Elgon residents get climate lessons
Posted Friday, February 1 2013 at 02:00
Education. The move is aimed at equipping residents with skills of managing the effects of climate change.
Residents living around the slopes of Mt. Elgon and along rivers in Sironko District have been educated on how to handle the impacts of climate change.
The eight-month project, seeking to reduce the impact of climate change, was implemented by Sironko Valley Integrated Project, a non-governmental organisation .
While launching the scheme, the project coordinator, Ms Harris Namutebi, said they intend to provide skills to improve water storage, agricultural production on small land holdings, minimise post-harvest losses and promote energy efficiency.
The project also aims at improving cooking stoves in order to save the forests from degradation.
“Given the increasing population, we intend to promote innovative approaches for improved water and land management in order to restore the catchment of Sironko river, protect Mt Elgon eco-system but also improve livelihoods of communities in Sironko District,” said Ms Namutebi.
Mr Kassim Gibusiwa, an environmental activist, said the ever-increasing population and land fragmentation has led to increased settlement and deforestation in Mt. Elgon, which in turn has led to soil erosion, loss of fertility and reduced agricultural productivity.
“The situation along Sironko, Mahapa, and Kado rivers is not any different as farmers cultivate crops along the river banks which has led to increased soil erosion affecting the Sironko River Ecosystem, this is what we intend to teach our people to save the environment,” said Mr Gibusiwa.
Ms Anne Nakayenze, a single mother of two, who has started making stoves, said the project supports them to adopt environmentally friendly agricultural practices to minimise land degradation and increase agricultural production.
“We have also been linked to self help community revolving fund and savings scheme for small scale enterprise development just to promote the adoption of clean energy among farmers along Sironko river bank,” said Ms Nakayenze.
SVIP was founded in 1993. It has been involved in natural resource management and income generating activities at grass root level through supporting self – help initiatives.
Parts of Elgon region, especially Bududa and Bulambuli districts, are prone to mudslides and heavy rains.