NAPE has made an analysis of the socio-economic and ecological values of Bugoma Forest in Buhanguzi County, Kikuube District .
Click for the full report.
The ministry of Water and Environment, National Association of Professional Environmentalists(NAPE) and Walkers Association of Uganda are on a campaign to remind Ugandans to conserve the environment. The campaign entails an annual water and Environment week, code named “Uganda Water and Environment Week (UWEWK)”. It is a weeklong event that is organized annually by the Ministry through the Water Resources Institute. Since its inception in 2018, the event seeks to contribute towards the attainment of Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation and achieving Ugandan National Development Plan and vision 2040. The week provides an interface between sector actors and other stakeholders for knowledge exchange, dialoguing, learning for improvement of Uganda’s water and environment resources.
“People have forgotten their role in conservation and this event (Water and Environment week) is meant to remind citizens that it’s their role to protect the environment”, said Mr. Babi Gerald from the Ministry of Water and Environment while on Community Green Radio on March 6th, a day before a community clean up exercise in Kiboga town Kiboga District.
This year’s week, that runs between 12th and 17th March will explore the linkage between climate resilience and economic growth in emerging challenges in management and development of water and environment resources, and the need for a systematic review of links, policy options and knowledge gaps. It will also explore the balance between pre-disaster and post-disaster investment needs to be examined more explicitly, Innovative financing to improving access to capital for medium and long-term investments in Water and Environment developments with the implementation of measures to support climate resilience infrastructure and a better understanding of which tools work well for vulnerable populations and recognizing that different tools might be needed to respond to different needs.
This year, through Walkers Association of Uganda, the campaign involves a 270km walk for water and environment for climate resilient development from the King Fisher Development Area, Kikuube District to the Ministry of Water and Environment in Luzira, Kampala via the North Western route from 27th February to 10th March, 2023 a distance of approximately 320 Km. The objective of the walk is to provide an understanding of the role of Water and Environment resources in contributing towards the climate resilient development and Socio-Economic Transformation of Uganda.
RATIONALE OF THE 270KM WALK
Due to the existing and emerging issues such as Oil and Gas Development and its adverse environmental impacts in the Albertine Graben, Pollution from industrial activities, Encroachment on the water, wetlands and forest (Bugoma CFR) including other biodiversity and the exertion of pressure on natural resources by the communities and Refugees in refugee hosting communities. It is viable that the communities, developers, CSOs, NGOs, Religious and Cultural Institutions, industrialists, government institutions, schools among others come together and dialogue on the issues and provide solutions and as well showcase the interventions towards mitigating the impacts of climate change, adapting to climate change and sustainable co-existence with the environment.
The radio talk show on Community Green Radio was attended by Ms. Florence Naiga, the climate change Officer at the Ministry of Water and Environment, Ms. Margret Nanyonga, Forestry Officer Kiboga District and Ms. Nakandi Zainabu, the Senior Environment Officer Kiboga District.
During the show, Ms. Naiga said Uganda is under obligation to fight climate change given the country’s position in international climate platforms.
“Uganda is a member of the COP (conference of parties) where member countries have nationally determined contributions. As Uganda, we are obliged to fight deforestation through afforestation to help in carbon capture”, Ms. Naiga explained.
The National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) has released a baseline report on which interventions for its European Union supported project are hinged on. The two-year project (2022-2023) runs under the codename, “Deepening grassroots women rights, participation and economic livelihood opportunities in the era of expanding oil and gas extraction and the Covid-19 pandemic in Uganda”; The case of Hoima, Kikuube and Buliisa Districts https://www.greenradio.ug/downloads/?cp_306=2
On Wednesday 5th October 2022, nine (9) students from various Universities in Uganda were remanded to Luzira prison over allegations that they participated in a demonstration in support of the recent European Union Parliament resolution seeking to delay the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) citing human rights and environmental abuse concerns.
NAPE is greatly concerned about the harsh manner in which the students were arrested by the police and the charge of “common nuisance” that was levelled against them before being remanded to Luzira prison. NAPE is convinced that the detention of these students is in contravention of the Ugandan Constitution which provides for freedom to assemble and demonstrate together with others under Article 29 (1) (d). NAPE calls for unconditional and immediate release of the students. Click here for the full statement from NAPE.
