. Conservation or park creation in the United States of America was first initiated in 1872 with YELLOWSTONE conservation area i.e. national park and from hence the idea of conservation spread to other areas albeit with different themes.
In Africa, the first practical move of a conservation area was the Sabi game reserve established in the Transvaal in 1898 which later became known as Kruger national park from 1926.
Before Kruger was named a park, Virunga national park (then Albert national park) was declared in 1925 in the then Belgian Congo, later called Congo Kinshasa, Zaire and now Democratic Republic of Congo to protect mainly the mountain gorillas (scientifically known as Gorilla gorilla berengei).
Uganda joined in the fray and at the moment there are ten national parks Viz: Murchison falls, Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo valley and Lake Mburo national parks which are which are dominantly grasslands, mount Rwenzori and Mgahinga gorilla national parks which are dominated by tropical montane forests, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park which is dominantly low land tropical rain forest, Kibaale forest, Semuliki and Mt. Elgon national parks.
If the ancient leaders would conserve how then can the dotcom ones destroy like what is happening on Mt. Elgon parks?
Are the dotcom proponents worst enemies of our generation than our primitive, ancient forefathers who did wonders to practice sustainable land management such as pooling of labor, contours, fertility enhancement with homemade manure extra?
NABENDEH WAMOTO S.P (0776-658433)