MICRO PLASTICS SPOTTED IN FISH AND WATER- EXPERTS

Micro plastics have been detected in Fish and water according to Noble Banadda a professor from Makerere University.

Professor Banadda says the study about Micro plastics is new and that the technology was not available until recently.  Banadda says they detected the micro plastics during a study being conducted by Makerere University and the University of Cambridge.

 In an interview with green radio Banadda said plastics take long to decompose but give off tiny materials measuring five millimeters.

He said these go into water and also contaminate fish and food.

Banadda says plastic pollution results in flooding and damage to coastal and marine ecosystems and is creating an unhealthy environment for local populations.

“Success will entail residents engaging in the separation of plastics from their regular waste as well as community members adopting better practices”, he said.

Banadda said many consumers are not aware how much plastic there may be in the personal care items they use daily on their faces and bodies. 

The professor says from the plastic in packaging to the under-5mm micro plastics hidden within the products, including beads or glitters; they are designed to wash down the drain, travel through rivers and ultimately end up in the sea.

Banadda says Micro plastics are too small to be filtered out by waste treatment plants and attract waterborne toxins and bacteria that stick to their surfaces.

In addition to endangering marine life, the health implications of micro plastics on humans are not yet fully known, but considering their prevalence in clothes, food, water and cosmetics, are expected to be far reaching.

Tiny pieces of degraded plastic, synthetic fibers and plastic beads, collectively called micro plastics, have turned up in every corner of the planet.

Both micro plastics and these chemicals may accumulate up the food chain, potentially impacting whole ecosystems, including the health of soils in which we grow our food. Micro plastics in the water we drink and the air we breathe can also hit humans directly.

Micro plastics could be a last straw for species subject to pressures as chemical pollutants, overfishing and climate change.

NAPE TO PROMOTE PEACEFUL CO-EXISTANCE IN IDPs AND REFUGEE CAMPS THROUGH FORMATION OF LOCAL PEACE COMMITTEES IN HOIMA DISTRICT

Jeanette Ushanda 38, a refugee living in Maratatu village, Kyangwali resettlement camp in Greater Hoima district says collecting firewood has become a serious source of conflict between the host communities and the refugees.

Ushanda, the already traumatized refugee who ran from the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC three years back, narrates that she has to negotiate access to gather firewood in land surrounding the camp or else she risks assault and violence.

“Collecting firewood comes with tension, violence and insecurity. One time I was beaten by a Ugandan national because I had accessed his land to collect firewood without his permission. He even took away my firewood,”  Ushanda narrated painfully.

Ushanda is among the people who experience human rights violations and still find themselves surrounded by conflicts within the displaced camps in Kijayo and Rwamutonga camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Kyangwali resettlement camp.

Edward Tumusiime, the Kijayo Village chairperson says that scarce resources and land shortages have resulted into conflicts among the internally displaced people in Kijayo both at household and community level.

“The displaced people lack resources like land, money and food. This brings conflicts in families as people struggle with poverty and breaks into gender based violence. At community level, these affected people conflict with the host communities in search for firewood, food and money because they are looked at as competitors. So conflicts are common” said Tumusiime.

Jolly Kebirungi, the Kyangwali resettlement commandant under the Office of the Prime Minister explains that the upsurge number of refugees has led to scarcity of resources as this has resulted into conflicts with in the camp.  

“The number of refugees shot from 35,000 in 2013 to over 120,000 in 2017 due to influx of Congolese refugees. As the number increases, the land allocated to them reduces, the water points get crowded with long queues and even the food given to them by World Food Program in terms of money has been reducing. There is also much pressure on the forests so we limit them from accessing the forest reserve for firewood. So all these are causing conflicts here,” Kebirungi noted.

These issues were raised during the baseline study that was conducted by National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) to determine the nature and magnitude of conflicts in Kijayo and Rwamutonga camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Kyangwali resettlement camp in February.

