Kiggo Stone Excavation Scoping Visit
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Kiggo Stone Excavation Scoping Visit

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When mining of sand by artisan sand miners is not guided it could result in disastrous environmental degradation such as revealed in this scoping study on Buganda's property by PEMO

When mining of sand by artisan sand miners is not guided it could result in disastrous environmental degradation such as revealed in this scoping study on Buganda's property by PEMO

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Kiggo Stone Excavation Scoping Visit Kiggo Stone Excavation Scoping Visit Presentation Transcript

  • EVALUATING KIGGO STONE AND SAND EXCAVATION. For the Buganda Government By the Practicing Environmental Managers’ Organization (PEMO) facilitated by Mr. Kayongo Robert and Owek. Kisawuzi Tom (Permanent Secretary to the Kattikkiro) November 2006
  • Background
    • Much of the terrible consequences from the mismanagement of Buganda’s capital assets during the abolition period of the monarchy remain untold. But the apathetic situation of the Kingdoms land resources (mainly sand and stone quarries) at Kiggo is a stark reminder that such consequences are still bedeviling the kingdoms sustainable development.
    • Owing to the inadequate environmental management of the Kiggo properties (mainly stone and sand mining) of the Kabaka and because of the mismanagement of dues paid by the Kiggo miners into the Mengo government, the miners like the Katikkiro’s office were disappointed by the apparent insufficiency of the existing management situation. The miners were no longer paying the stipulated fees because apparently, the collectors of these dues either embezzled or severely deducted them before they could be delivered to Mengo’s Nkuluze Fund. Besides the paid dues were not streamlined nor standardized for easy estimates and follow-up. The Miners themselves accessed the property on an open access basis laying grounds for over-exploitation and environmental degradation.
    • Against this background Owek. Kisawuzi Tom the PS to the Katikkiro instituted corrective interventions headed by Mr. Kayongo Robert part of which is this scoping study by PEMO, the other benefits include an increase of over 100% of the dues collected and the regeneration of trust and respect from the miners towards Mengo, something that had severely been damaged by the events surrounding these assets.
  • Purpose of the scoping
    • The purpose of this visit was to evaluate the current uses, and systems of management, the threats/challenges faced, as well as evaluation of the opportunities and recommendations. We have however noticed that a great deal of effort has already been made by the Katikkiro’s office and the miners have signed a memorandum of understanding with this office to pay stipulated remittances, protect the environment, maintain regular communication and also participate in any other Buganda activity. The fees collected have also improved enormously but there is room for improvement especially through participatory approaches involving this community. Currently efforts are in place to initiate tree planting, building of toilets, covering pits among other developments in the area.
  • Observations
  • Stone mining at Kiggo
    • This takes place on the hillside overlooking the lake Victoria at Kiggo, Buggu Zone Busaabala. The site is about 1km from the lake shores. Stone mining is done by local handymen who access the stone resources on an open access scheme without limitation on numbers. The group is currently composed of 150 men who mainly work in dislodging the stones from the hillsides; another group of over 200 women and children (in holidays) work in crushing the stones into aggregates using hand-held hammers. Well as the land belongs to the kabaka, it is accessed by Bibanjja landlords. The group of miners and crushers didn’t have any form of formal arrangements until only recently, this has led to destructive uses and overexploitation based on insecure tenure and unstandardized management.
  • Challenges and Threats
    • Environmental : the area has no environmental controls despite the nature of the activities (involving deforestation, escarpments and others) and its close proximity to the lake, this greatly compromises the watershed and poses great questions for environmental sustainability. There are also no toilets which greatly threatens public health in the area.
    • Occupational: despite the great exposure to occupation hazards such as landslides, the miners have no protective wear such as dust eye-glasses, overalls or head helmets.
    • Organizational: the miners’ group was only formed recently; a robust organized group with an office and administrative structures is a prerequisite for sustainable development of this quarry. This is yet to be strengthened. Collection of dues for Mengo has also only been recently streamlined by Owek. Kisawuzi Tom & Mr. Kayongo Robert, more so with further interventions
    • Technological: in spite of the great commercial potential and prime location of the quarry near the two cities of Kampala and Entebbe, the miners still utilize rudimentary tools for stone excavation and crushing which greatly undermines the ability to satisfy the demand and therefore make more significant contributions to Mengo.
