President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday conducted a field assessment in Kamema, Kihihi Sub-county, Kinkinzi West constituency, Kanungu District.
He later held a rally at Rushoroza Seed School where he handed over relief food to the community but also shared strategies on how to drive hunger out of their area.
There is a Runyankore saying “enyanga ku gambirwa, teyanga ku bona” loosely translated as “when you fail to heed warnings, you suffer the consequences”, Museveni told the gathering.
He said in the book of Genesis, God created the earth and all that is in it. After creation, he asked man to have dominion over nature.
“Dominion means you manage nature sustainably. But what I have seen in Kamema shows that you have failed to manage nature. You have only obeyed the pro-creation command but disobeyed dominion over the earth.”
He asked why residents would disobey nature and establish gardens in wetlands.
The president said God created wetlands/swamps to be reservoirs of water and not gardens.
“God blessed Uganda abundantly, but disobedience is causing all this famine.”
He went on: “Over 40% of the rain we get here comes from swamps and forests. The other 60% comes from oceans and seas that are not within our borders.”
Museveni told residents that when they encroach on wetlands, they interfere with the rain-making cycle and that is partly why this area and other parts of Uganda have been affected by drought causing food shortages.
“Therefore, I ask you to stop encroaching on wetlands and those that have gardens in swamps must vacate forthwith.”
Museveni also commend Bishop Dan Zoreka for spearheading this campaign, discouraging people from encroaching on wetlands.
“I am therefore requesting all religious leaders countrywide to sensitise their congregations on the dangers of environmental degradation.”
As a short term intervention, government will install solar-powered irrigation pumps to pump water from River Ntungwa, irrigating gardens in the surrounding community.
Secondly, through the Ministry of Agriculture, it will provide drought-resistant crops and quick-yielding seeds, like these beans which get ready for harvest in 60 days.
“We should also adopt the four-acre model where you grow crops for commercial purposes and also consumption. With these measures, we shall kick hunger out of this place,” Museveni said.