Conservationists rally residents in lake Bunyonyi buffer zone to embrace others income generating ventures.Tobias Habasa
By Alex Byakatonda
Conservationists and Kabale district authorities, have expressed need for alternative income generating activities to be sought for people living along the Lake Bunyonyi basin, in order to deter them from engaging in activities that endanger the lake.
The observation was reached yesterday at White Horse Inn hotel in Kabale town, during an inception meeting for the second phase of the project dubbed “Striking a Balance-Developing a Green Economy around Lake Bunyonyi. The project is being implemented by Self Help Africa, in partnership with African International Christian ministries- AICM and Kabale and Rubanda district local governments.
According to the Self Help Africa-SHA project Manager, Neftari Mugizi, the two-year project, funded by the Irish Aid, is aimed at generating sustainable economic growth, increased employment, reduced poverty, improved nutrition among residents in the lake Bunyonyi basin and ensure sustainable management of the environment. The second phase of the project started in April this year and is slated to end in December 2022. It is a continuation of the first project, which run from 2018 and ended in December 2020.
Mugizi added that the projects, was launched to reduce on siltation from agricultural practices around Lake Bunyonyi, sewage management from lodges and communities and car washing in the lake, as well as ensuring a steady supply of clean water in Kabale Town.
Marion Katusiime, an official of AICM, said that the project also strives to contribute to the inclusive and low carbon-economic transformation of communities in the Lake Bunyonyi basin, generating sustainable economic growth, increasing employment, reducing poverty, improving nutrition and sustainable management of the environment.
She said that the project is targeting 3000 households in the sub counties of Rubaya and Butanda in Kabale district and Muko sub county in Rubanda district.
Katusiime added the project entails several interventions like Soil and water conservation practices, protection of the lake buffer zone, planting of trees to stabilize slopes of mountains, value additions for the green enterprises and developing market linkages for green enterprises.
The district commercial officer, Erasmas Natumanya, who represented the Chief Administrative officer, Edmond Ntimba, pledged to district’s commitment to working with the Self Help project, to ensure that the environment around Lake Bunnyonyi basin is conserved and livelihoods of the people of Kabale.
Closing the meeting, the Kabale district LC5 Vice Chairperson Miria Akankwasa, welcomed the some of the components of the project like environment sustainability, and another which aims at helping the residents in the Lake Bunyonyi basin to adopt other income generating ventures like apiary and nursery beds, saying that this is the only way they can be helped and stopped from degrading the environment. She however tasked the implementers of the project to involve all other district stakeholders in formulation of the bi-laws that are aimed at protecting Lake Bunyonyi.