NAPE WARNS OIL COMPANIES AND SECURITY AGENCIES AGAINST THE KIDNAPS OF OIL HOST COMMUNITIES

The Executive Director of the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Frank Muramuzi has expressed dismay over the kidnap of human rights activist, Stephen Kwikiriza, a resident of Nsunzu village, Buhuka parish Kyangwali Sub County in Kikuube district.

Kwikiriza, a member of Kingfisher Community that hosts Kingfisher oil fields developed by Chinese National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), was kidnapped in Kampala on June 4th under unknown circumstances only to be found abandoned on the road side in Kyenjojo district on June 9th in bad health after enduring beatings, mistreatment and abuse throughout the week.

Muramuzi looks at the abduction of Kwikiriza as a revenge for speaking out against human rights abuses due to the Kingfisher project.

Muramuzi believes that oil companies and government security organs have a hand in Kwikiriza’s kidnap since he had previously received threats from Uganda People’s Defense Forces deployed in Kingfisher.

Muramuzi is calling for accountability from all those involved in the kidnap of Kwikiriza.

“What kind of country is this where citizens are abused in broad day light by foreign corporates in the name of mining Oil and stealing their land and you expect these oil host communities to just look on?  Stand warned and know that People don’t eat your oil. You found them living ppeaceful sustainable lives without your oil and the time is ripe for you to pack your bags and take back these evils to your homes,” noted Muramuzi.

Muramuzi expressed disappointment that it’s only in Uganda where citizens live in displaced peoples’ camps even when there is no war.

“Let these stop otherwise, enough is enough! We shall follow oil companies even to their own home governments so that they pay for the evils they have inflicted on oil host communities. Total Energies, the French Oil giant and CNOOC backed by security agencies and land speculators are grabbing peoples land, displacing thousands, degrading key ecosystem resources and abusing their rights through kidnaps and illegal arrests but they want affected communities to sit and watch!” added Muramuzi.

He said Oil and gas, wherever it has been exploited, has left host communities in tears giving examples of host communities now in the Albertine Oil rift, communities along the East African Crude Oil people (EACOP), communities in the Lake Turkana Oil belt of Kenya, communities in the Niger state of Nigeria, communities in the Amazon –Ecuador, communities in South Sudan, Sudan, Libya and Ghana among others.

He said extractive industry is irrelevant in the current age of worsening climate change and that it should be fought at all cost not only by civil society but every citizen in the country.

The abduction of Kwikiriza is in addition to other patterns of arbitrary arrests against environmental and human rights activists speaking out against human rights abuses and threats to the environment due to oil projects in Uganda.

On May 27this year, eight ‘STOP EACOP’ activists were arrested outside Chinese Embassy in Kampala for holding a peaceful demonstration calling on China to stop plans to support East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

GERMAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN UGANDA’S OIL REGION

The German Member of Parliament, Ms. Cornelia Mohring has expressed concern over human rights violations faced by Uganda’s oil host communities amidst the ongoing oil and gas activities in the Albertine region.

During her visit to the region to have a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the oil host communities on 20th and 22nd May, Cornelia said she is aware that the capitalistic foreign actors involved in the oil and gas extractives are the ones violating the rights of local communities and pledged her total support. She also commended the communities’ efforts to build collective power and fight against the injustices.

“The issues faced by local communities in Uganda due to oil are the topics of discussion back in German parliament. I am aware that European corporate companies including those from Germany are the ones involved in human rights violations. This is a reason why I have come to Uganda to interface with affected communities and have a deeper understanding of the issues. I am also happy that you are not relenting; you are instead coming up together to find solutions especially women,” said Cornelia while meeting the communities.

Cornelia was on a visit to Uganda on invitation of the Katrin Voss, the Director for ROSA Luxemburg Foundation for East Africa. They were on a mission to visit ROSA supported projects and communities through National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE).

Katrin and Cornelia that were led by Samuel Kasirye, the Rosa Program Officer visited NAPE’s Community Green Radio offices in Kiboga where they met staff and radio listeners club members and communities affected by oil and gas activities in Hoima and Buliisa. Apart from sharing stories of resistance against the human rights violations, the communities treated the visitors to food exhibitions to showcase their efforts in promoting growing of indigenous food to promote food sovereignty.

