PRINCE EDWARD DECRIES MURCHISONS DEGRADATION
HRH Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, who is representing Her Majesty the Queen and the British Government on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Uganda’s Independence held tomorrow, 09th of October, has returned to Uganda, where 50 years ago he was the one handing over the instruments of power to the newly independent nation in 1962.
While in country did the Duke of Kent also visit Murchisons Falls National Park, subsequent to which the local media reported his concern over environmental degradation and poaching, following discussions he had with officials.
Murchisons is at the heart of Uganda’s oil exploration and demands to permit the construction of a golf course inside the park has further unsettled the conservation fraternity in Uganda, the region and further abroad, already deeply concerned over the impact of oil production and potential spills. Said a regular conservation source overnight, after discussing the issue: ‘It is good to get some high profile visitor like the Duke to speak up over his concerns. Such individuals, when they say something about conservation, have a bigger impact on public opinion and validate the concerns we in Uganda have expressed for a long time. The oil companies must come clean on what they have put in place to deal with a major spillage, what equipment they have to deploy instantly and not after days or weeks during which the delta could be turned into a wastelands. A spillage, small or large can have irreversible effects on the bird and animal population, and aquatic life too. Fines for polluting the park should be set at multi million dollars to act as a deterrent because small fines will just be absorbed otherwise from the profits. Poaching has to be curbed, there must be no golf course inside the park and reforestation should become a priority’.
Demands made for years and certainly still on the agenda of today and tomorrow. Watch this space.