Last month, Chinese Investors trading as Zhong Industries Limited, formally applied to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries for permission to use aerial spray methods to kill Quelea pest-birds, which they say are a big disaster to their rice plantation project in Lwera.
conservationists have cautioned the Ministry of Agriculture against giving permission
to a Chinese investor allowing him to kill wild birds in Lwera wetland, Kalungu
district along the Kampala-Masaka highway.
Chinese Investors trading as Zhong Industries Limited, formally applied to the
Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries for permission to use
an aerial spray to kill Quelea pest-birds, which they say are a big disaster to
their rice plantation project in Lwera.
In a letter
URN has seen, the investor says that the birds have made it a routine to invade
their rice plantations, and causing huge financial losses to the company.
have almost destroyed 50% of our daily rice yields making business operation
and going forward very hard with unmeasured loses ranging from low yields,
added on other fixed farm expenses like salaries to workers, machinery
operations that are always paid and incurred with nothing almost zero yields,”
the letters reads in part.
who in his letter claims to be the biggest single employer in Kalungu district,
with 500 laborers, asked the Ministry of Agriculture to allow them to spray to
death the pest-birds to enable the company to overcome losses.
local environmentalists under their umbrella of Biodiversity Conservation
Foundation-BCF, have also written a protest letter to the Ministry of
Agriculture demanding that the investors’ application be disregarded with
Kalyango, the Executive Director of BCF, has also petitioned the National
Environment Management Authority-NEMA, seeking to block an application by the
investor, describing the request as harmful to biodiversity.
argues that the investor is going to use poisonous chemicals that will
indiscriminately kill other bird species and animals that use Lwera as their
natural habitat. He indicates that the ongoing growing rice in Lwera wetland
has already been polluting the swamp and its waters with artificial fertilizers
Kalyango, allowing the investor to use aerial spraying to kill highly mobile
birds will be granting him permission to continue destroying the environment.
//Cue in: (Luganda) “okusokera
Cue out; ….bumalire mu nyanja.”//
which are classified as a group of small weaver birds native to sub-Saharan Africa
are categorized as pest-birds, known to cause considerable damage to a variety
of crops, but they also help to destroy insects feasting on crops and also
consequences notwithstanding, conservationists indicate that the investor can
still effectively manage them without employing methods that are less
destructive to the environment and the ecosystem.
threatens that they may be compelled to call for a massive protest in the area,
should the government proceed to grant permission to the Chinese investor to
kill the birds. They also indicate that the Quelea birds are not alien to Lwera
wetland and the neighboring swamps adjacent to Lake Victoria, arguing that the
investor invaded their known habitats and should find a way of coexisting other
than seeking to eliminate them.
//Cue in: “twandiwabudde nti….
Cue out; ….lino lya butwa.”//
Victor Mpinga, the Project’s Community Liaisons and Communication Officer at
Zhong Industries Limited, argues that the idea of spraying the birds is not
their company’s innovation but a pest control method considered by the Ministry
He explains that the investor is only seeking to replicate a
technology of pests’ management from areas it has been employed with the
approval of the Ministry, wondering why the environmentalists are only concerned
about the projects in Lwera.
this year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Frank
Tumwebaze commissioned an aircraft that to support the aerial spraying of
quelea birds in rice plantations in Soroti district.