During the meeting at NAPE’s Community Green Radio, the communities shared how Radio has offered a platform for discussing the plight of people affected by oil development, putting women at the Centre of fighting against gender based inequalities and promoting food security.

 “The radio has played a big role in sensitizing the communities about their land rights and advocating for fair compensation for communities affected by the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). The group members have been able to participate in NAPE-initiated exchange visits with other affected members in Hoima and Kikuube and have been able to learn a lot from them especially learning more on how to deal with poor compensation, more knowledge on land related issue, improving livelihoods and championing the demand for their rights and entitlements,” said Asuman Ssembatya, a member of Nabidondolo listeners club in Kyankwanzi district.

Anamary Kityo, member of Kikajjo listeners club in Kyankwanzi district said they have had an opportunity to have their voices amplified by the radio and have been sensitized on their rights to land, fighting against gender based violence and promoting food security at house hold level.

In Hoima and Buliisa districts, the communities shared how they have been empowered under the NAPE sustainability school approach to mobilize communities and hold their leaders accountable and stand together in solidarity to challenge the oil and gas induced human rights violations.

Alice Kazimura, the Director for Kakindo Women’s Integrated Development Association (KAWIDA) in Buliisa district said the district has become a hub of industrialization as a result of oil boom which has in turn led to land conflicts; increased gender based violence and increased food insecurity. She said the communities with support from NAPE have played a big role in sensitizing communities about the challenges and finding solutions.

Mrs. Kazimura said they have been at the forefront of fighting for fair compensation, land rights and women empowerment thanking NAPE for spearheading the struggle.

At first people were poorly compensated but with continuous advocacy, the compensation improved with better housing units. Women have been empowered to speak and are fighting for their land rights and ending gender based violence,” she said. 

Ms. Kiiza Gorreti from Kigwera Sub County in Buliisa District, a single mother of three said, “Since the discovery of oil and gas women have faced challenges of gender based violence where men have taken the compensation money and used it to marry other women, land rights violations and family break ups. The oil Central Processing Facility (CPF) covered 5 villages which women were using to collect firewood, building materials for their grass thatched houses and grazing. However, women have been empowered to speak up through the sustainability school and we are proud that Green Radio offers us free and safe space where we air our views.”

Katrin said she is happy that the communities especially women are aware of the challenges and also taking swift efforts to solve the problems. She applauded them for taking a stance in promoting food sovereignty, fighting against gender based violence and promoting women’s rights.  She noted that she will continue to support such efforts to the best of her ability.

The oil discovery and subsequent oil developments in Uganda was initially welcomed with anxiety, anticipation and optimism by not only the government but also the oil- host communities, with flares of tapping wealth. Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has been outspoken in his support for oil production, which he says will transform the country to a middle income status and has continuously urged the local communities to tap into oil opportunities.

But the tales of oil host communities reflect the fading hopes as the oil activities continue to be marred by human rights violations. Issues of displacements of people from their land to pave way for oil related infrastructure with little or no compensation, destruction of sensitive ecosystems, increased land grabbing, increased human-wildlife conflict, food insecurity and gender-based violence dominate the encounter with oil host communities in the oil region.

Challenging the violations require transfer of power from the dominant and minority groups- the state and its development agencies to the poor and marginalized groups. Because of this, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) with support from Rosa Luxemburg Foundation has been mobilizing communities affected by oil and bringing them together to share and discuss their challenges with the view of getting the solution under the sustainability school and the Community Green approaches since 2012.

Rajab Bwengye, the Sustainability School Manager and Community Green Radio at NAPE, says the organization is working with the affected communities to resist the human rights violations and as a result, many communities are standing up to protect their ecosystems and their livelihoods. He says this, however, needs continuous financial support. He noted that NAPE’s new strategy in the coming years is building a knowledge base where these stories of resistance from the communities are amplified among regional and international stakeholders so that these that are responsible for the abuses are held accountable.

