The Lost Glory

When I was a kid in Otuke, I loved farming.

Even though I loved it, I decided to trade my hoe to a neighbor for an animal trap and catapult . They
changed my life because they instilled my desire for adventure in the wild and hunting. I also remember
listening to folk songs about the great hunters of our land.   I wanted to do hunt like my ancestors so
when I was 13 I took my catapult and animals trap to the bush down the stream to hunt bush meat and
shoot some wild guinea fowl. That was my first and last hunting attempt after I was beaten by a snake
and forcefully relocated to Lira town to live with my aunt.

Ever since I can remember, I was interested in hunting and nature. While I am known for championing
wildlife conservation and forest restoration, I also have been one of the first eyewitnesses to the
devastating effects of climate change.

In 2019 I developed a rear eye sight condition, I could hardly see during day time and it became worse
when the sun was hot in the afternoon. I visited the optician and the only thing I remember was that I
had less tears and my eyes were dry, they needed to be supported by lubricants. Today, my glasses are a
reminder that the sun is hotter than normal and there’s need to shelter our eyes from the UV radiation.
A research paper I read for Hopkins hospital revealed this condition could among other things be as a
result of climate change.
In 2018 I visited mountain Rwenzori and attempted to climb it half way, while camping their for ten days
I learnt a shocking truth, the mountains top that was once covered with 15 square kilometers of glaciers
was now covered with 1.5 square kilometers of glaciers. I asked my tour guide who whispered so no
one else could hear but me, ‘It is going because the planet is warming. By the tenth day I was
devastated, the beautiful mountain Rwenzori that attracted tourists from far and wide was being
destroyed and no one was talking about it, the Pearl of Africa was dying under our own noses. What
were we proud of as a generation, destroying our very own?

I have never seen such drastic changes in the water catchment areas near mountain Rwenzori as quickly
as I have in the last three years.

Every ice that melts from the glaciers flow into the rivers, River Nyamwamba in Western Uganda bursts
it’s banks more than twice a year, causing serve damage to property and loss of life. We’re all seeing

the evidence of a changing climate; and seeing is believing. We are at a tipping point.  Scientists tell us
we can still main 1.5 degree Celsius of temperature in average, but how did we get here, what went
wrong?

I think we’re finally arriving at a consensus on the fact that the world is getting warmer, and young
people around the world are becoming concerned about the world they live in, will they ever hunt like I
did, will they enjoy the sweetness of wild fruits and will they ever trade a hoe for something they love
knowing well that whoever tilts the the land will enjoy high crop yield. These questions and many others
have kept me up in the night for so long yet I seem not to get any answers.

Comment below if have solutions to these questions that could be silent in the hearts of many.

Connect with me at immy@akellokwan.com

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