Joan Akiiza, the NAPE Lawyer says the survey is aimed at guiding NAPE on intervening in peace keeping efforts in the camps by formation of community-based institutions known as Local Peace Committees (LPCs).

“Local Peace Committees will help in negotiations and mediations to reduce conflicts and promote peaceful reconciliation, and also train community members on peace and conflict management in order to solve their own conflicts,” Akiiza said.

She also noted that NAPE plans to empower communities especially women in the camps with knowledge and skills of improving their livelihoods to reduce poverty and maintain peace.

The two year project dubbed, “Enhancing the role and capacity of grassroots women to promote peaceful co-existence and prevent conflicts” will be operating in Kijayo , Kyangwali, Rwamutonga camps in Kikuube districts. The project is funded by Women Peace Humanitarian Fund with technical support from UN WOMEN.

TENSIONS OVER BUGOMA FOREST DEPLETION INCREASE AS FORCES FROM HOIMA SUGAR FACTORY AND NFA FIGHT OVER ILLEGAL LOGGING

The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) soldiers under different commands have conflicted over illegal transportation for forestry resources from the disputed Bugoma Central Forest Reserve in Kikuube District.

Involved are two UPDF soldiers and three Field Force Unit (FFU) policemen attached to the National Forestry Authority (NFA) who were assaulted and disarmed by another group of UPDF soldiers allegedly attached to Hoima Sugar Limited.

The incident happened at Kololo trading centre in Kyangwali sub-county, Kikuube district after guards from NFA intercepted a lorry carrying timber suspected to have been harvested illegally from Bugoma central forest reserve en-route to Nyairongo village, Kabwoya sub-county in Kikuube district.

The NFA Kisindi Sector Manager Alex Obonyo disclosed that the lorry containing the timber was intercepted after getting tipped by concerned citizens of the truck loading the timber in at Nyamigisa area which is nine kilometers away from the disputed parts of Bugoma central forest reserve.

“We were informed by concerned residents that truck registration number UBH 975 Y had loaded timber being transported out of the forest reserve and we had to alert our guards to intercept the truck”,  Obonyo explain told this website.

Obonyo mentioned the assaulted NFA police guards as Corporal Peter Bulamu, Cpl. Gerald Asiimwe and a one Nsungwa while the soldiers are only identified by single names as Private (Pte) Chance and Sergeant (Sgt) Karim.

Although NFA is a mandated custodian to oversee all the central forest reserves in Uganda, they work with the military and Police both independently and compliantly to provide pro-active protection of the forests and prevent consistent crime within the community policing areas.

According to the assaulted officers, they faced resistance from Hoima Sugar factory party after intercepting the truck fully loaded with the logs that was illegally harvested from Bugoma.

However, clashes over Bugoma central forest reserve have been on increase since 2017 when part of the forest was given away for sugarcane planting to feed Hoima sugar factory situated in Kigyayo village, Kiswaza parish, in Kiziranfumbi sub county Hoima district.

In October last year, journalists survived being shot by the military while they were investigating allegations of massive degradation of the forest in Nyairongo parts of the forest.

NFA Spokesperson Ms. Aisha Alibhai confirmed that the incident occurred and that all the five NFA guards who were on duty to guard and prevent crimes arising from illegal activities carried out the forest were assaulted, disarmed and detained for some hours.

“The violent soldiers assaulted, disarmed and detained all the five NFA guards and even in the process assaulted a boda-boda rider mistaken to be part of the NFA guards opened a case at Wairagaza Police Post and justice must prevail”, Alibhai explained.

To reduce the increased loss of forest cover in Uganda, FAO, EU through the government supports NAPE’s independent Forest Monitoring (IFM), FAO-EU-FLEGT Project aimed at fighting illegal logging within Ugandan forests in collaboration with National Forestry Authority (NFA), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and CSOs.

