THE RECEDING MT.ELGON FOREST
By Ricky Sumbu
| February 13th 2017
It is alleged that gazzettement in 1968 Mt. Elgon National park was 220sq. kilometers. On current tourist guide book it is said that Mt Elgon National park is 168 sq. kilometers. This can tell one how the forest is Receding. Most of the forest out of the park has been cleared thirty years ago if one stood at chwele market there was a forest cover on the slopes of Mt Elgon, today there is absolutely nothing.
It is all farm land. In the Trans nzoia if one stood at kabuyefwe the forest cover could be seen, today there is nothing the slopes are naked with farmland in place. On the northern slopes farmlands have come just below the Elephant platform.
An Ecosystem is made of several components of which there must be a balance for it to function well.
If there is no balance some members will suffer. For example in a National park if there are more lions than the antelopes they feed on, it means that the lion will starve and die. If there no antelopes to eat the grass, the grass will overrun the park.
In an Ecosystem there are two major components: A biotic i.e. non living material e.g. water, oxygen, carbon dioxide and Nitrogen. Physical factors also fall under Abiotic component.
Biotic components include producers green plants, consumers, animals and decomposers-micro organisms.
For an Ecosystem to function well there must be a balance in ways in which these components interact.
One small thing affects one member the repercussions will go through the whole ecosystem. I must say that today there is a very big imbalance in the Mt. Elgon Ecosystm.
During the dry season the vegetation on Mt. Elgon burns year in year out. The Elephant is able to run away from the fire and other big animals.
How about the puff adder, the chameleons and butterflies. Thirty years ago there were thousands and thousands of butterflies on the mountain.
Today there are a few left. Probably these butterflies were helping of in the pollination certain plants which today lack pollination.
There are certain plants which the bees help in pollination. We are burning the bees that will pollinate the plants which the bees pollinate.
There is a small chameleon on Mt. Elgon which antifreeze. If we burn it what will happen next. There are plants like Euphobia obovafolia it grow on mountains.
Some stems are o n Mt. Elgon if we burn them shall we not be upsetting the balance of Mt. Elgon Ecosystem.
The forest acts as a sponge and holds water when it rains. Later the water will ooze downstream and begin streams which turn into rivers.
Without forest cover rain water will run down stream in a very short time causing floods downstream. When the dry season comes there is no water to feed the stream so they dry up. This is already happening.
The volume of water of rivers beginning from Mt. Elgon has fallen drastically. At Turkwel dam the water level has dropped by about one meter. The other rivers are experiencing the same. Burning of Mt. Elgon is having for reaching repercussions in the long run.
That is why in psalms 95 and verse 4 God says and I quote: “in his hand are the depths of the earth and mountain peak belonging to him” and in psalms 50 and verses 10 2 11 God says: “For every animal of the forest is mine and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird in the mountains and the creatures of the field are mine”. Revelation 11 and verse 18 the last statement says that God will destroy those who destroy the earth.
People of the Trans Nzoia we are committing suicide by destroying the vegetation and animals on the Mt. Elgon. Thus the Mt. Elgon Ecosystem should be protected using all tools available.
We are the only creatures which God gave the brain to think and protect all other creatures on the surface of the earth.
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