NAPE DEMANDS FOR UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF ANTI-EACOP ACTIVISTS ARRESTED FOR HOLDING PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION

NAPE CALLS FOR AN ECOFEMINIST APPROACH TO ADDRESSING THE CURRENT CLIMATE CRISIS

The National Association of professional Environmentalists (NAPE) is calling on government to adopt the ecofeminist approach to advance successful climate actions.

On March, 28 2024, NAPE and partners working on Gender and Climate Change coalition under French Embassy supported PISCCA project ‘For an Intergenerational and Creative Feminist Movement in Uganda’ crowned the women’s month with the launch of a research study titled: Feminist analysis of the impacts of climate change on women’s rights in Uganda.

The research that highlights police gaps in Uganda laws meant to address climate change impacts and suggests recommendations, was launched at Fairway Hotel in Kampala.

According to the research conducted, about 85% of women in Uganda depend on use of land for livelihood and food for production for their families. 75% of women are smallholder farmers dependent on rain-fed agriculture and climate-sensitive resources. And given the nature of poverty and various systematic power imbalances, climate change effects are bound to continue causing bigger crisis for women.

Some of the key findings of the research were that women and girls are the most vulnerable social group to impacts of climate change yet they are under-represented in decision-making bodies. ‘In Uganda, for example, majority of women continue to be excluded from political, policy and decision-making roles; and in instances where they are included, systemic hindrances related to power and control continue to prevail -this leads to lack of voices for the climate change most impacted communities, ‘according to the research.

The research recognizes women as the most effective agents of change since they have in-depth knowledge of the territories that have been the source of their livelihoods for generations. It also notes that the key existing policy frameworks are failing to achieve effective climate action.

Following the research, NAPE recommends a feminist approach to climate justice that challenges unequal power relations based on gender; and advocates for strategies that address the root causes of inequality, transform power relations and promote women’s rights.

It calls on the government to adopt solutions that prioritize the needs and voices of the ost vulnerable, marginalized and neglected communities and climate change solutions that take into account the specific needs and indigenous knowledge of local communities.

It calls on government to recognize and support women as lead agents of addressing climate change impacts

It also calls on the government to revise and adopt policy frameworks that reverse the current intersecting injustices and work towards integrating gender within the intersecting policies of different ministries.

During the launch, Christine Kaaya- the Kiboga Woman Member of Parliament and the shadow minister for water and environment applauded NAPE for taking on the mantle of fighting for climate justice with a feminist approach. She also appreciated NAPE for establishing a community radio in Kiboga which is helping in amplifying the voices in environmental conservation and especially for women.

She said the solutions to climate change should be designed on a feminist lens from grassroots and is happy that NAPE has come up with the study. She noted that climate act does not have regulations to effect its implementation and that parliament plans to have them in the coming financial year.

Joan Akiiza, the Senior Program Officer Gender and Legal Affairs at NAPE said the organization and its partners including Fridays for Future Uganda, Girls for Climate Action and Simma Africa Foundation for creative arts conducted a research after realizing that women are missing in climate change solutions despite government’s efforts to put regulations and policies in place.

She said there is need to ensure that women and girls affected by climate change have increased decision over their natural resources and climate change solutions and promoting a strong feminist movement right from grassroots to promote gender justice.

The research can be found on https://nape.or.ug/download/nape_feminist-analysis-of-the-impacts-of-climate-change-on-womens-rights-in-uganda/

NAPE STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH GRASSROOT WOMEN’S MOVEMENT IN DEMANDING FOR PROTECTION OF RIGHTS AS A PATHWAY TO ECONOMIC JUSTICE

As the World commemorates the International Women’s Day, the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) is standing in solidarity with grassroots women’s movement to call on the government to protect the rights of women and girls and accelerate progress towards advancing economic rights.

In commemoration of the day on March 8th, women organized under NAPE’s grassroots women movement in Kyankwanzi and Kiboga districts in central Uganda appeared on NAPE’s Community Green Radio to demand for collective actions and solidarity against climate injustices, food insecurity, land rights violations, gender based violence and male domination in leadership and decision making positions which are limiting their economic rights.

The women say government and corporate companies investing in large land based investments like oil and gas industry and large scale agriculture which are fueling women’s rights violations, affecting livelihoods and household incomes and also increasing climate injustice.

The women are appealing to government to protect their rights and involve them in decision making for sustainable development.