Members of Oil watch Africa, on September 7 2022, paid a courtesy visit to Community Green radio at the radio’s head offices in Kiboga District, central Uganda.
The team that visited the radio comprised of Mr. Joram Iuseb, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee (IPACC), Namibia, Ms. Thuli Makama, Oil Change International (OCI), Swaziland, Ms. Makoma Lekalakala, Earth life Africa, South Africa, Ms. OduduAbasi Asuquo, Oilwatch Africa, Nigeria, Mrs. Salome Nduta, Coordinator Oilwatch Africa, Kenya and Mr. Nnimmo Bassey, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nigeria.
They appreciated the radio’s work in promoting and supporting communities from the oil and gas region in Uganda to protect their environment, land and human rights against oil, gas and other related projects abuses.
“we are delighted to see the work the radio is doing to conserve nature and we encourage you to continue with the job,” said Mr. Nnimmo Bassey who led the team.
They also visited other organizations working on environmental conservation and those fighting to protect mother nature.
Ugandan Minister of state for Information Communication Technology (ICT) and National Guidance Mrs. Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo has commended Community Green radio for its efforts in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic that attached the country early last year.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank this radio for helping government by passing on the message of hard work, encouraging masses to conserve the environment and most importantly mobilizing citizens to fight COVID-19”, the minister said.
The minister’s comments were aired last Friday when she visited the Radio in Kiboga District. The visit by the minister was part of her routine checks to assess how government departments are using the free airtime that media houses were instructed to offer.
During the visit of the radio, the minister was accompanied by the District Chief Administrative Offer, CAO Mr. Edward Musingye, the District vice chairperson Mr. Moses Ssenjogera and the Resident District Commissioner, Badru Ssebyala.
While at the radio, the minister held a radio talk to mobilize the masses to embrace government programs, especially the ongoing vaccination against COVID-19 in the country.
“I want to appeal to all the people listening to me now that let’s all embrace the ongoing vaccination. It is for the good of all us as a country,” said the minister while in the studio of 103.9 FM.
The minister called on the community members to embrace all available economic empowerment programmes introduced by the government.
“Let’s all welcome and engage in the available poverty eradication programs like the Parish Development Model and other programs that target youth and women,” explained Mrs. Ssebugwawo.
Uganda Communication regulator, Uganda Communications Commission, UCC in April 2014 directed media houses countrywide to offer free airtime for government to mobilize citizens for development.
The National Association of Professional Environmentalists, NAPE has launched a photo story comprising of stories of women who were resilient during the troubling time of COVID -19 in Uganda. The women, from various parts of the country were interviewed on how they survived and sustained their lives during the Covid-19 period and its associated restrictions.
The photo story album features women from Kalangala, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Kikuube, Hoima and Buliisa districts. It highlights activities the women, especially rural women, have been involved in to sustain their families.
According to Allan Kalangi, the Manager Sustainability School Programme at NAPE, the photo story was done to share experience and good practices of the rural women to motivate other women in other areas on how to survive during hard times.
“We embarked on this project to draw practical lessons from rural women so as to help other women understand that they have power to deal with such issues, especially promoting food security and improved livelihoods,” explained Kalangi.
During the launch in Kiboga in February, attended by majorly rural women, the NAPE Executive Director Mr. Frank Muramuzi explained that the photo story will act as a learning tool for community members world-wide on how to survive during hard times. Muramuzi explained that Women stand at the centre of survival of society.
“This photo story will act as evidence that communities, especially rural women, can sustain themselves during turbulent times. The stories of the women in the photo album clearly demonstrate how women are the engine of society but also can act as learning materials for communities,” Mr. Muramuzi explained.
The photo story was compiled by NAPE in partnership with Rosa Luxemburg Foundation.
In 2006 Oil Palm growing started in Kalangala district. The growing of palm oil in the area came with the destruction of forests by both the company and out growers. Towa forest reserve was encroached on by the company and small scale farmers. Timber cutting and charcoal burning became order of the day in this forest. Many private forests were cleared and replaced by oil palm plantation chief among which were Lwonga, Buguzi, Bweeza, Bwendero, Kizira and Bbeta.
