BY ALEX BALUKU
Kasese, Uganda – The organizers of the Kasese People’s Climate Change Conference are working tirelessly to prepare for an upcoming event aimed at advancing climate action and promoting local solutions for a sustainable future.
The conference, scheduled for September, will bring together experts, decision-makers, and community leaders from various sectors to address the urgent challenges posed by climate change.
It will also provide a platform for activists to raise awareness about climate change and the detrimental effects of poor waste disposal on water sources and agricultural soils.
Joel Kyanjuruka, Executive Director of the Mbunga Community for Girl Child Development and Chairperson of the conference’s organizing committee, stresses the significance of the upcoming event.
He believes that the conference will provide a vital platform for activists to raise awareness about climate change and the detrimental effects of untreated waste on water sources and agricultural soils.
Kyanjuruka highlights the importance of bringing together local minds, academics, top decision-makers, NGOs, and other stakeholders to internalize the gravity of the situation and develop concrete plans to protect future generations.
The conference also aims to attract policymakers, media houses, and the public at large to bridge the widening gap between necessary actions and existing policies.
Zephania Kameli, team leader at Rwenzori Youth in Tourism and climate activist, shares his concerns as a young person, highlighting the intersection of climate change and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Kameli fears that his job in the tourism industry, which relies heavily on depleted natural resources, may be at risk. He stresses the urgency of addressing climate change to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for all.
The Kasese People’s Climate Change Conference follows a successful tree-planting campaign that was in 2022 led by indigenous journalists, environmental activists, and community leaders.
The campaign aimed to advocate for the preservation of the Rwenzori Mountain and raise awareness about the effects of climate change. During the campaign, over 100 different tree species were planted at the Kasese Industrial and Business Park, shedding light on the link between the depletion of forests and forest reserves and the unprecedented weather patterns experienced in the region.
The activists discovered that the depletion of forests and forest reserves could be a significant factor contributing to these weather patterns.
Furthermore, the glaciers on Mount Rwenzori, the highest non-volcanic and non-organic mountain in the world and a vital source of the River Nile, are under threat from rising temperatures. Over the last decade, the mountain’s glaciers have decreased from 15 square kilometers in 1900 to a mere 1.5 square kilometers in 2021.
Isaac Sinamakosa, a team leader at IDEAS FOR US-Uganda, expresses deep concern for the future of the Rwenzori community and emphasizes the need for action to combat climate change.
Sinamakosa asserts that climate change affects everyone, regardless of affiliations, and emphasizes the importance of finding solutions.
The Kasese People’s Climate Change Conference takes on even greater significance as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) prepares to host the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in November 2023 at Expo City Dubai.
COP28 aims to unite the world in finding bold, practical, and ambitious solutions to the global challenge of climate change.
As the Kasese conference approaches, climate activists and journalists are committed to making a significant impact by sharing their experiences, research, and proposed solutions. Their efforts align with the goals of COP28, as they work towards collective global action to combat climate change and protect the environment for future generations.