Environmentalists to Prioritize Youth in Conservation and Protection

Activists have resolved to prioritize youth in their quest for to protect the environment which is facing enormous threats as a result of human activities.

Fronting the youth in environmental conservation and protection, advocates believe it will be a game changer to save the country from the adverse effects of its distraction.

Uganda like other parts of the world is already experiencing climate change consequences, specifically abnormal rains that have led to floods that have cut off several major roads in the country, mudslides, and busting river banks.

These climate change-induced calamities have claimed dozens of people in the past two years while hundreds have been displaced as homes, plants and property worth millions have destroyed or washed away by floods.

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Maria Kizza, a partner with the Global Green Growth Initiative- GGGI, on behalf of other environmentalists under the women in climate change umbrella, told the Daily Press in a interview that focusing on the youth is part of the bigger program of mobilizing more people to support climate change initiatives.

According to Kizza, the youth are presumed to be highly innovative, and once they are exposed to the different to more information in this fight, they can come up with effective solutions to the different challenges therein.

She adds that this strategy will also help to easily localize what is on paper, as well as simplify its implementation, adding that in this way, more jobs will be created through the conservation space and also improve the quality of services.

“We want to have more women and youth on board. We want to put into action what we have on paper, for example, we held a youth-led walk from the Lubigi sewage treatment plant to Makerere University, where we exposed the different environmental degradation aspects and some of the solutions that have so far been developed like in waste management, and urban farming, and this is how mentorship starts, ” Kizza explained.

Green cities are one of the strategies environmentalists are focusing on nowadays, and Kizza says that currently, they are supporting newly gazetted cities to develop green physical infrastructure plans.

“We are now focusing on helping these cities to develop green physical plans earlier so that we avoid the mistakes that were made in Kampala.”

Bernadette Natukwasa, a university student, and a younger environmentalist, who is part of the Women in Climate Change, as well as one of the participants in the youth program, says that involving her and fellow youth in climate change initiatives, it has opened her eyes to what is on the ground, other than what is studied in class.

She adds that the interaction with older environmentalists has reaffirmed her decision to fight for the environment and more reason to carry on with the cause.

“I at least have a picture of what I want, great thanks to GGGI, am now certain that am going to work with a vision, instead of just being open-minded, now I have attached value to it and should be more passionate not because am paid, but for the work am doing” she explained

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