In a bid to mitigate climate change effects in the semi-arid Albertine Graben, women under the umbrella of Kaiso Women’s Group have taken tremendous efforts to promote environmental friendly energy sources.
They have a demonstration forest plantation from which they have distributed over 20,000 tree seedlings to community members for planting in their compounds.
Sylvia Kemigisa, the group’s Executive Director has told Kazi-njema News that the demonstration garden has 700 trees for now.
“We planted it here such that the community can appreciate that it is possible to plant trees despite the traditional challenges that include wild and domestic animals that eat up the seedlings and juvenile trees,” she says.
According to her, neem and acacia trees are used as shades as well as wind breakers.
The women envisage installing bee hives in the demonstration garden such that it can also contribute to the income of Kaiso Women’s Group and send a message of alternative livelihood sources to fellow women in the area and men as well.
Kemigisa says the women started planting trees in 2016 with support from FRIDA and later the GAGA Resilient Fund plus Urgent Action Fund, Africa. The women are also making briquettes for their domestic use and sale to earn a living.
This is one of the latest initiatives to maneuver through the social-economic hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kitchen gardening is another initiative being promoted by training and practicing horticulture and mushroom growing.
Immaculate Businge, a group member has told Kazi-njema News that kitchen gardening is an alternative source of income after being stopped and sensitised about stressing the natural trees for firewood to sell or use at home.
Beatrice Shamali says briquettes have helped them to save money and survive harassment by the military guarding the adjacent Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve.
She claims that the soldiers had become too harsh to allow any access to the reserve for firewood.
Shamali credits briquettes and energy saving stoves they learn through group trainings.
Henry Irumba, the Kaiso-Tonya village chairperson credits the efforts made by the women to promote conservation in the area.