Thursday, April 12, 2007

e-citizenship: Mabira Forest for sugar cane plantation

Mabira Central Forest Reserve and a Natural Conservation Area on the Kampala-Jinja highway could pave way for sugar cane plantation. Common sense is against it but the management of SCOUL and the Metha Family feels that this forest is the best place to expand their plantation of sugarcane. The Environmentalists world over and lay Ugandans will have non of this. The Save Mabira Petition echos similar sentiments! Yours truelly has signed the said petition. The petition is threatening 10,000 signatures!

From the information society perspective, the Save Mabira advocacy might have brought out a non political aspect of Citizen participation in the Information Society in Uganda. What could be called e-advocacy is being witnessed in Uganda. Campaigns, petitions and mobilisation have been conducted by SMS, E-mails, websites, TV and indeed radio broadcasts.

Some questions still lingers: To what extend have Ugandans in Uganda used the power of ICT on the "Save Mabira" campaigns? What ICT sysyem - email, website, TV, Radio, Internet, etc- ranked prominent? What threats? Which Ugandan Website can take credit?

Update from the The Monitor Website: A demonstration against the move is currently taking its toll. However, Demonstrators are spilling their sentiments on innocent Ugandans of Asian origins - Indian businesses to be precise. The Metha family are Ugandans of Indian origin. The demonstration threatens to turn violent!

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