NAPE EMBARKS ON A CROWDFUNDING DRIVE FOR THE COMMUNITY GREEN RADIO

As the demand for an independent Uganda Community Green Radio operating on a daily basis rapidly rises among the communities in Bunyoro Region, National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) has intensified the fundraising drive to generate approximately 300,000 USD that is required for the project.
On Tuesday 22nd March, 2017, Community Green Radio Staff got their first training in crowdfunding as the new approach of generating funds. The training was held at Areba Hotel in Entebbe Municipality. Crowdfunding funding is a practice of funding a project by raising money from a large number of people who can each contribute a relatively small amount of money.


While opening the training, the NAPE Executive Director, Frank Muramuzi tasked each individual to learn and understand different approaches of fundraising so as to take part in the move to satisfy the needs of the communities served.

“We are here to learn how to fundraise funds for the radio. We have decentralized fundraising and each of us has to fundraise to meet the demands of our listeners.” Muramuzi said


The facilitator, Egesa Ronald Leonald from Viancor Consults noted that crowdfunding is one of the best approaches to generate funds for the project since individuals donate whatever they have towards raising certain amount of money of a project.


“Locally, Etofali project for Katikiro of Buganda and Stella Nyanzi’s pads campaign have become successful. But it can work best on internet depending on how you package your message to impress people. Many organizations have collected the amount even beyond what they require using this approach.” Egesa explained.


Mr. Allan Kalangi, the Manager for sustainability school program where the Community Green radio falls asked staff to use all the opportunities of collecting funds available to meet the target of having an independent radio station by the end of 2017.


Uganda Community Green Radio was established by NAPE under Sustainability School Program in 2014 to give a voice to the local community in the fragile ecosystem of Bunyoro Region especially on effects of the oil industry and how they can be mitigated as well as creating awareness on environmental conservation.


The Sustainability school program involves reaching out, raising awareness and motivating community members at grass root level to adopt environmental management practices. The community demanded for a radio as a tool to amplify their voices and outreach to other communities.
The radio currently operates for only 10 hours a week through affiliation with Liberty FM in Hoima District. However, with the affiliation and limited broadcasting time, the communities feel that most issues are not covered and there is need to have it operate on daily basis.

“I would wish to listen to the radio all day; in the evening when I am from work and even early in the morning because the radio programs are enriching and educative.” Norah Bahongye, a member of Kigaaga listeners club said.

PUBLIC ASKED TO BOYCOTT THE USE OF KAVEERA

The Executive director for National Association of professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Frank Muramuzi, has asked the public to resist from buying and using polythene bags commonly known as Kavera since the government has failed to implement the ban.


Mr. Muramuzi said the government and its implementing body- National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) have largely sided with the manufacturers to frustrate the ban with the interest of collecting taxes at the expense of people’s health and the environment.

“Effects of Kaveera are enormous. They block water channels, impede water infiltration into the soil, produce cancerous fumes when burnt and produce dangerous chemicals when used to cover food among others. NEMA knows all these dangers but they have allowed themselves to be compromised by the business people,” he said

He asked the public to also retaliate by boycotting kaveera and changing their mindset to using local alternatives that are environmental friendly.

“This dilly-darling of NEMA that they are implementing the ban is not good. Since they don’t put our health and environment into consideration, we need to think of what we were using before the kaveera era like the baskets and run away from their products,” he noted


Mr. Muramuzi was on 22nd March, 2017 speaking at a public dialogue on Kaveera ban held at Areba Hotel in Entebbe Municipality that was organized by Uganda Media Trust for Environment (UMTE)


Mr. Peter Kibuuka, a lecturer at Nkumba University said there was need to create more awareness on the dangers of polythene bags through using different media platforms.


“Your health doesn’t matter to the manufacturers. So why support them? We need to declare war on the manufacturers by desisting from buying and using kaveera; resist foods and beverages packed in kaveera and plastics. This can best be done by creating awareness through media platforms like Community Green Radio.” He said


Ms. Lucia Orikiriza, the Managing Director of ORIBAGS; one of the local manufacturing company of eco-friendly alternatives of packaging bags says the government has failed to support local initiatives as a way of solving the situation.


During the dialogue, she displayed some of the packing bags made from cotton, banana fibres, maize and millet stocks which can be used as alternatives to polythene bags.


“Our products are degradable but the government has not come up to support us at least by reducing taxes. They are instead frustrating us by encouraging the importation of polythene bags,” she explained


The Executive Director for UMTE, Pathias Karekoona, who is also an environmental journalist said they will work with Community Green Radio and other media to name and shame companies and state bodies that have dragged the ban kaveera crusade in Uganda due to corruption tendencies.
Government first announced the ban on the use of polythene bags in 2009. In 2015, NEMA started the implementation though it was marred by confusion after the manufactures protested the move and the government kept lifting the ban.