Murchison Falls conservation area, Budongo forest and other ecosystems are more important for the well-being of Ugandans than the planned electricity dams and oil exploitation activities. Further, unlike oil which will get exhausted in 20 to 30 years, the economic values of the Murchison Falls conservation area and Budongo forest will last forever if they are well protected through conservation. According to NEMA, the following are the economic values of the Murchison and Budongo ecosystems:
Biodiversity of Murchison and Bundongo landscape Economic value in UGX: Value of timber stock 146 billion; Non-timber products (mainly wood) 4.81 billion per year; Non-wood forest products 5.5 billion per year; Medicinal and pharmaceutical value 2.2 billion per year; Soil erosion control 132 billion per year; Tourism value 110.4 billion per year; Carbon sequestration and storage value 3.8 billion per year; Option, bequest and existence value 30 Trillion; Relocation and rehabilitation value 114.4 Trillion; Watershed protection and catchment services 26.5 billion; Research and education 47 billion ; Costs to the community 2.5 billion per year; Opportunity costs for MFCA (livestock & Husbandry). 4.8 billion per year; Opportunity costs for BCFR (sugarcane option) 20.4 billion per year; Income of the MFCA 2.2 billion (2008).
Let us all call on our government to stop the planned activities such as dam construction and related projects in such critical fragile ecosystems.