The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stephen Kazimba Mugalu, has called on all church leaders to join in on the national tree planting campaign dubbed ‘Earth Hour’ especially during the occasions they officiate at.
Through the World Wide Fund for Nature, Uganda joins the rest of the world to heed the ‘Earth Hour’ commitments, one of the World’s greatest grassroot movements for environment conservation.
Speaking to the press at Uganda Media Centre on Saturday, Kazimba said that plastic pollution is now becoming a global pandemic and urged masses to make an effort towards the end of single-use plastic.
“Let’s adopt the act of planting trees to make Uganda green. It’s now mandatory to plant trees at church functions like confirmation, baptism, weddings among others and I urge church leaders to plant trees on every occasion they go to,” he said.
Kazimba added that the public should resolve not only to raise awareness but also switch off habits of using plastic cups, bottles, polythene bags and dumping them carelessly.
“By 2050, the population of fishes will be outnumbered by the number of plastics in water bodies and the most effects are felt by those not involved in creating the problems,” he said.
He added that mothers also need support to adopt safe cooking methods.
“We want to urge government to make these cooking technologies available and exempt them from taxes so that every household can afford them,” Kazimba said.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Water and Environment Sam Cheptoris also noted that the clean air, especially in urban centres, is heavily polluted by cheap old vehicles from Japan.
“As a Ministry, we tried to avoid the importation of old vehicles but there was a debate in parliament until they accepted cars older than 15 years to be imported, vehicles that are supposed to be in the museum,” Cheptoris said.
Adding: “We are also engaging the Ministry of Energy to see that they can provide cheap gas so that people can stop using firewood to cook food.”
The World Wide Fund for Nature Country Director, David Duli, said that the Earth Hour campaign is a reminder that humans are damaging the environment faster than it can recover.
“Radical action is needed to combat the increasing rate of environmental damage to water sources, land, biodiversity and marine life,” he said.
Duli added that WWF is using its platform to inspire individuals, businesses and organisations in Uganda and all over the world to renew their commitment to the planet.
“We continue to raise an alarm on the plastic crisis and preach adopting the use of renewable energy technologies,” he added
He noted that every small action, such as acquiring a reusable water container or refusing to carry a plastic bottle can make a difference.
“When we make changes in our lives and we share it with others, we also inspire the people around us to change and we help grow a movement that businesses which manufacture these plastics can’t disagree with,” Duli said.