There is concern among environmentalists in Mbarara municipality following a planned move to relocate traders from Mbarara central market to the independence park. The plan is to pave way for the construction of a new multipurpose market structure in the municipality.
The market is listed for construction under the second phase of the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement program – MATIP II, funded by the African Development Bank.
Simon Byamukama, an environmentalist and team leader at Let Us Save Uganda told our reporter that the decision to relocate the market is unfair. He says that the park is the only open space with a breath of cool and fresh air in Mbarara.
Matthias Kukundakwe, another environment activist in Mbarara fears that the market will destroy the beauty of the park and prompt its destruction.
Uganda is one of four least developed countries identified by a UN agency as having at least a third of its population poor due to environmental degradation.
The 2011 Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme, which was launched worldwide on Wednesday under the theme, ‘Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All,’ warns that development in the world’s poorest countries could be halted or even reversed by mid-century unless bold steps are taken now to slow climate change, prevent further environmental damage, and reduce deep inequalities within and among nations.