Julius Kyamanywa, the Station Manager of the NAPE’s Community Green Radio says the radio is committed to amplifying the voices of women and supporting them in holding the leaders accountable.

This year’s IWD is centered on the theme:  Investing in Women: Accelerating progress. The Ugandan theme is accelerating gender equality through women’s economic empowerment.

Frank Muramuzi, the Executive Director for NAPE says women’s economic rights cannot be realized when their rights to land is still suppressed by convergence of patriarchal social norms and commercial pressure on land and natural resources exacerbated by extractive industries and large scale agriculture. He says this has an impact on women including violence and forced evictions, loss of women’s livelihood and income and increased unpaid care work.

Muramuzi says government should invest in protecting the rights of women and girls to be able to achieve their rights.

Rajab Bwengye, the coordinator of projects at NAPE says the NAPE is supporting women to collectively claim their rights and resist land rights violations, climate injustices and build sustainable livelihoods.

The Grassroot Women’s movement started in 2018 mainly concentrating in oil producing districts in the Albertine region and has now extended to Central region in the districts of Kiboga ad Kyankwanzi.

Precious Naturinda, who is spearheading the field mobilization drive in Kiboga and Kyankwanzi, says the grassroots women’s movement which fights for the rights of women in addition to energy, climate and environment rights is targeting over 15,000 women by the end of 2027.

NAPE STRENGTHENS GRASSROOT WOMEN’S MOVEMENT AS IT EXPANDS TO CENTRAL REGION

The National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) has intensified the mobilization of grassroots women to build collective power and solidarity in the face of socio-economic and environmental injustices by extending Rural Women’s Movement to Central Region.

NAPE has been at the forefront of mobilizing and organizing grassroots women and supporting them to challenge Gender Based Violence, women’s rights violations and energy and climate injustices in Albertine Graben since the start of 2018 mainly concentrating in the Oil producing districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Buliisa and Nwoya. NAPE has deepened grass root women advocacy mainly against oil injustices of illegal land grabs, Sexual and Gender based violence, human rights abuses, food and ecosystem destruction at the hands of oil corporates.

Boosting of around 35,000 grass root women, and foreseeing further challenges presented mainly by the 1,443 km long East African Crude Oil and gas pipeline (EACOP), mobilization has now extended to the central region with the target of mobilizing over 5000 grassroots women by the end of 2026 and 15,000 by end of 2027 mobilized in at least 8 districts that will be crossed by the EACOP.

“The journey starts now with a target to at least identifying 50 grass root women activists, informal groups and community/local leaders with at least a membership of 600 grass root women, girls and male comrades by close of 2024 and building their knowledge and understanding on feminist analysis, values, approaches and the integration of contextual feminist knowledge in these informal groups of marginalized women. The marginalized women include widows, young women and girls, single mothers, women with disabilities, women living with HIV/AIDS and women living in displaced peoples’ camps, small house hold farmers, ecosystem dependent groups who are at a high risk of displacement and abuse from ongoing oil and gas extraction, oil pipeline, and other project developments”, saysPrecious Naturinda spearheading the field mobilization drive in Kiboga and Kyankwanzi districts.

Rural women’s Movement is an initiative of grassroots women that fights for women’s rights, energy and climate and environmental justice while creating alternative models of development in Uganda. The women’s movement has a goal of building an ecofeminist perspective of development alternatives.

The women’s organizing has come at the backdrop of profit-oriented investors that are purchasing or leasing land for large land based investments like oil and gas mining and sugarcane growing.  The struggle for land is deeply intertwined with women’s rights. Women make 76% of Uganda’s agricultural labor force and are more dependent on land for their livelihood. Furthermore, as a result of their gender roles, they are overwhelmingly responsible for food security of their families. Despite this dependence and responsibility, it is estimated that they own 7% to 20% of the land, and are the worst hit by land grabs and all other forms of gender injustices calling for an urgent need to reverse this narrative.

Bwengye Rajab, the head of NAPE programs says “‘the Movement strengthening project-2024’ initiated in Kikuube and Kyankwanzi; two of the many EACOP affected districts, will mainly focus on introducing discussions on feminism and collective organizing and engagement, knowledge and experiences already attained by movement members in the nucleus oil rich districts of Hoima, Kikuube and Buliisa under NAPE past mentorship and support”.

