Water champion: Ayeni walking 320 kms from Kingfisher to Kampala
He is back. This is Geoffrey Walker Ayeni, who has cut out a niche as Uganda’s walking warrior and champion for earth’s biggest noble cause: sustainable use of the environment.
In an attempt to capture attention towards Uganda’s ailing environment and declining water resources, Ayeni is this time walking from the Kingfisher oil well in Kikuube to Kampala. Uganda has lost half of its forest cover, from 24% in 1990 to only 12% today. The wetland cover has receded from 15% to 8.8% in the last 30 years.
Ayeni, 24,320 km days in February Ayeni, who is accompanied by an entourage of 24, is expected to cover a distance of 320 km in 10 days, from February 28 to March 10, 2023.
The Uganda Water and Environment Week (UWEK 2023) will be commemorated under the theme “Water and environment for resilient development.” UWEK 2023 will start on March 13, 2023, and end on March 17, 2023. This will be commemorated ahead of the UN-Water Week in New York, which world leaders are expected to attend between March 20 and 24.
State Minister of Water, Aisha Sekindi, flagged off Walker’s walking expedition on February 28, 2023.
At the ceremony, representatives of CNOOC, local people, Civil Society Organisations, the Government, the private sector, and representatives of the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom and the Buganda Kingdom attended.
20 kilometers, Ayeni, and his team reduced their task by 20kms bringing the remaining distance to Kampala to 300 kilometers. This is expected to reduce further to 250 as the team is expected to walk from Kyangwali to Kabwoya on March 1.
They are expected to make a stopover at Bugoma Central Forest Reserve for the planting of indigenous trees to restore at least one acre of Uganda’s largest chimp sanctuary.
“We are going to support restoration in the Bugoma Forest Reserve, where we are going to plant about an acre of trees,” said Ayeni.
An acre is equivalent to about one football field.
Ayeni also said they were going to raise awareness as they traversed the mid-western part of the country to central Uganda but also receive views from the local communities, which they will present to Parliament on March 10.
At the flag-off, according to Ayeni, the local communities complained about the marram abandoned on the shoulders of the roads after the construction of the oil roads. This has become a menace as it gets washed onto the roads, causing accidents, according to Ayeni.
Source: New Vision