“The clearing of forests for palm oil growing has far reaching adverse effects on the environment and the environment is life”, says Ms. Joan Akiiza, the Legal Officer at National Association of professional Environmentalists, NAPE. NAPE has been working in this area with community members to ensure that palm oil growing does not completely destroy the environment.
David Kureba, the Programme officer in charge of forests at NAPE believes if palm oil growing is not checked, the forest cover in Kalangala might be history. He says the destruction of forests has a direct bearing on the lives of the people in the area.
“Forests are responsible for rain formation and are vital for crop production. This continuous cutting of forests will a cause food crisis here”, explained Mr.Kureba.
The chemicals that are sprayed in palm oil plantations end up in the water sources.
Fire wood has become a challenge since most forests were cut. Women trek considerably long distances looking for firewood.
Food security is at stake since many land owners turned their into palm oil plantations. This has greatly affected food crop growing. Salongo ‘Jim Jim’ Jagenda, a crop farmer explains the gravity of the problem.
“Most people here are now getting food from Kampala and Masaka since there isn’t any land for cultivation here”, explained Mr. Jagenda.
A palm oil growing project has been presented by proponents as source of income. However, environmental degradation concerns and land grabbing continue to dominate discussion in this area.
In May 2013, Friends of the Earth International released a report indicating that the palm oil project was being promoted as a poverty-reducing endeavor, yet it was causing displacement, food insecurity and deforestation.
Government Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Kiboga District Ruth Nankabirwa Sentamu has again heaped praise for Community Green radio for promoting government programs.
The minister said the free air time the radio has allocated for government programmes has been vital in popularizing various government programmes in Kiboga and other places.
“I can’t stop thanking the management and ownership of this radio for giving government time to talk to citizens. There is a great improvement in the awareness about government programs since you gave government airtime”, said the minister.
Minister Nankabirwa made the remarks in August while appearing on the Community Green radio’s Akatuuti show during the time designated for the Resident District Commissioner, RDC (President’s representative in the district).
The minister called on the masses to support the radio so that it continues to deliver even more.
Community Green radio has, since its inception, been providing space for government officials to share with the listeners on the available government programs. It is through such engagements that the listeners find an opportunity to seek for accountability from public office bearers.
Government officials share vital information in regard to various programmes aimed to uplifting the social welfare of women, youth, elderly and the general public.
Already, the radio has hosted Gender and Social Development minister Janet Mukwaya and other government dignitaries.
In studio of Community Green radio Kiboga sits three women from Lwamata Sub County in Kiboga District. They are members of Lwamata Community Green Radio listeners’ club. They are all smiles as they describe how they slowly formed a listeners club.
“The idea of forming a listeners club arose out of the various educative topics that were being aired on Green radio especially of income generation and livelihood improvement”, narrated Ms.Jannat Kengonzi, the secretary for mobilization of the club.
Ms. Peace Kagogobe, a member of the club has high hopes that the club will transform their lives. “We are certain that we are not going to remain the same. The few exchange visits we have had to Kikuube (Butimba Listeners’ club) and Kihagya in Hoima have already opened our eyes”, explained.
Ms. Ramulah Namiranda said it was a dream come true to appear on radio. She said the radio has brought her to working with other community members on projects that benefit her as a person, her family and the community in general.
“I was introduced to this kind of radio by Ms.Kengonzi. I have never turned since then and I’m eying big things with this kind of interaction”, explained Ms. Namiranda.
The members made the revelation during an air show on “Akatuuti” program on Community Green radio. “Akatuuti” program is a topical daily show that runs every evening for an hour and discusses various topics in spheres of social, political and economic aspects of society. The members had appeared on the radio to share on their experience with working with the radio especially through listeners’ clubs.
Lwamata Listeners’ club is one of the newly formed clubs in Kyankwanzi and Kiboga districts. The radio now has over fifteen clubs in Hoima, Kikuube, Buliisa, Kyankwanzi and Kiboga Districts. Listners’ clubs are listeners’ groups through which listenrs participate in daily radio programming by raising issues that affect their communities, share experience and listen to the radio together.