In 2006, Uganda discovered an estimated 6.5 million barrels of crude oil in Albertine Graben. Since then, the government and oil companies’ negotiations seeking to access to land from communities for oil development projects have been characterized by displacements, low compensation, violence, land degradation and loss of livelihoods.

According to the Feminist Participatory Research (FPAR) that was done by NAPE in 2017, the violent evictions, loss of livelihoods, food insecurity, environmental degradation, violence and discrimination at household level caused by land rush for extractives and monoculture have largely affected women.

But with the movement, NAPE has supported women to collectively claim their rights, resist unjust land grabs and rebuild their livelihoods. They are coming together to resist the land rush.

Lucy Mbuubi, one of the rural women activists of the movement from Kikuube district says movements empower women to know their land and compensation rights. Kikuube is one of the areas where women have suffered injustices related to loss of land-ownership rights and inadequate compensation for their land that was taken over by government and oil companies for the construction of oil roads, the oil refinery and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

“The women affected by EACOP and the construction Kabale-Kiziranfumbi have resisted poor compensation and challenged the government to ensure that women also sign for compensation together with men; thanks to the women’s movement that has built and strengthened women’s capacity to resist oppressive laws that do not protect women’s rights,” says Mbuubi crediting NAPE and Woman Kind for initiating the movement philosophy in the oil region.

According to Mr. Bwengye of NAPE, women in central region including Kiboga and Kyankwanzi districts that are equally affected by oil projects and other large land based investments need to be mobilized and empowered to fight against the injustices given the magnitude of impacts expected from the EACOP.

Bwengye says the 1,443 km long heated crude oil pipeline will be the longest the world has ever seen traversing 10 districts in Uganda, 25 in Tanzania, displacing around 100,000 communities, destroying key ecosystems and generally causing a food, environmental and climatic disaster in the region.

Frank Muramuzi, the NAPE Executive Director says this is the main reason why NAPE and other Civil Society collaborators have resorted to taking Total Energies-The French Oil giant exploiting Oil and gas reserves in Uganda to French Courts for Violating the French Duty of Vigilance Law” That expects French corporates to put Rights of Oil host communities and the Environment High on their development Agendas and which they have totally failed to respect in Uganda.

COMMUNITIES NEIGHBORING UGANDA’S OIL REFINERY AREA STRUGGLE TO CONSERVE THREATENED WATER BODIES AS WATER SCARITY LOOMS

While she was growing up, Vastina Tumwebaze’s major source of water for domestic use was Kanywabarogo riverline stream. The 60-year-old resident of Kigaaaga B cell in Kabaale sub county, located in the neighborhood of the Uganda’s oil refinery land and Kabaale International airport, in Hoima district narrates that the stream had very clean water flowing from Wambyabya forest to Bugoma central forest reserve.

But the major challenge was that the stream was being used by domestic animals as well. So government constructed protected water sources within the community to improve on water hygiene and the quality of water sources.

“When Kigaaga primary school was constructed in 1996, the government and other well wishers constructed a spring well which we nicknamed Enda Etahurra Bigambo to serve the school children and the neighboring communities. About 5 more water sources have since been constructed as the population grows,” she explains.

However, Tumwebaze says currently that the water sources have started drying up attributing it to oil and gas extractive activities which have escalated massive environmental destruction.

“Two wells including Enda Etahurra Bigambo have dried up completely and for others, it takes like an hour to fill a jerrycan because the water drips.  For Kanywabarogo river line, the water levels have reduced.  This problem started happening when they started constructing the oil roads and cutting down trees,” said Tumwebaze

Joram Basiima, one of the residents affected by the construction of Kiziranfumbi-Kabaale oil road also shares the same story.

“During wet season, I would hear water in my pit latrine but that stopped when they constructed the road that left me meters high,” he said.

The 25.7km Kabaale-Kizirafumbi road is among the critical roads which have been constructed by Uganda National Roads Authority to facilitate the production of petroleum in the Albertine Graben.