FAO, EU AND PARTNERS BACK GOVERNMENT PLANS TO RAISE 200 MILLION INDIGENOUS TREE SPECIES TO RESTORE FORESTS

Every 21st March, the United Nations raises awareness on the importance of all types of forests.  The 2021 International Day of Forests has been commemorated under the theme “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being”.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO country representative to Uganda Antonio Querido, the international day of forests is taking place amid covid-19 because there is need to create awareness about restoration of forests on the world.

“It’s with this aim that forests continue to strive because it helps mitigate climate change and other factors like floods and soil erosion”, said Mr. Querido.

Querido’s remarks were made at a national dialogue at Serena Hotel in Kampala, 18th March on sustainable forest restoration.

During the dialogue, Beatrice Anywar Uganda’s state for Water and revealed government’s plan to plant 200 million indigenous trees for a period of 5 years as a measure to restore forest cover. The minister said there is need for mindset shift and development of alternative sources of energy to safe forests from extinction.

“The mindset of the community should be changed from forest exploitation by closely looking at alternative energy use to achieve sustainability so that we prevent biodiversity loss”, Anywar said.

Among the key issues raised during the dialogue, forestry bodies were challenged about restoring forests amid the growing human needs caused by population growth and pressure from communities to improve their livelihoods.

Although forests play a crucial role in poverty alleviation and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by making them good for resilient communities and prosperous economies, they are also a home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.

Caroline Adriaensen ,  the European Union (EU), head of development Cooperation said the international day of forests is important for sustainability because of rapid degradation that is causing global warming, forests must be celebrated by sustainably using forest products.

Dean School of Forestry, Environment and Geographical science-Makerere University, Prof. Fred Babweteera, the Keynote speaker said that Uganda’s forests are mainly destroyed by Agriculture activities and community settlement leading to deforestation hence climate change onset.

Currently, 25 percent of countries face more forest loss to Agriculture expansion than restoration for the next 2015-2030 but research recommends that the transformation of food production systems that lead to depletion can be tackled through reform policies.

The permanent secretary to the ministry of water and environment, Alfred Okot Okidi supposed that forests are part of our home, food and future but in Uganda, the forests are facing tremendous pressure where restoration process requires joint partnership.

The national dialogue on Forest restoration has been organized by FAO in partnership with European Union and Sweden Embassy to raise awareness about forest restoration as a solution to reviving the lost forest cover and reducing effects of climate change.

National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) through Forests and Biodiversity program is also currently running a project on Monitoring Ugandan Forests, “increasing the role of civil society in fighting illegal logging”  with support from Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), European Union (EU), Government/ Ministry of water and Environment beneath the “Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade” (FLEGT) initiative aimed at reducing illegal logging within the Ugandan forests.

This year the theme “Forest restoration: A path to recovery and wellbeing emphasizes on the importance of education at all levels in achieving sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation.

BUGANDA QUEEN ROOTS FOR END TO SINGLE USE OF PLASTICS

The Nnabagereka (Queen) of Buganda Kingdom Sylvia Nagginda has appealed for an end to single use of plastics to reduce on the adverse effects of plastics on the environment and human life.

 While launching the Panel Discussion on the plastic pollution at Munyonyo Speke Hotel in Kampala at the climax of the flip-flop expedition, the queen appreciated the Flip-flop team for the great work done to preach plastic awareness in the region.

“To see our region clean and plastic-free one day, we need to start by increasing the knowledge and understanding of plastic pollution amongst communities,” explain the Nnabagereka.

Nnabagereka called on activists and community groups to join the struggle of ending single use of plastics. She explained that the major environmental problem of plastics in the lakes and Rivers can only be tackled through innovative technologies.

Flip-flop is the world’s first recycled plastic sailing dhow that has sailed on Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest freshwater ecosystem, taking its vital message up-stream and calling for an end to unnecessary single-use plastic.

Ben Morrison, the Chief Executive Officer of the Flip-flop project explained that the dhow was built to show the world that it is possible to make valuable materials out of waste plastic, and that single-use plastic does not make sense.