  • Opportunities & recommendations
    • There is a wealth of opportunities for Buganda’s Kiggo’s land assets. These can be divided into short-term and long-term .
    • Short-term
    • Organizational: The miners group needs to be strengthened through participatory approaches for adequate management and limiting the open accessibility which is set to breed conflict, over-exploitation and negative competition. PEMO in partnership with Mengo will participatorily engage the miners to form a conscious robust group fit for sustainable development of the site. This will be provided with an office, shed, first-aid kits and other necessities .
    • Occupational technological and environmental: with adequate organizational arrangements, the occupational and environmental hazards as well as technological inadequacies will be eliminated in due course. This will be done through purchase of adequate equipment, acquisition of adequate protective wear, building a toilet, tree planting and refilling of excavated pits.
    • Long term recommendations
    • Well as the short-term environmental and organizational improvements are a necessity to improve the contribution of Kiggo to both the miners and Mengo government, for sustainable development in the long run, the project site should be prepared for more commercial yet less environmentally degrading educational and tourist development activities such as schools, hotels, hospitals or the other like institutions. This is based on the exceptional opportunities provided by the spectacular view of the lake and surrounding areas, the close location of the site in relation to other recreation centres in Entebbe and Kampala which would offer tourists a more holistic experience. Such activities are easier to control and manage in line with the long term development objectives of the Buganda Kingdom Development Strategy (2001-2010)
  • 2. Sand mining
    • BACKGROUND
    • This land use type is located about 1km from the stone quarry site. It lies in the valley in a wetland gorge sharing its border with lake Victoria. The land has been severely mined of sand and currently there is little if any sand left, only a small layer of sand lies under a clay loam soil layer. The sand is mined haphazardly leaving open water ponds in the middle of pathways. The sand mining supplimented with small scale subsistence agriculture has obstructed river Kalyabakazi which used to flow into the lake. The environmental impacts are obvious; since part of the wetland is severely encroached upon, the lake receives a lot of sediment and silt in rainy season and dries up to several meters in the dry seasons, this is threatening the ecological significance of the lake. When wetland vegetation is replaced with food crops, the animals and natural vegetation are displaced leading to severe ecological consequences. With the current poor water situation in the country, drying up of the lake, and the global but localized climate change, reconstruction of the ecological values on this wetland is not only a necessity for human livelihood for this generation but also much more so for the future generation
    Level of degradation: land was this high, now it is at the current low level shown.
  • THREATS
    • Wetland degradation: the wetland is severely degraded by excavation deforestation and burning
    • Organization: the wetland resources are accessed by open access leading to excessive exploitation. The sand miners are not organized into any formal arrangement, therefore its hard to enforce environmental controls or management standards.
    • Deforestation: the trees are debarked or burnt, the sand around them is scooped exposing their roots. The natural wetland vegetation and its attributes of cleaning water, storing it in flood seasons, support to wild animals among other uses, has been replaced with subsistence crops such as sweet potatoes, sugarcane and beans. This exposes the wetland to severe degradation.
  • Recommendations
    • The area needs immediate intervention to prevent further environmental damage. There is also need to sustainably phase out sand mining through;
    • Establishment of tree nurseries: these would provide alternative income to sand miners. Tree seedlings would be planted into the surrounding degraded up and low lands.
    • Tree planting: Suitable wetland tree species should be planted in phases throughout the wetland to establish and secure the kingdom’s ownership of these properties.
    • Alternative income: the subsistence farmers need to be encouraged towards alternative sources of income such as wetland edge organic gardening and livestock production. This would ensure they don’t depend on the wetland resources entirely.
    • Wetland buffering: 200 meters from the lake shore should be left to natural wetland as stipulated by the law. This ensures the wetland ecological values such as, habitat to wild animals and filtering of water are not compromised.
  • CONTACT
    • THIS WORK HAS BEEN PREPARED FOR THE BUGANDA GOVERNMENT
    • BY THE PRACTICING ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGERS’ ORGANIZATION (PEMO)
    • www.pemo.wordpress.com
    • [email_address]
    • [email_address]
    • Tel: +256712582723/+256782646887/+256712499351
    • FACILITATED BY: OWEK KISAWUZI TOM (PERMANENT SECRETARY OF THE KATIKKIRO) AND MR. KAYONGO ROBERT