According to Basiima, the few existing water sources have been put on pressure by the influx of people in the area since it is near Uganda’s source of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, the international airport and the oil refinery. He says this has forced people to trek long distances in search of water.

Experts warn of looming scarcity

According to a report quoted by The Daily Monitor on August 17, 2023, a rapidly growing population and expanding human and industrial activities have led to significant strain on both underground and surface water sources in the Albertine Graben.

The report conducted in 2023 by Zutari, a firm contracted by the Ministry of Water and Environment predicts that by 2040, certain sub-zones in the region will have deficits in both underground water and surface water. The paper quotes Dr. Seith Mugume saying, “The aggregate demand for water is projected to surge to 6.55 million cubic metres per day by 2040 due to population growth and other factors. The emergence of oil activities has further intensified the demand for ground water which, during the peak, is 43,000 cubic metres per day.”

The report further says that the heightened demand coupled with environmental degradation is expected to lead to balance deficits.

Community putting up a fight

To combat the challenge, the affected communities have started to conserve the environment and protect threatened water bodies.   

The women in Hoima district are leading campaigns against Bugoma forest give away for sugarcane growing and taking actions to plant trees along the deforested areas.

“Bugoma forest, which we believe to be the source of water in area, has been given away for sugarcane growing. This mean as communities we should not sit and watch. We are fighting back,” said Mbabazi Adah one of the community activists under The Save Bugoma Forest Campaign.

A group of women in Kigaaga organized under Kigaaga Oil Refinery Women Development Association (KORECWODA) say they have stepped up efforts to plant indigenous trees to conserve the environment and ensure sustainable agriculture ahead of oil boom.

Penina Ruhindi, the group chairperson says the group is engaged in raising and distributing indigenous tree seedlings to communities; and also monitor and supervise those who receive the seedlings so that they can be planted.

 “Over 2,000 indigenous trees have so far been planted and distributed,” she adds.

Peninah Ruhindi, the chairperson of KORECWODA says they have also started a campaign to plant trees along river lines and protected water sources.

“We are encouraging more people to plant trees as we lead by example. We have planted along Kanywabarogo river line and also on two protected springs that are still surviving,” she explains.

Joram Basiima, the Community Educator in Kigaaga who is also the chairperson of Kigaaga Community Radio listeners club says they are reinforcing lessons from Community Green radio to ensure natural resource management by increasing forest cover and sustainable agriculture by planting indigenous trees which encourage agro-forestry.

“Community Green radio has also contributed a lot in creating awareness about environmental issues which has prompted communities to practice activities like tree planting,” he says

With support from National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), community members are raising indigenous tree seedlings to conserve the environment. NAPE is also among the players of Save Bugoma Forest Campaign aimed at stopping the destruction of Bugoma central forest reserve in Hoima district.

GOVERNMENT TO FORCIBLY ACQUIRE LAND FOR EAST AFRICAN CRIDE OIL PIPELINE (EACOP) CONSTRUCTION

Ugandan Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa has said the government is considering compulsory land acquisition from absentee landlords and the affected people that have refused the compensation offers for delaying the construction of East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

“There are 116 cases under consideration for compulsory land acquisition due to reasons such as untraceable individuals, land owner disputes and refusal of compensation offers,” said Nankabirwa while addressing the media on the status of oil and gas sector on January 23.

She explained that some landlords have disputes among themselves and have failed to agree on who should sign for the compensation. She also noted that some people have rejected the compensation offers allegedly because some organizations have corrupted their minds to fail the EACOP project.

She warned that that the government has involved the Attorney General and that arrangements are underway to acquire the land in case the owners to continue to either reject the compensation offer or absent themselves.

“The constitution gives the mandate to the government to compulsorily acquire that land and we have involved the Attorney General and very soon we shall acquire that land,” the minister said.

Dr Nankabirwa disclosed that the government will deposit money worth the value of land in the court and the landlords will access it there when they appear or resolve their disputes.

“We shall deposit money in courts. If the absentee landlords one day appear, they will get this money. If those quarrelling finish, they will still find the money.” She said.

The 1,443km-long EACOP will run from Hoima district in Uganda to Tanga Port in Tanzania passing through 10 districts in Uganda including Hoima, Kikuube and Kakumiro in Bunyoro region and Kyankwanzi, Mubende, Gomba, Sembabule, Lwengo, Rakai and Kyotera.