He said the voyage was meant to send  an urgent message to the East African community on the need to end the unnecessary single use plastic that is a threat in the region especially Lake Victoria .

“Sailing around the lake, we aim to inspire people to create their own waste-plastic innovations and adopt circular solutions that will build greener businesses, whilst also taking plastic out of the environment. Together with communities across the Lake Victoria region, we hope to bring awareness and innovative solutions to beat pollution,” Morrison said

Dipesh Pabari the project leader on the Flip-flop expedition explained that the aim is to make awareness to community leaders, conservationists, business leaders and policymakers, demonstrating alternate uses of waste plastic and other circular waste models, while calling for an end to single-use plastics.

The boat gets its name from the 30,000 recycled flip-flops used to decorate its multi-coloured hull.

Namujju Juliet, a resident of Mpigi and a founder of Kimuli Fashion ability said such successful plastic recycled products inspire local communities to ensure proper management of plastic wastes. 

“In my village, hundreds of plastic bottles are littered daily, I decided to transform the plastic waste in Mpigi greatly to reduced plastic pollution,” she narrated to our reporter.

Kyoburungi Gwendolyn the coordinator water resources institute at the ministry of water and environment explained that government had passed laws to fight against plastic pollution in the country.

 “We are committed to fight against plastic pollution and will continue to work closely with the communities to find solutions to our ever evolving environmental challenges,” Kyoburungi said.

Louise Ellis the British Deputy High Commissioner to Uganda said fighting single use of plastics is what they have worked on for a while and pledged to continue to save the environment.

“Fighting single use of plastics will help us to clean up our towns, cities and beaches and will also improve how we recover resources, and reduce waste to landfill,” Louise said.

Louise encouraged all the community to join hands and fight the pollution adding that collecting the plastics can work as employment to the unemployed.

I earn a living from collecting plastics-Kayongo

When Kayongo Godfrey took to the streets and dumping places in Kiboga district to collect used plastic bottles, many thought he was mad. They didn’t realize that Kayongo would use old plastic bottles to build a foundation for a better life.

53-year-old Kayongo was born and raised in poor conditions in the rural slams of Kiboga. He had little access to education. With other youths from the slums, he earns some money by collecting used plastic for recycling firms.

“This way, I developed an interest in recycling. I didn’t invest in capital for a recycling business,” Kayongo recalls.

“It was hard, I could not afford to hire people to pick up items for me, but together with my siblings, we collected bottles and washed them.”

Kayongo has been selling bottles to a growing number of recycling companies and mini-factories which actually have a high demand.

Recycled containers are used for packing local-made products like oil, herbal medicine or peanuts. Moreover, manufacturing industries make buckets, jerry cans and bags from recycled plastic.

“Before I visited the companies where the plastics where taken I didn’t know that I was losing a lot to middlemen,” Kayongo recollects.

Kayongo got more orders from different companies specifying the bottles in their different categories.

In the meantime, he has built himself a three roomed house near his working place in Kyekumbya. In Kiboga District

“I’m finally out of slum life,” Kayongo happily says.

“Since I had no job, in 2008 I decided to join waste collectors just to protect the environment and i had to support myself and my family. At the beginning I didn’t think that at one time I could earn something from the waste.” Kayongo said.

Kayongo is proud of his job.

“None of the district leaders has ever sensitized me on what to do as they usually say. it was my idea and a friend’s advice. I pick plastic bottles from various places like Masindi, Hoima and other districts near Kiboga”, Kayongo adds.

The recycle business improved his life and that of his family. His business contributes to environmental protection moreover.

Nakandi Zainabu the Kiboga District Senior Environmental Officer says the district set dates for sensitizing the community on the impact of poor disposal of waste, especially plastics. She says  more aquatic animals are now endangered due to the irrational activities of dumping plastic bottles into the river and streams.

