Right now in Uganda, there is concern around President Museveni’s decision to “hand out part of Mabira rainforest to sugar manufacturer-SCOUL to grow sugarcane.” According to this article, the impact of the President’s decision will be three-fold: economic, political, and environmental. Already, “the pearl of Africa”, whose potential to become an agricultural superpower depends on environmental balance, is being pounded by torrential rain that has caused severe flooding, death, and has destroyed livelihoods.
As you know, the Africa Team just returned from Uganda, having worked alongside GWWI and our partners from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania to address the myriad environmental challenges facing women and girls. We specifically had dialogues around the impact of climate change on women and girls and together strategized and developed skills on appropriate water, sanitation, and hygiene–WASH technologies.
We also made connections between climate change and how it severely impacts farming and food security. In addition to learning to construct solar cook kits that utilize the energy of the sun to cook and to pasteurize water, we were introduced to fireless cookers, another technology that enables women to cook without having to go collect firewood. Inevitably, issues around climate change and access to safe water link the rights of women to access and use land as farmers.
Even though the first phase of the 2011 East African Women and Water Training has ended and the Africa Team is back from Uganda, we continue to stand in solidarity with our Ugandan partners.