President Yoweri Museveni has tasked leaders, legislators and all stakeholders in the environment sector to sensitize wananchi on the importance of environment conservation.
The President was last evening meeting Members of Parliament from Bukedi Sub-Region in Eastern Uganda who called on him at State Entebbe. The area encompasses a total of 18 constituencies in the districts of Busia, Tororo, Butaleja, Budaka, Kibuku, Palisa and Butebo.
President Museveni emphasized the importance of conserving the environment adding that wananchi should be guided by their leaders at all levels to desist from activities that degrade the environment.
He said that activities like fish farming along the outer borders of wetlands are beneficial to both the farmer and the environment because a person can reap Shs.64 million shillings from half an acre of land per season while at the same time the wetland is kept in its original form. He noted that such fish farming activity is far more beneficial to a farmer than growing crops like rice that can only give a farmer between Shs.2 million to Shs.3 million per season from the same acreage of land.
The President observed that people who have a high propensity of degrading wetlands are not well educated to appreciate the negativity of their activities to mother nature and as such they need to be guided fully by their leaders to stop spoiling the environment and only pursue better ways of living.
Mr. Museveni commended the strategy of promoting illustrations to the masses about the proper methods of wetlands' conservation saying that it provides a viable and sustainable measure that benefits all in the country.
"This measure solves a number of problems in society as it creates room for more and increased source of income, avails more water volume in the low lands for irrigation, sustains continuous growth of grass for mulching gardens and addresses risks of environmental degradation," he said.
Mr. Museveni asked the legislators and government officials in the meeting to identify 2 to 3 peasants in their localities to open up a pilot project of fish ponds for others to learn from saying that government will offer excavators to open up fish ponds at the edge of the swamps.
The meeting also looked into other issues like the necessity of establishing a construction unit in the Ministry of Education and Sports and complete revival of cooperative societies, among others. He noted that the cooperative societies had collapsed because of the low level of education among the members and lack of serious accountability.
"Now that the population literacy rate is high and has greatly improved, produce, marketing, savings and consumers cooperatives can be revived because currently members have a sense of accountability," he said.
The meeting also looked at other issues like roads and restocking of cattle lost during the past insecurity episodes.
The Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Vincent Sempijja assured the President that leaders are committed to learn from the President's model farms by extending a similar idea to all areas countrywide.