African Climate Reality Project is calling for Ugandans to lead the fight against climate change and ecosystem destruction.

Timothy Mugerwa, African Climate Reality Project’s (ACRP) East African regional coordinator, expressed this call while addressing journalists in Kampala, leading up to World Environment Day.

Photographer: Gideon Lufafa

World Environment Day 2018 is being celebrated under the theme “Beat Plastic Pollution”, but the day is primarily a vehicle for inspiring communities to raise awareness and take action for environmental protection, in any sphere of caring for the future of our earth.

Mugerwa emphasised that Ugandan ecosystems are being degraded at an alarming rate, whether it be through deforestation or wetland ruin, and this destruction can only lead to harsher and more unforgiving climate change impacts in the future.

“Masses need to demand actions over climate change. Where the elected leaders are defending those who destroy the environment, the population should come out and say no to such actions like it was to save Mabira forest,” Mugerwa said.

Photographer: Gideon Lufafa

In light of this, ACRP has launched a campaign to raise Ugandans’ awareness and understanding of climate change and the negative effects it brings, and how communities can take action against climate change.

“Climate change poses many risks to the entire ecosystem, which creates an urgent need to address it. No one is going to be spared by the effects of climate change. In our campaign, we will conduct trainings, make presentations, engage in waste management activities, tree planting and promote use of renewable energy,” said Mugerwa.

In an effort to popularise the climate change conversation in Uganda, ACRP has also announced our most recent Goodwill Ambassador.  Popular musician, Ronald Mayinja, will use his musical talent to improve climate literacy and motivate his fans to join the movement to conserve the future of the environment.

Timothy Mugerwa, African Climate Reality Project’s (ACRP) East African regional coordinator, welcomes Ronald Mayinja as a Goodwill Ambassador
Photographer: Gideon Lufafa

Mayinja has released popular songs in the past about political and economic issues in Uganda, and will soon be recording songs about climate change in Africa.  He plans to visit different towns and launch environment youth clubs in an effort to empower communities on the ground level to take action themselves to conserve their natural environment, and the resources it provides.

“I am ready to traverse the country to mobilise Ugandans through music and also forming environment clubs at least at LC level in most of the towns. The main reason is to have more people involved at the community level because if the top government officers try to implement such policies they use police hence scaring people away,” Mayinja said.

Derrick Mutema, ACRP’s Uganda national coordinator, also urged African governments to rethink economic development that is just for the sake of development, without thinking about who might be put at risk – investing in harmful developments like coal mines or coal-fired power plants fuels climate change, environmental degradation and food insecurity, as well as having severe impacts on people’s health.

Mutema added that while many Africans feel that our continent should have the opportunity to invest in fossil fuel development as the Western world has done, that we can leapfrog this age of dirty energy.  The developing world is turning to renewable energy – both as a climate change mitigation measure, and an extraordinary, environmentally sound way to alleviate energy poverty in Africa.

ACRP wants Uganda to take climate action for Africa now!
Photographer: Gideon Lufafa

Read African Climate Reality Project’s (ACRP) East African regional coordinator’s full statement: