320KM WALK FOR WATER AND ENVIRONMENT FOR CLIMATE-RESILIENT DEVELOPMENT
Uganda has in the recent past and up to now experienced significant impacts of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, drop in water levels, and increased frequency of extreme weather events like floods, landslides and mudslides, as well as drought, whose social economic impacts have made communities very vulnerable (World Bank, 2019). Many of these impacts are as a result of forest degradation, deforestation and encroachment on other fragile ecosystems like wetlands and river banks. Unless the environment is conserved through various strategic options including afforestation, reforestation, climate smart agriculture, integrated water resources management, wetland restoration approaches using catchment management approaches among others, the vision of improving rural livelihoods will remain an uphill task. It is also important to understand that during the times we are in, issues of public health are paramount most especially in this era of COVID 19. It is against this background that Walkers Association of Uganda (WAU) in partnership with the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) within the framework of UWEWK 2023 are proposing a 270km walk for water and environment for climate resilient development from the King Fisher Development Area, Kikuube District to the Ministry of Water and Environment in Luzira, Kampala via the North Western route from 27th February to 10th March, 2023 a distance of approximately 320 Km.
The WAU in partnership with the MWE will again organize the proposed 270km Walk for Water and Environment for climate resilient development as a precursor for UWEWK2023.
1.1 Objectives of the Walk
The objective of the walk is to provide an understanding of the role of Water and Environment resources in contributing towards the climate resilient development and Socio-Economic Transformation of Uganda
The specific objectives of the walk are:
- To raise awareness about the UWEWK 2023 and the relevance of its theme and sub-themes to the people of Uganda;
- To demonstrate the pivotal role of water and environment resources in promoting climate-resilience.
- To demonstrate the linkage between water, forest, wetland degradation and climate change
- To improve sanitation and hygiene among communities through promotion of effective hand washing.
2.0 RATIONALE OF THE 270KM WALK
Due to the existing and emerging issues such as Oil and Gas Development and its adverse environmental impacts in the Albertine Graben, Pollution from industrial activities, Encroachment on the water, wetlands and forest (Bugoma CFR) including other biodiversity and the exertion of pressure on natural resources by the communities and Refugees in refugee hosting communities. It is viable that the communities, developers, CSOs, NGOs, Religious and Cultural Institutions, industrialist, government institutions, schools among others come together and dialogue on the issues and provide solutions and as well showcase the interventions towards mitigating the impacts of climate change, adapting to climate change and sustainable co-existence with the environment.
3.0 EXPECTED OUTPUTS
The following are the expected expected outputs of the walk;
- A number of key stakeholders including but not limited to the communities, CSOs, NGOs, Religious and Cultural institutions, schools, Industrialist, DLGs, Security Organs and other entities along Hoima- Kampala route engaged on sustainable use of water and environmental resources;
- At least 1,000,000 tree seedlings planted/distributed to community members;
- At least 8 community sensitisation meetings on water and environment conservation held;
- Local communities and leaders, including DLGs (political and technical leaders), the legislators, cultural and religious leaders, business community, schools, tree nursery operators’ natural resources managers, CSOs, supported in sustainable development and management of water and environment resources.
- The role of water and environment resources for climate resilience appreciated by all key stakeholders.
4.0 METHODOLOGY AND APPROACH OF THE WALK
4.1 Route Mapping
Prior to the walk, a route mapping exercise will be undertaken to identify key stakeholders and build rapport with stakeholders, identify stop-overs, issues and activities.
4.2 Walk approach
The walk will be organised in such a way that different issues related to water, environment, climate change and developments are demonstrated during the walk. Activities will be held at key critical points/stopovers involving relevant stakeholders to focus on specific issues related to the theme of the week and general water and environment issues.
Key stakeholders are to be involved in all the activities along the route and will have opportunities to showcase efforts towards natural resources management and contribution towards climate change impacts mitigation.
4.3 Target groups
The walk will target the general public with emphasis on the local communities, local leaders, District Local Governments (political and technical leaders), the legislators, cultural and religious leaders, business community, industrialists, schools, tree growers, tree nursery operators, Natural Resource managers, CSOs, NGOs etc.