As Uganda’s mountainous ice caps melt, ethnic groups are losing the traditional belief systems that have sustained them for thousands of years.
The god Kithasamba sits atop the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda. According to the cosmology of the Bakonzo ethnic group, ice and snow – believed to be Kithasamba’s sperm – melts and carries life down through the valleys lined with giant heather trees and bamboo thickets, and into the savannah below.
“The water gives us life; it fertilises our land,” said Baluku Mikayir, a community elder and spiritual leader of the Ekisalhalha kya Kororowaterfall, his hoarse voice barely audible above the roar of the cascading river.
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