The EACOP project spans approximately 2,740 acres in Uganda, affecting 3,660 individuals, with 177 requiring resettlement houses.

Atleast 95% of the affected persons have signed compensation agreements, with 91% of these compensations completed according to Nankabirwa.

NAPE, COMMUNITY GREEN RADIO STAFF OFFERED AUSTRALIAN AWARDS FELLOWSHIP ON AGROECOLOGY

In December 2023, the Australian Government under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade offered Australian Awards fellowship on agro ecology to government and no-governmental actors and academicians from Uganda, India, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands and Australia.

The fellowship hosted by Monash University from 30th November to 17th December was aimed at building the capacity of fellows in climate-resilient agriculture and sustainable food systems.

Three fellows were selected from Uganda including Allan Kalangi, the Sustainability School Manager at National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Precious Naturinda, the Senior News Editor at NAPE’s Community Green Radio and David Ssemwogerere from Suubi Centre; among 18 fellows from the five countries.

DFAT fellowa at Monash University, Australia on heir first day of the fellowship

Associate Professor, Jagjit Plahe from Monash University and Professor Kristen Lyons from University of Queensland in Australia led the fellows through workshops both on-line and face-to-face aimed at sharing knowledge; and on-site visits to gain practical agro-ecology farming skills in Victoria and Queensland regions. The fellowship was titled, ‘Building Climate –Resilient Agri-food futures: Reducing Emissions and Improving Food Security through Agro-ecology.

“The challenge of climate resilience and food security is acute in five countries with the rise of temperatures and increased droughts in India, the rise of water levels and reductions of land in Sri Lanka and Solomon Islands and a combination of longer and devastating harsher droughts in Uganda. According to the 2022 IPCC report, ecosystem-based approaches such as diversification, land restoration, agroecology and agroforestry have the potential to strengthen resilience. The project will enhance capacity building of agro ecology change agents and foster networking across global agro ecological movements,” mentioned the Professors.

Ugandan team explaining the challenges facing Uganda’s food systems and possible solutions during a workshop at the Unversity of Queensland

Some of the sites visited included Centre for Education and Research for Environmental strategies (CERES); an environmental park to learn innovative practices in sustainable chemical-free organic food systems, regenerative farms, community bush food gardens used for food and medicine, Permaculture  villages with sustainable agricultural and land management systems, markets with local chemical free produce among others.

Field visit at CERES Melbourne

Allan Kalangi said the fellowship feeds into NAPE’s campaigns on seed sovereignty and food security campaigns, campaigns against chemical use and monoculture, and promoting agro ecology. He said he will incorporate the knowledge gained into the campaigns existing and work with local communities to promote the indigenous knowledge on sustainable farming practices. He appreciated the organizers for the opportunity and pledge continued partnership.

Kalangi explains his vision of a Uganda with sustainable farming practices during the presentation with fellows

Precious Naturinda said she was excited to learn more about developed countries embracing chemical-free and organic food for sustainable food systems. She said Uganda is experiencing increasing industrialization and commercialization of food systems and agriculture which is affecting food sovereignty, biodiversity and ecology. She said the trend is threatening the local people especially farmers, their food and survival.

She said she will use the knowledge gained to amplify the narratives on agro ecology and to compel the small holder farmers to take part in practices and processes to protect food systems. She noted that she will highlight the key actions taken by small-scale farmers in building resilience against climate change through practices and movement building and also highlight the current seed and land struggles of small holder farmers in rural communities and their key actions taken to protect their rights.

Naturinda explains her painted vision of a food secure Uganda with sustainably managed resources

ENDS//

NAPE and Partners Call Upon Ugandan Government,World leaders to pay due attention to impacts of Climate Change

NAPE and partners, Fridays for Future (Uganda), Simma Africa and Girls for Climate Action currently attending COP28 in Dubai have called upon the Ugandan Government and world leaders to pay urgent and due attention to the impacts of Climate Change. 

NAPE and Partners Call Upon Ugandan Government,World leaders to pay due attention to impacts of Climate Change