Environmental education is the only important way we can save Mt Elgon National Park from further encroachment and to save our people from the massive lands slides, Dr Gorret Kitutu, an environment systems specialist at national environment management authority (NEMA) has revealed.
Dr Kitutu said most people on the Mt Elgon National Park are ignorant of the environmental problems associated with massive encroachment. She said even when you tell them about the dangers of encroachment on the mountain, they disregard this and encroach further.
Dr Kitutu who is doing a feasibility study on causes of landslides in Mt Elgon area and possible solutions to end the mudslides that have left about 700 people killed in the area, said merely moving of people away from the areas around Mt Elgon will not save anything as the people will always find their way back.
“We need to intensify sensitisation of the people living along these steepy slopes against further encroachment.Besides moving them away, we must teach them to appreciate the value of the environment and teach them to take their children to school because an educated child will not leave in these hills but above all teach them family planning,” said Dr Kitutu. She saidthe landslide occurred because the vegetation on the mountain has been destroyed for settlement and farming leaving it bare and this allows water to sip through the soils to the parent rock.
The Mt Elgon Area Conservation manager for Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Mr Adonia Bintorwa, said because of the ever increasing population, people have encroached on the forest cover of the mountain for survival and their farming methods are not good for the soil and this damages the soil which gives way to frequent mudslides.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor