RUBANDA – A section of farmers in Bufundi sub-county, Rubanda West County in Rubanda district are gripped by fear as they confront the looming threat of famine due to an ongoing and relentless drought that has taken a severe toll on the region.
This parching drought arrived on the heels of heavy rainfall that had initially seemed promising but ended up decimating a significant portion of the local crops. The resulting devastation now casts a shadow of famine that could potentially unravel by May this year. Astonishingly, it has been a full four months since the last drop of rain blessed the lands of Rubanda district.
Upon close inspection, our reporter witnessed a startling transformation of the area, once celebrated as the “Switzerland of Africa,” now undergoing a distressing metamorphosis. Lush pastures and once-flowing water sources have turned into arid landscapes.
This unprecedented and prolonged drought marks a grim milestone for both Rubanda district and the broader Kigezi Sub-region. The farmers, who have long relied on the regularity of rainfall, now stand on unfamiliar ground, grappling with the very real prospect of famine.
Voicing their concerns, the farmers express the profound anomaly of this situation. It is an unsettling novelty for Rubanda to endure such a protracted dry spell. Anxiety looms large among them, as the once-reliable rains that graced the beginning of August have conspicuously withheld their presence this year. Even the hopeful seedlings they planted, banking on the usual timely rains, have succumbed to the unrelenting drought.
The farmers are left perplexed, unable to ascertain the cause behind this drastic shift in weather patterns. They fervently call upon the government to institute measures that would provide them with much-needed seedlings, a lifeline in these times of uncertainty.
CUE IN FARMERS….ON DROUGHT….RR//
Evelyne Kikafunda, the visionary founder of Green Environment Protection, attributes the unyielding drought to the consequences of environmental degradation. She cites the reclamation of swamps, rampant deforestation, and pervasive plastic pollution as the driving forces behind this crisis.
Kikafunda, in turn, issues a passionate call to arms, beseeching all individuals to actively engage in safeguarding our environment. He implores environmentalists to devise innovative strategies for environmental protection, underscoring the urgency of the situation.
CUE IN KIKAFUNDA…ON DROUGHT….RR/ENG//
Akampurira Prosy Mbabazi Begumisa, the Woman Member of Parliament for Rubanda District acknowledges that while the drought afflicting Rubanda is distressing, it is not an isolated incident. Rather, it mirrors a broader issue resonating across regions.
Akampurira recounts the paradox of the heavy rains that had once brought challenges now being succeeded by this crippling drought, further exacerbating the plight of farmers.
Akampurira pledges to impart knowledge to the farmers about adaptive farming techniques in the face of evolving climate conditions, underscoring the necessity for resilience and change.
CUE IN PROSY….ON THE DROUGHT….RR/ENG//
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