An Environmentalist’s view
Any thing, both living and non-living can be wherever it wants.
Now, in that respect, there happens to exist something called “precious” stones, which, when discovered, even if it’s in hell, people will invade hell, if it necessitates, capture (or even kill) Satan, and get for example uranium from that hell!
For long, Africa had been regarded as a dark continent, and many treasure hunters from Europe ware not aware of any human existence in the “dark continent”, according to them, it was covered with darkness, inhabited by some “black creatures” looking like apes (hominids), and also some other superstitious people had a belief that dinosaurs actually did not perish, they disappeared to a certain dark continent, between Asia and the Atlantic, that they just underwent a mutation and changed into apes!
Then, the Arabs were very smart, for them, they were aware that actually south of Sahara was inhabited by people (human beings) who were primitive about the outside world, but very wise about what they were and what they wanted, hospitable, beautiful (since when they got chance, they married them massively) since their forefathers had participated in the ancient Islamic conquests and wars with the Greeks in North Africa (Greece had no formal contact with Western Europe since the time of Alexander the Great, so the knowledge of the Greeks about Africa died with Alexander and his soldiers),and the Islamic imperialism a few years later!
So after the Portuguese and their brothers, the Spanish, and later the British learnt about Africa, and discovered that actually it was a new economic and power base for their future bulging economies, and in so doing, a period of massive resource grabbing, theft, exploitation and plunder has followed since then!
This time what changed was the style of exploitation, which changed to unfair mining deals, and unbalanced terms of trade, but God had blessed this continent with lots of minerals, and we suspect that may be that’s why we are poor and we don’t value what we have, as we know that “people who have, don’t appreciate what they have and they don’t value what they have got”.
The more minerals that are extracted, more minerals are discovered!
Recently, it was confirmed that a lot of Oil is under what we used to know as the East African Great Rift Valley, especially in what we know as the Albertine Grabben, which accommodates Uganda’s Largest National Parks, Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls, although exploration is still going on and more will be discovered in future because in Turkana, Kenya, still in the same rift valley, Oil was discovered earlier this year.
Commercial Oil production is expected to take place by 2014.
Now what we, the conservationists are worried about is, where will our animals go?
Of course there will be explosions, fires (and sometimes wild fires) and very many other things including both water and air pollution which is very dangerous to both plant and animal life.
There are some animals like buffaloes, which don’t like smoke, and others are very allergic to noise and others to earth movements and tremors.
May be that’s why animals end up in people’s homesteads and gardens and they meet their death there, even with this small disturbance during this exploration.
Actually, the percentage of pollution and national park exploitation is like less that 3% of the total mayhem that will be unleashed on the environment including the animals during the actual commercial oil production.
So it is matter of simulating a weighing scale and we see whether having our environment undisturbed (since most of the oil producing countries which mine their oil on land not on sea are deserts we are not very certain whether oil drilling itself doesn’t cause desertification!)
It’s not that I am being naive, and sabotaging the wish of Ugandans who wish to benefit from the petro-dollars which by far are able to fire Uganda’s economy from its third world status to a first world country, a thing tourism is yet to do, but I am worried about our environment which makes Uganda, the Pearl of Africa.