In December 2018, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) hosted Friends of the Earth Africa Member groups for a learning exchange during annual evaluation meeting for sustainability schools in Uganda that was held at Kakindo sustainability village offices in Buliisa District in Uganda’s Oil region.
The member groups that were from Togo, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania Cameroon and Ghana wanted to learn and have hands on experience of the work of sustainability schools so that it can be replicated back in their countries according to David Kureeba, the FoEA Regional Facilitator.
The meeting drew together all the sustainability school villages including Butimba, Kigaaga and Kaiso-Tonya from Kikuube and Hoima districts, Ngwedo, Kakindo and Muvule from Buliisa district and Kalangala and Buvuma, and Kasese district. The sustainability school members shared experience of sustainability schools work and how they look for solutions to challenges affecting them without necessarily waiting for government.
WE ARE UNITED: AFRICA MEMBER GROUPS WITH SS MEMBBERS
Samuel Kasirye a development partner from Rosa Luxemburg Foundation of East Africa said the progression of sustainability schools in commendable and was happy to see other African countries coming to learn from NAPE.
“I am happy to see other countries coming to learn about sustainability school work. Allan (the sustainability school manager) has also travelled to Canada and Berlin to showcase the work of sustainability school. I pledge continue coming through NAPE, since it has proved to be ROSA’s strategic partner,” Mr. Kasirye said.
Allan Kalangi, the NAPE officer in Charge of Sustainability said Sustainability schools are formed around key thematic areas like land use and food security, oil governance, forests and large plantations. He said NAPE’s role is to empower communities and train sustainability school educators to continue advocacy work in their respective villages.
“The sustainability schools meet every year to evaluate themselves and reflect on what was done in the year and plan together. We also learning from one another and sharing experience,” he explained.
Alice Kazimura, a sustainability school educator for Kakindo Sustainability School said with empowerment from NAPE, the school has been able to tackle issues of land conflicts which were fueled by oil discovery and led to unfair compensation and human rights abuses. She added that they are conserving the environment and promoting indigenous seeds for food sovereignty.
Assem Ekue, from FoE Togo said the sustainability school program was interesting. He said, “I have learnt that it is a space that arouses communities to look for solutions to some of the issues in their communities without waiting for government and this will be replicated back home.”
Sustainability school members also held a mini exhibition showcasing some of the indigenous trees they are planting to conserve the environment and seeds they are reviving by having a group multiplication garden which are then distributed to other members. They also showcased what they are doing to generate income.
NAPE showcased how they are making paper briquettes from paper waste for cooking, where they explained that it helps to save trees, manage wastes and save money.
The visitors also visited a group traditional granary for Kakindo S.S where some seeds are kept and also visited a model garden belonging to one of the members of Kakindo.
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