By Bayo Bob
August 1st 2021 will be a historic day for Global Peace Chain Uganda Chapter!On that day, we shall officially launch the first phase of our flagship programme, the Go Green Campaign through which we hope to do our part to make the environment greener and positively impact lives along the way.
Here is a quick look on the road ahead!
In phase one of the Go Green Campaign, we shall work with twenty model farmers and train them to become Trainers of Trainers (ToTs). In this way, our work will have a ripple effect. We shall work with the model farmers from start to finish. Global Peace Chain Uganda Chapter will provide seeds, and together with the model farmers, we will set up nursery beds, transplant the seedlings, provide expert guidance along the way and train the farmers in produce marketing. The farmers have a say in which trees they want to plant in their gardens. Involving the model farmers in all the stages will lead to the development of a sense of ownership over the project thus endearing it to them. We know that people are likely to guard something they have toiled for more than that which just drops out of the blue.
The beauty of this approach is that we are able to protect the environment while touching lives positively since the farmers learn valuable skills and improve their agricultural productivity through following the Trees of the Future’s Forest Garden approach that we intend to introduce them to.
One powerful way of making a lasting impact is often to work with the younger people and instilling the values that uphold in them along the way. This project is not an exception. Sadly, this could not be the case in phase one because of the public health situation that the country is in the middle of right now thanks to the Coronavirus. The best place to find and work with these young and energetic people is their schools but since schools are currently closed, we can only hope that times get better and by the time phase two starts in July 2022, schools are up and running. Then, students will be key actors in phase two.
But, there is good news! In the interest of those with whom we are unable to work together on a practical level, we are going to have extensive media campaigns on social media, radio and television. In this manner, such people will benefit immensely from our climate education programmes on those readily accessible platforms.
Before I pen off, a quick reminder on why we are doing this now. Climate change threatens to be the next global catastrophe. As global temperatures rise and rainfall patterns become nearly unpredictable and clean and open water sources dry up.
Farmers are caught up in the middle of a crisis that they have done very little to perpetuate but bear the brunt of and crops dry up and this, by extension, affects even those who are not farmers themselves because the scarce food items in the market become expensive so people eat much less than is required and next up, we have a malnutrition crisis on our hands to grapple with. This is just one of the many directions in which the huge tree can fall after being cut. It is mind boggling how closely intertwined aspects of the climate are with the more common aspects of our day-to-day lives. At Global Peace Chain Uganda Chapter, we do not want to commit the evil of being the passive bystander. Instead, we are proud to be active up standers.
I continue to thank those who have contributed to this project and those whose support is going to enable this project to run smoothly to name but a few, Mrs. Mary Paradise Moore, Mr. Herman De Greve of One World Tree Planting, Mrs. Tara Connor, The Klimaatdichters of Belgium, the entire GPC Uganda community and the media houses especially those in West Nile.Indeed, without your selfless support, this project would have remained one in name only and forever flat footed.
For now, we’re off to the field!
Bayo Bob is the Director of Programs and Projects at the Global Peace Chain Uganda Chapter and the Program Manager of the Go Green Campaign.