On the motivation for the initiative, Nakanzi said the district wants to reduce the volume of plastic that is polluting our environment and causing diseases and other disasters.

Environmentalists normally do not like plastic and polythene products because they do not decompose.

It’s common to see used plastic waste littered on streets, gardens and runways, and even blocking the drainage system. People try to get rid of the waste by burning it, which results in air pollution and health hazards.

Only a small amount of plastic trash is collected and recycled.  

The world’s first recycled plastic sailing dhow (a lateen-rigged ship with one or two masts) is hitting the Victoria waters again.

The dhow, which is going around East Africa (in the three countries sharing Lake Victoria), reached Uganda on Thursday 11th March 2021via Lolwe Island in Namayingo District.

The dhow named Flipflopi has been on sail since March 4, starting from Kisumu, Kenya, through Uganda and lastly to Tanzania, ending on April 1.

The expedition hopes to promote regional collaboration to address plastic pollution by bringing its message to the 10 different lake-communities in the three countries, while raising awareness and inspiring communities to adopt circular-waste solutions to beat plastic pollution.

To achieve this, the Flipflopi has been incorporated into the national water week events and the expedition has used this as the main angle in the hope of promoting circular solutions and call for an end to unnecessary single-use plastic in the region.

The official launch of the Uganda Water and Environment Week will be on March 20, at Speke Resort Munyonyo after the dhow has left Ggaba beach on the same day.

The Flipflopi, covered in 30,000 flip flops, first set sail on January 24, 2019, from Lamu Island in Kenya before crossing into northern Tanzania, with its final stop in Stone Town, Zanzibar. This trip was aimed at creating awareness on the more than 12 million tonnes of plastic dumped in the ocean every year.

NAPE AND PARTNERS TO MONITOR UGANDA’S FORESTS AGAINST ILLEGAL LOGGING

National Association of professional Environmentalists (NAPE), partners and different stakeholders have launched a 2 year project aimed at regulating illegal logging.

The project, code named Food Agricultural Organization of the United the United Nations, Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FAO-EU-FLEGT) is aimed at monitoring Ugandan Forests by increasing the role of civil society in fighting illegal logging.

It will be implemented by NAPE in partnership with Field Legality Advocacy Group (FLAG), a Cameroonian organization that has expertise in Independent Forest Monitoring in Central and West Africa.

Frank Muramuzi, NAPE Executive Director and the FAO-EU-FLEGT project Lead expresses concerned about drastic climate change, caused by destruction of forest cover that needs to be protected through monitoring.

 “Whether it is legal or illegal logging, our major concern is that the forests in Uganda are being degraded at a higher rate. I appeal to government to regulate and reduce on illegal logging”, said Mr. Muramuzi.

According to Bob Kazungu, Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE)-FLEGT focal point person, monitoring of forestry management has been taking place by Ugandan government institutions through routine M&E frameworks in place.

“Forest monitoring has been done to inform policy in many instances including checking on compliance to frameworks. We have been able to monitor remotely with Geographic Information Systems (GIS)”,  Kazungu explained.

Kazungu illustrates that GIS allows forest monitoring parties to display and analyze graphic and tabular data by enhancing forest management that enable land owners and forest managers to evaluate and analyze the species diversity, age and size of timber, timber density or volume.

He says although the set approaches have not produced results in reducing on the loss of the plantation and deal with the identified issues of illegal logging, NAPE and other stakeholders are important in addressing the challenges faced in fighting illegal logging in Uganda.

David Kureeba, the Project Manager for Forests and Biodiversity at NAPE explained the purpose and engagements of the project and the activities that are in place to ensure forest protection across the country to independently monitor the forests.

“Different stakeholders are at the centre of reaching the information of reducing illegal logging to suit the forest monitoring strategy” Kureeba said.

FAO representative Dr. Charles Owachi, on behalf of the FAO Country Director -Dr. Antonio Querido, said illegal logging has been a threat to sustainable development but the role of civil society is important in the monitoring process.

