By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/KMA Updates.
Isingiro, Western Uganda: Deputy RDC Aine joins CSOs for plastic audit in Isingiro Town Council ahead of World Earth Day in his area.
With stewardship of Oxfam International Uganda Office, in partnership with Community Integrated Development Initiative, CIDI and others like Caritas Uganda, The Uganda Farmers’ Common Voice Platform, (UFCVP), The Africa Climate Reality Project, CSBAG, Joint Effort to Save the Environment, (JESE)and others held different activities in the district ahead of the World Earth Day.
CSOs urge that they chose Isingiro as it is one of the districts in Uganda facing climate crisis that has destabilized mother earth. The crisis lead to prolonged drought, flooding, swamp reclamation, deforestation and other unfriendly human activities.
Christopher Aine, the Deputy RDC for Isingiro district addresses the gathering at Ruhingo Daily Market during community dialogue on possible actions to avert climate crisis in Isingiro District. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
While addressing the gathering in Isingiro Town Council, Ruhingo daily market Christopher Aine, the Deputy RDC for Isingiro district pledged to the CSOs already operating in the area band their partners that the district will wholly support all the activities geared towards restoring the ever deteriorating environment that is a spark off point of climate Change.
Aine says that the district will with no doubt pass strict laws directed towards the protecting the environment and with support of Oxfam International and partners they’re confident that will implement them and Isingiro will be restored again.
Betty Rose Aguti, who doubles as the Policy and Advocacy Specialist at Caritas Uganda and National Coordinator of The Uganda Farmers’ Common Voice Platform, (UFCVP) and Christopher Aine, the Deputy RDC for Isingiro district consult after the community dialogue on possible actions to avert climate crisis in the area. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
He rallied his residents to start the campaign of planting trees right from their households as that is the foundation if they are to implement the campaign effectively because most of the hills in the district have been interrupted thus posing a need for restoration in avoidance of negative outcomes.
He says the plastic audit conducted by the CSOs with members of the community is a manifestation that also human activities have contributed a lot the degradation of the environment although it can be avoided.
Jackson Muhindo Rukara (L), the Oxfam in Uganda Climate Change and Resilience Coordinator delivers his concerns during community dialogue at Ruhingo Daily Market on possible actions to avert climate crisis in Isingiro District. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
Muhindo Jackson Rukara, the resilience and Climate Justice Coordinator at Oxfam in Uganda at the same gathering express that the impact of climate change is deadly than AIDS and it is the reason Oxfam and partners in collaboration with government and citizens are devising possible ways of harnessing a lasting solution for climate crisis.
Muhindo cites an example of how Kilembe hospital, schools in the Kilembe valley that were washed away and are no more as a result of floods from the mountains in the Rwenzori region and is not different to Isingiro district.
“God created a fully-fledged earth that we may depend on it but we human beings have become rebellious to it by creating emissions from industries especially developed countries, cut trees, poor disposal of wastes, encroachment on buffer areas like wetlands and others”. Muhindo notes.
Members of CSOs join the community and District Officials during plastic audit in Isingiro Town Council. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
He asked residents to desist from dangerous habits to the environment like littering polythene bags, avoid bush burning but should plant trees because they are the best buffer for carbon from emissions, at least plant 5 trees when they cut one.
Muhindo says, with support from their donors, Oxfam International in Uganda and Care International Uganda are implementing a 2 year Disaster Risk Management Project with funding from European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) aimed at restoring the environment that is ever deteriorating in the area.
Hellen Kasujja the Deputy Executive Director of Community Integrated Development Initiative, CIDI delivers her speech during community dialogue at Ruhingo Daily Market on possible actions to avert climate crisis in Isingiro District. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
Hellen Kasujja the Deputy Executive Director of Community Integrated Development Initiative, CIDI showed gratitude towards the gathering and the leadership for collaborating with NGOs in the area in issues of protecting the environment and making them a focal point.
She pledges working relationship with the Isingiro district local government, national level and that will be able to support where possible.
“Every 22nd /April every year we have been cerebrating the International Earth Day and as part of activities, we shall participate in the plastic audit around Isingiro Town Council and use it to assess the impact of human activities as well, equip you with environmental protection knowledge ahead of the mega commemoration”. Hellen stresses.
Locals make inquires from the didtrict officials during the community dialogue at Ruhingo Daily Market on possible actions to avert climate crisis in Isingiro District. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
Among other things, the community sought that strict laws be instituted by the district authority and effect immediately especially on tree planting saying their area is bear.
They also decried the laxity of the district authority in enforcing the already existing laws on safeguarding the environment and thus costing them of environmental instability.
They pledge direct involvement in all activities aimed at conserving the environment which among them include, tree planting, re-afforestation, saving buffer areas, proper disposal of wastes and others.
Locals seen during the community dialogue at Ruhingo Daily Market on possible actions to avert climate crisis in Isingiro District. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
With Oxfam in the lead, CIDI, Caritas Uganda, The Africa Climate Reality Project and others, the gathering climaxed with plastic audit in Isingiro town Council and over 100 kgs of plastic materials were collected which showed a high level of poor human behavior towards the environment.
Before the plastic audit, members of CSOs conducted a webinar moderated by Betty Rose Aguti, who doubles as the Policy and Advocacy Specialist at Caritas Uganda and National Coordinator of The Uganda Farmers’ Common Voice Platform, (UFCVP) under the Topic, “Multi-stakeholder Discourse on Climate change and Restoration of Mother Earth”, organized by Community Integrated Development Initiative, CIDI.
Betty Rose Aguti, who doubles as the Policy and Advocacy Specialist at Caritas Uganda and National Coordinator of The Uganda Farmers’ Common Voice Program moderates the Webinar in Isingiro District. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
During the webinar, stakeholders realize that where as the effects of climate change are mostly affecting communities, there is limited funding from the central government to ensure they have necessary by-laws, ordinances and also in terms financing the actions for example environmental protection police and law enforcement.
So these believe that climate financing is critical for the country at the national level because there are gaps and opportunities missed because of not having the capacity of tapping into climate financing globally and also challenged with how the little funding goes to the communities.
Jackson Muhindo Rukara, the Oxfam in Uganda Resilience and Climate Justice Coordinator delivers his remarks during the Webinar on. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
These therefore call on government and development partners to ensure that proposals are written seeking for more financing directed to climate interventions.
They also believe that the private sector should come on board through cooperate social responsibility as well as well as providing capital to ensure that green solutions are in place.
“The youths should also be part of the process through employing them in form of technologies for adaptation, mitigation actions like planting trees, clean energy, waste recycling and others”. They noted.
Hellen Kasujja, the Deputy Executive Director of Community Integrated Development Initiative, CIDI the organizer of the Webinar. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
They went on to emphasize that clean energy must be adopted for restoration of energy like use charcoal saving stoves, use of briquettes instead of wood fuel, biogas and ethanol.
They urged that the community should engage into best farming and friendly behavior actions like agro-forestry, re-afforestation, tree planting, proper disposal of wastes, avoidance of “Kaveera” use, avoid encroachment on buffer areas and others.
They realize how wise it is to build synergies amongst themselves and government’s MDAs in fighting, devising adaptation ways and mitigation of tackling the climate crisis.
Members of Civil Society Organizations, District officials and locals seen doing plastic audit in Isingiro Town Council on Wednesday where the collected over 100kgs of plastic waste materials. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
They also believe that there should be a lot of capacity building in communities, providing incentives to the members of the public in a bid to attract them to the cause, getting out of the board room and go for action as well as translating the information to different dialects understandable to different members of the pubic.