Hoima lawyer calls for more youth engagement in environmental protection

Match between Abagimu (in green) and Abaitira clan members (in lime) at Kikonda playground in Kabwoya Sub-county, Kikuube District. (Image: Gad Asaba/Kazi-njema News)

After realising that some youth are part of environmental degraders, a Hoima-based advocate, Mr Marvin Asiimwe Bunjo, has called for more efforts in sensitising them about the beauty of conserving wildlife habitats to harbour especially the endemic chimpanzees in Bunyoro region.

Presiding over the kickoff of the 4th edition of the Ekiteera Football Cup 2022 in Kikuube district, the lawyer was displeased at the high rate the environment is being destroyed in Bunyoro despite efforts being made to protect it.

He underscored a need for expressly the youth in Bunyoro to protect the beautiful physical features the region is endowed with for the protection of the chimpanzees that are a totem of some clans in the kingdom.

Mr Assimwe suggested that environmental awareness campaigns targeting the youth should be heightened saying once they become cognizant of the importance of fragile ecosystems, Bunyoro will have scored.

“Bunyoro region was blessed with good [physical] features like mountains, forests, lakes and rivers. But unfortunately, the rate at which they are degraded is worrying. We need more sensitisation campaigns even at village level to see that more youths are on board to conserve chimpanzees and the entire environment,” Mr Bunjo suggested.

Speaking at the launch of the football cup, the Kabwoya Sub-county Chief in the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom administration, Mr Deziderious Matovu, mentioned the relationship between chimpanzees and people as the latter are a totem of some clans in Bunyoro.

He urged the youth and all people in Bunyoro to actively participate in the campaign towards protecting the environment besides highlighting the importance of the government in borrowing a leaf from Cross Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU), organisers of Ekiteera Cup in efforts to involve the youth in conserving the ecosystem.

Mr Matovu reminded the people of the importance of forests in habouring animals and sequencing carbon for posterity.

“I appeal to the youth to know that environmental conservation is key and chimpanzees are important animals in our culture since they are a totem for some clans in Bunyoro Kitara kingdom. Once we don’t respect the environment, it is our future children to suffer the effects of climate change like floods, drought and famine among other natural calamities caused by the current generation.” He said.

Mr Aliguma Ahabyona, the Programmes and Communication Coordinator at CCFU, revealed that since the inception of the tournament four years ago, the project has scored in conserving and protecting chimpanzees in addition to planting more than 300,000 indigenous trees in Kikuube and Kagadi districts.

He said the initiative has helped in reducing human-wildlife conflict especially in Muhorro town council, Kagadi district.

The coordinator appealed to the government and Non-Government Organisations to protect the fragile ecologies of Bugoma and Budongo forests in Kikuube and Masindi districts respectively as a motivational endeavour to the youth some of who have already picked interest in protecting and conserving wildlife and their habitats in Bunyoro region.

Audio: Aliguma on score (English)

Mr Aliguma said after observing that the youth do not have time to attend training workshops, CCFU opted for engaging them in their favourite football sport aimed to cause them love, protect and advocate for environmental conservation.

He reported that the conduit has indeed resulted in CCFU’s remarkable achievement to protect and conserve wildlife habitats besides planting many hectares of indigenous trees vital for habouring wildlife.

Audio: Aliguma on sports conduit (English)

The CCFU 4th football edition began on Friday, November 25, 2022, with a match between Abaitira clan against Abagimu clan at Kikonda playground in Kabwoya sub-county, Kikuube district.

In the match, Abaitira beat Abagimu 1-0.

The second match that was scheduled to be played between Ababoopi and Abakurungu was disrupted by rain.

On Saturday, November 26, 2022, three matches were played in Kagadi district with Abaisanza against Abaranzi; Abaranzi against Abacwezi and Abacwezi against Abaisanza.

The Abacwezi qualified to another level with six points in the first division while Abaranzi qualified to another level with three points.

The Abaisanza did not score any point, thus, knocked out of the tournament.

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