European Union (EU) representative Jalia Kobusinge explained that whereas CSOs and Government sector have a different role to play, EU is extending initiatives that fight forestry challenges by raising awareness.

The project NAPE is implementing is funded by the European Union (EU), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Field Legality Advocacy Group (FLAG) from Cameroon and Ugandan Government bodies in charge of forests.

Uganda’s forest and woodland cover stands at 24 percent of the total land area, equivalent to 49,000 square kilometers. Of these 9,242.08 km² is tropical rainforest, 350.60 km² are forest plantations and 39,741.02 km² is woodland but 30% of these areas are protected as national parks, wildlife reserves or central forest reserves.

WOMEN IN OIL REGION CELEBRATE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY WITH A PETITION TO GOVERNMENT OVER LAND RIGHTS ABUSES

Over 60 women affected by land grabs in Northern Uganda and Oil region spent the big part of International Women’s day on 8th March in a bicycle caravan aimed at raising awareness on the women struggles against land injustices in Buliisa district western Uganda.

The cycling event comprised of people with disabilities, victims of land evictions, internally displaced persons, people living with HIV/AIDS, grassroots women and women activists from Buliisa, Hoima, Amuru and Nwoya districts. It was organized by National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) and National Association of Women Action in Development (NAWAD) with support from Kakindo Women’s Integration Development Association (KAWIDA).

The women raced a 4- kilometer distance  from Albertine Nile Hotel to Buliisa district local government to hand over a petition to government officials to address land injustices and promote women’s rights on land.

The petition was handed over to the Buliisa District Member of Parliament, Nora Bigirwa Nyendwooha.

In the petition, women say compulsory land acquisition for government projects have made women more vulnerable due to challenges arising from delayed and poor compensation.

“ Women particularly those from Buliisa district feel left out of the land acquisition and compensation processes even though they are principle land users in their communities,” the petition reads part.

They also raised a concern that cultural norms and values have made women to be regarded as land users not owners which limits their efforts to get empowered economically.

“Discriminatory cultural practices and norms, poverty, ignorance of laws and policies at national and district levels are some of the key factors which contribute to sidelining women in the land acquisition and compensation process,” the petition further reads.

The women, among other demands, want government to make a deliberate action to sensitize women about land rights and women-alone capacity, sensitization and consultation meetings to allow them have a safe space to speak freely and express themselves.

While receiving a copy of the petition, Bigirwa said she will address the issues before the speaker of Parliament of Uganda. She said women are indeed struggling with land injustices by their families and clans yet they are the bread winners.

She urged women to start saving money so that they can buy their own land.

“As women, we continue to be discriminated. Why should women be land users not owners yet we are the bread winners? Most of us are paying school fees when men are not doing anything; and when it comes to decisions, men think we are less important. I will ensure that these demands reach the table of the speaker of parliament,” she noted.

Sostine Namanya, the Gender and Food Security Officer at NAPE said NAPE will supporting women through sensitization, economic empowerment and legal aid support to ensure that they access to justice and protect women’s rights on land.

Christine Bwailisa from NAWAD noted that leaders should actively support women to advocate for their land rights.

The two winners of the bicycle race were awarded with local alternative start-up kit geared towards promoting economic empowerment.

British High Commission partners with Community Green Radio to raise awareness on plastic recycling

The British high commission Kampala and Community Green Radio are collaborating on various projects aimed at conserving the environment. The two are currently running a project aimed at raising awareness on plastic recycling.
According to research, every year about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the Oceans from coastal nations. While Uganda is not a coastal nation, it is linked to global waters through the river Nile.
Community Green Radio has thus started mobilizing communities through its various listeners clubs, to collect and come up with innovative ways of recycling plastics.
Community Green Radio Senior News Editor Ms. Precious Naturinda says the partnership will enhance the work of the radio and the National Association of professional Environmentalists, NAPE in their efforts towards environmental conservation.
“Our partnership with the British High Commission is timely. This will complement our efforts in empowering communities to take up the fight of environmental conservation,” Ms. Naturinda told this website.
Musisi Ndabirwamu, a member of Lwamata Community Green Radio listeners club, says the campaign on proper disposal and recycling of plastics by the radio has opened the communities’ eyes.
“As you can see our town is now clean and organized. Since the start of the radio campaign on plastics, our town is clean,” Musisi explained.


