The African Mountain Echo

Why Mount Kadam Ranges in South Karamoja, North-Eastern Uganda is important for the Karamojong people.

Mount Kadam, located near the east border of Karamoja, Uganda with Kenya has an approximate elevation of 3,063 metres (10,049 ft above sea level).

In the colonial times, mountain Kadam was referred to as Debasien Mountain or range. Currently, it is mostly under the jurisdiction of Nakapiripirit district, North-Eastern Uganda.

The people who live therein are the Kadamas who speak the Kadam language.

The rich and diverse mountain ecosystems in Mount Kadam provide goods (such as reeds, poles, grass, among others for construction including firewood, herbal medicine).

The mountain also provides services (such as meeting points for traditional ceremonies for example leadership initiations during which leaves from trees are used for serving roasted meat.

The mountain is a grazing and browsing land for cattle and shoats respectively and has huge untapped potential for tourism as it is a home to beautiful birds, semi-arid and arid based wild animals that would propel the growth of ecotourism, hybridized with a strong traditional culture worth appreciating.

Traditionally mount Kadam is an ancestral ground for traditional gods, the reason why the local population jealously guard it from any form of degradation. There are traditional penalties for persons found illegally using the ecosystem without permission from elders.

“If a person is found abusing/degrading ecosystem, elders impose penalties including killing a bull for cleansing and or face curses on refusal to go by the penalty”.

Being a semi-arid region, pastoralists usually conduct a stock taking exercise to ascertain pasture and water existence in various parts of the lowlands and highlands, and thus through trends analysis, they map and select points to alternately graze and browse livestock. They make use of weather patterns to allow certain grazing and watering points to regenerate before use. The hills/mountain areas during wet season are dense with vegetation. In a pastoral life; grazing, praying and cherishing the success of animal production saves mountains heavy degradation.

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