Tuesday, August 4

Environmental Degradation: Until Wild Animals come to our houses, we shall not stop destroying their habitats

Zadock Amanyisa

In about 300 meters away from my home in Bushenyi town, South-western Uganda, stand two tall trees, whose species I cannot tell ( I am not good at botanical names). I have lived here for the last five years. In the same place (distance of about 20meters), there are two natural water sources, from where I used to fetch water for irrigating my vegetable gardens during the dry season like this three four years ago.

In the year 2016, when I was fetching water from these water points, a friend and neighbor of mine told me that there lives a big snake around those the two water points. More neighbors would later warn me not to access the water sources, especially on a sunny day because I will meet the most feared animal in the area.

On Friday, July 3, 2020, while at the very place taking photos of the trees at around 1pm, another neighbor, who was tethering his goats, told me not to dare move towards these trees because there lives a big snake, which has found a conducive atmosphere. I told snakes like quiet places with cool temperatures.

I think, in my own view, the snake has chosen to seek refuge in this place because other trees, which would have hosted it have been cut down. Also in my understanding, with increasing deforestation and environmental degradation, animals have started defending themselves and their habitats being threatened. Studies show that when the environment is degraded by natural or human activities, homes are changed, leaving fewer species of animals live there because these places remain incapable of supporting life.

Cutting down of trees across the world has posed a big threat not only on the flora, but also on the fauna. Eventually, animals like snakes will end up shifting to our homes because we have destroyed theirs. Snakes and other animals infest our homes because we have encroached on the environment and destroyed their habitats. The truth is that these animals will find us in our houses following massive destruction of their comfortable zones.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), “world’s forests, swamps, plains, lakes, and other habitats continue to disappear as they are harvested for human consumption and cleared to make way for agriculture, housing, roads, pipelines and the other hallmarks of industrial development. Without a strong plan to create terrestrial and marine protected areas important ecological habitats will continue to be lost.”

Let’s stop the habit of degrading the environment now! Conserving our environment is our role!

The writer is a journalist and Environmental Conservationist

Email: zadock.amanyisa@gmail.com

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