Musisi adds that plastics have always been littered all over the area since community members have considered them only as garbage with no associated long-term damage. But with the campaign, members have understood the dangers of plastic pollution and begun to find ways of managing them including value in them.


“I didn’t know that plastics could be of value but with this campaign, I’m beginning to see the value of plastics and the many uses they can serve,” Musisi explained.

 
Ms. Kengozi Janat the Secretary Lwamata Listeners’ club says recycling of plastics will help mitigate adverse effects of climate change and help some members raise income.


 “Plastics, if not managed well, end up in drainage channels and wetlands and pose a problem to soil productivity which affects farmers. With this campaign, we are going to mobilize our members to properly manage plastics but also make money through locally using these plastics,” Kengozi said.


Kayongo Godfrey, a resident of Kyekumbya village in Kyekumbya Sub County says he has been earning from collecting and selling plastics for many years.


“I have been collecting and selling plastics and selling them to companies in Kampala. I even export them to countries like Rwanda,” Kayongo explained.


Kayongo says the motivation to collect plastics was money and the desire to conserve the environment.

 
“At first I collected them because I was earning from them but later I realized it was also good in conserving the environment,” Kayongo added.


Kiboga District Senior Environmental Officer Ms. Nakandi Zainabu says the radio campaign on plastics will go a long way in supplementing government efforts of conserving the environment and improving livelihoods.


“The effort by the radio and their partner the British High Commission is a step in the right direction. As a government we highly welcome these efforts and shall support you,” Ms.Nakandi told Community Green Radio reporter.


National Environment Management Authority- NEMA reports indicate that about 51% of the plastic garbage in Kampala city is not collected and ends up in drainage channels, wetlands, natural watercourses, manholes, undeveloped plots and on the roadsides increasing vulnerability of many people to climate change induced impacts. In Uganda less than 5% of plastic is recycled.

To help raise awareness of the plastic problem in Uganda, the British High Commission along with other partners, is supporting an expedition around Lake Victoria of the world’s first 100% recycled plastic boat. Named Flipflopi because the plastic boat is covered in 30,000 flipflops, the team will sail around Lake Victoria in a campaign to raise awareness and engage key stakeholders in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in the fight against plastic pollution. The campaign is an integral part of the Uganda Water and Environment Week (UWEWK) 2021 led by the Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda through the Water Resources Institute.

The partnership with the British High Commission is meant to help publicise the voyage and bring the region’s attention to the need to conserve our waterways, protect livelihoods and save the environment. The expedition will include various stops around the lake with national events in each country, engaging key players and stakeholders.

Lake Victoria supports more than 40 million people and has been under increased pressure from the dramatic effects of climate change and pollution, which has severely impacted the lake and threatens the health and livelihoods of communities.
The covid-19 pandemic has also accelerated the need to address the environmental crisis, which can only be done through regional and global consensus on key issues. As plastic pollution continues to build at an alarmingly fast pace and East African nations continue to feel the effects of climate change, Flipflopi’s Lake Victoria expedition will be calling for action by governments, local communities, private sector and the international community to end unnecessary single use plastic and implement circular economy solutions and policies, to aid a green and sustainable recovery from the impacts of COVID 19.

STORY COMPILED BY JULIUS KYAMANYWA AND SAMUEL MUGABI

NAPE launches a photo story of voices of women who were resilient during the COVID-19 period

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.