Palm oil growing in Kalangala a threat to people’s lives and the environment

In 2006 Oil Palm growing started in Kalangala district. The growing of palm oil in the area came with the destruction of forests by both the company and out growers. Towa forest reserve was encroached on by the company and small scale farmers. Timber cutting and charcoal burning became order of the day in this forest. Many private forests were cleared and replaced by oil palm plantation chief among which were Lwonga, Buguzi, Bweeza, Bwendero, Kizira and Bbeta.
“The clearing of forests for palm oil growing has far reaching adverse effects on the environment and the environment is life”, says Ms. Joan Akiiza, the Legal Officer at National Association of professional Environmentalists, NAPE. NAPE has been working in this area with community members to ensure that palm oil growing does not completely destroy the environment.
David Kureba, the Programme officer in charge of forests at NAPE believes if palm oil growing is not checked, the forest cover in Kalangala might be history. He says the destruction of forests has a direct bearing on the lives of the people in the area.
“Forests are responsible for rain formation and are vital for crop production. This continuous cutting of forests will a cause food crisis here”, explained Mr.Kureba.
The chemicals that are sprayed in palm oil plantations end up in the water sources.
Fire wood has become a challenge since most forests were cut. Women trek considerably long distances looking for firewood.
Food security is at stake since many land owners turned their into palm oil plantations. This has greatly affected food crop growing. Salongo ‘Jim Jim’ Jagenda, a crop farmer explains the gravity of the problem.
“Most people here are now getting food from Kampala and Masaka since there isn’t any land for cultivation here”, explained Mr. Jagenda.
A palm oil growing project has been presented by proponents as source of income. However, environmental degradation concerns and land grabbing continue to dominate discussion in this area.
In May 2013, Friends of the Earth International released a report indicating that the palm oil project was being promoted as a poverty-reducing endeavor, yet it was causing displacement, food insecurity and deforestation.

GOVERNEMNT CHIEF WHIP COMMENDS COMMUNITY GREEN RADIO FOR PROMOTING GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS

Government Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Kiboga District Ruth Nankabirwa Sentamu has again heaped praise for Community Green radio for promoting government programs.
The minister said the free air time the radio has allocated for government programmes has been vital in popularizing various government programmes in Kiboga and other places.
“I can’t stop thanking the management and ownership of this radio for giving government time to talk to citizens. There is a great improvement in the awareness about government programs since you gave government airtime”, said the minister.
Minister Nankabirwa made the remarks in August while appearing on the Community Green radio’s Akatuuti show during the time designated for the Resident District Commissioner, RDC (President’s representative in the district).
The minister called on the masses to support the radio so that it continues to deliver even more.
Community Green radio has, since its inception, been providing space for government officials to share with the listeners on the available government programs. It is through such engagements that the listeners find an opportunity to seek for accountability from public office bearers.
Government officials share vital information in regard to various programmes aimed to uplifting the social welfare of women, youth, elderly and the general public.

Already, the radio has hosted Gender and Social Development minister Janet Mukwaya and other government dignitaries.

NEW CGR LISTENERS EXPRESS OPTIMISM IN THE RADIO AS AN ENGINE OF POSITIVE CHANGE

In studio of Community Green radio Kiboga sits three women from Lwamata Sub County in Kiboga District. They are members of Lwamata Community Green Radio listeners’ club. They are all smiles as they describe how they slowly formed a listeners club.
“The idea of forming a listeners club arose out of the various educative topics that were being aired on Green radio especially of income generation and livelihood improvement”, narrated Ms.Jannat Kengonzi, the secretary for mobilization of the club.
Ms. Peace Kagogobe, a member of the club has high hopes that the club will transform their lives. “We are certain that we are not going to remain the same. The few exchange visits we have had to Kikuube (Butimba Listeners’ club) and Kihagya in Hoima have already opened our eyes”, explained.
Ms. Ramulah Namiranda said it was a dream come true to appear on radio. She said the radio has brought her to working with other community members on projects that benefit her as a person, her family and the community in general.
“I was introduced to this kind of radio by Ms.Kengonzi. I have never turned since then and I’m eying big things with this kind of interaction”, explained Ms. Namiranda.
The members made the revelation during an air show on “Akatuuti” program on Community Green radio. “Akatuuti” program is a topical daily show that runs every evening for an hour and discusses various topics in spheres of social, political and economic aspects of society. The members had appeared on the radio to share on their experience with working with the radio especially through listeners’ clubs.

Lwamata Listeners’ club is one of the newly formed clubs in Kyankwanzi and Kiboga districts. The radio now has over fifteen clubs in Hoima, Kikuube, Buliisa, Kyankwanzi and Kiboga Districts. Listners’ clubs are listeners’ groups through which listenrs participate in daily radio programming by raising issues that affect their communities, share experience and listen to the radio together.

MINISTER HAILS COMMUNITY GREEN RADIO FOR COMPLEMENTING GOVERNMENT

Government Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Kiboga District Ruth Nankabirwa Sentamu has hailed Community Green radio for government programmes by providing free airtime to government officials.

“We used to pay money to appear on radio. I want to thank the ownership and management of this radio for inviting us to speak to citizens freely. We are now able to talk about development and security issues. We are now able to mobilize citizens for development”, said the minister.

Minister Nankabirwa made the remarks in June while appearing on the Community Green radio’s Akatuuti show during the time designated for the Resident District Commissioner, RDC (President’s representative in the district).

The minister pledged moral support to the radio in its endeavors to cause positive change in the area.
Community Green radio has, since its inception, been providing space for government officials to share with the listeners on the available government programs. It is through such engagements that the listeners find an opportunity to seek for accountability from public office bearers.

Government officials share vital information in regard to various programmes aimed to uplifting the social welfare of women, youth, elderly and the general public.

Already, the radio has hosted Gender and Social Development minister Janet Mukwaya and other government dignitaries.