Saturday, May 27, 2006

Walking a mile for nature and life

"We love whales" exhibition from kindergarten kids

My life with animals is a long path of contradiction. My father is blessed with a 'galaxy' of domesticated animals, infact too many to count. I have always had an inner connection to cattle for instance, beddecked with this strange feeling of oneness that is profound that I felt cows were not only family but also great communicators to the ear of good intent. I have vivid memories of conversing with these cows whilst growing up and the therapeutic resonance that came along with it. With this affection towards animals, you would think with good reason that I was a fanatic vegetarian, waaa! I would have probably been a vegetarian then if I had not crossed paths with my friend's mom, a very prominent and illustrious woman in Kigali, whose understanding of the role of humans and animals contaminated my inner convictions. To her, humans' desire to kill each other with impunity is still hampered by the presence of animals to which the thrill of indiscriminate killing is legal and that the protection of wild animals, though in good taste, is increasing competition for nature's decreasing free gifts such as fresh air and water.

I easily succumbed to this school of thought because, as Maslow once attested, It is only natural for me to fulfill my basic needs first before pursuing higher needs, because if I were hungry my desire to find food will be more powerful than the need to establish a sense of belonging with my cows, sheep et al. However, that was then and this is now. First, a few months back I joined the NDP cause against the inhumane seal hunting in Northern Canada and the arctic; secondly, I do not find beef or pork as a delicacy of inevitable inclusion in my diet anymore; and lastly I bumped into a SAVE THE WHALE community courtesy of Omar Basawad. Despite international efforts to oppose whaling and numerous global Endangered Species Acts and legislations passed to protect whales, the Japanese whaling machinery is not only unfazed but has increased killings of whales dramatically, 860 in this year alone under the ingenious disguise of scientific research! If you feel the same way I do about this please visit with IFAW and take action to help protect whales, or show your benevolence by signing this campaign and sending it to all your pals.

Talk about the Japanese fronting of the scientific research fracas to over shadow greed and the culture of 'profitism.' Their Ugandan cousins in trade at MARASA Holdings, a company I worked for as an executive more than 5 years ago and where I met my hubby Hopes (an auditor/F&B controller then), have taken the fracas to another level by trying to pull a quick one on Ugandans with their proposed golf course project at the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya penisula to be precise. That Mani Khan, the Executive Operations Director, could sell the Kruger National Park golf course in South Africa as a tourist enigma with a straight face is unfortunate, but for Daudi Migereko the ex-tourism minister to give MARASA a blank cheque for a pleasure of the few at the detriment of our environment and ecological system is scandalous!

My hubby and MARASA Holdings former employee Hopes
(with military cap on) and the 'baturagyes' of Stoney-Creek,

I do not golf and I could probably mistake a rugby ball for a golf ball, but even I know that to maintain a perfect golf course in a semi arid/savannah-like area such as Mweya, you will need litres upon litres of water, a need that will deprive the local population, the wild animals and vegetation the very craddle of life and therefore survival. Look, isn't Egypt floating around war threats to her fellow River Nile dependants because of her waters? Heck, East Africa's cost of consuming energy has increased to goliathan heights due to decreased water levels of Lake Victoria and these guys have the nerve to even consider such a travesity. If this golf course goes through, I am afraid that the habitant vegitation for the animals in the park will be destroyed, and the only few wetlands in the area altered. What about the potential for increased runoff from the golfcourse, which could carry chemicals into the Kazinga channel and thus affecting both Lake Katwe and George, seriously degrading and indeed destroying these water bases. God forbid!!

It is interesting that I mentioned the supply shortfall of energy as the reason for the sky rocketing costs of consuming this energy. I have reliably learnt that the most consistent thing in Uganda lately is the inconsistence of electricity supply. The increasingly dwindling resources of non-renewable fuels for energy supply is creating an un-easy feeling of global energy insecurity that is bound to transform into conflicts. Population growth in Rwanda, Uganda and indeed East Africa is higher than before and yet energy sources have remained constant in supply. We need more energy input to accelerate economic growth and yet in our paths there lies a huge burricade from the western world fearcely trying to keep our endevours at bay.

It is a good idea for Kaguta to commence construction plans for two more hydro-dams, but not the best idea as it does not address the shortfall of the resource, in this case the decreasing levels of water in Ugandan lakes supposedly caused by either drought or over consumption. That is why I am thrilled the East African Community is getting larger, together they can afford the cost and the consequences of pursuing non-conventional energy sources like nuclear energy and renewable energies like solar, geothermal, biomass and wind. I know you guys are going to have a feat over this; Iran is trying nuclear energy and being blackmailed, you will chant in unisom. But don't forget that Brazil has just finished theirs and thus joined the exclusive nuclear club with minimal hussles from the Bushites. Besides nuclear is the future, and therefore innevitable if we are to survive decades from now. You read it here first. Lol.

Folks just as we thought that Zimbabwe's land issue was the worst handled by both Mugabe and the British govenment, and as we went along with our own lives thinking Zimbabwe woes were a distant and unfortunate saga, too complicated for us to follow, then one such standoff erupts here in Caledonia, North Hamilton. The standoffs is between the aboriginals and developers and later Caledonia residents (mostly white) over land. The aboriginals are trying to reclaim all their land and to stop the illegal construction of housing projects on six nations land. Blockades by the aboriginals have been countered by those raised by the residents which has led to confrotation and violence. Govenment is moving slower than a snail to curb the escalating situation...too much procrastination on the part of both the Federal and Provincial govenments to deal with this issue. An issue that has been hidden away, far away from public scrutiny. The pictures below attempt to tell the disturbing story. I hope I was not sooo boring, but hey atleast something is off my chest.

The occupation of Caledonia...

Whats your next move six nations people...

Native protesters 'taking over' the hood

Native protesters burning tires on rural highway 6