GICUMBI — Residents of Bwisige Sector, Gicumbi district have been warned against burning in move to protect the environment.
Addressing the residents last week, during activities to mark the environment protection week, the Minister for Cabinet Affairs, Dr. Charles Murigande also warned residents against burning charcoal and against the use of unauthorized methods that emit toxic gases harmful to the atmosphere. The day coincided with the end of month community work locally known as Umuganda.
"These toxic gases break the ozone layer that protects us from the heat of the sun," said Murigande.
During the activities, the minister participated in the construction of one hectare of terraces at Bwisige high yield agricultural demonstration site commonly known as "Indatwa hill".
Minister Murigande advised residents to plant more trees because they protect the environment by preventing pollution, absorbing toxic gases, providing fresh air and for production of rain.
He told them to emulate the example of Singapore and South Korea which were once less developed with no natural resources.
The minister advised residents to use energy saving cooking stoves less commonly called "Rondereza" to save depletion of trees for firewood.
Addressing local leaders after community work, Murigande advised them to be people of integrity and honesty to the society. He said each leader should be able to evaluate his or her positive contribution to the society and advised them to desist from corruption tendencies, such as extorting money from residents before providing services to them.
"The development of Bwisige shall depend on grass root leaders," added Murigande.
The district Mayor Bonane Nyangezi advised residents to increase food security by making terraces and using animal wastes as fertilizers to increase crop production. "You cannot attain development on an empty stomach," said Nyangezi. He further advised residents who have planted animal grass to seek for long term loans from banks to buy exotic cattle and asked them to tap rain water for domestic and animal use.
The mayor further advised residents to grow bananas by spacing them in order to provide high yield. Banana plantations should not be mixed with other plants to preserve the nutrients needed for banana growth, he warned the framers.
Deo Kabagamba, the Executive Secretary of the Northern Province, who represented governor Boniface Rucagu, at the function, called upon residents to register in large numbers for health insurance in order to ensure timely medication whenever they fell sick.
He advised them to be security conscious by keeping register books in each family, for recoding names of visitors and informing the village leaders of their visitor’s presence. On gender violence, Kabagambe warned residents against wife beating and defilement of under age girls. "Security is the backbone of development," he said.
The team accompanying the minister later visited Bwisige Secondary School, where Murigande pledged to help students acquire computers for their studies.