Kampala, Uganda: On the 25th of March 2023, Makerere University launched the Environmental Activism Week. A week dedicated to raising awareness on the ongoing global battle with climate change.
The event was held at the University in the CTF (Centre Teaching Facility) 2 auditorium. The event was organized by the 88th Guild, Ministry of Production, Employment, Estates and Environment in partnership with renowned environmental champions like National Forestry Authority (NFA), Fairventures Worldwide, Go Green, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and Centenary Bank.
The theme that headlined the event was “harnessing environmental conservation and combating climate change through youth community engagements.”
All the speakers and panelists who included Professor Justine Namalwa of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Ms. Dagmar of GGGI, Howard Mwesigwa an alumni at Makerere’s School of law among others all imparted knowledge on the students who were in attendance.
The former Guild President, His Excellency Alionzi Lawrence most commonly known as‘Dangote’ urged the students to join in the battle against climate change. That we should not wait for it to directly affect us but be motivated by the empathy we feel for those who are affected it.
Miss Dagmar Zwebe the Uganda Country Representative of GGGI, suggested that people use the term tree growing as opposed to tree planting because planting could merely be putting the seedling in the ground and leaving it altogether but growing means nurturing it until it can survive on its own.
Miss Dagmar also shared her views on capacity building. She said that in her research she found that in most cases one street would house five people operating the same business. She advised the youth to be original and bring something new to the table.
Most of the panelists acknowledged that much as climate change was a challenge, it provided endless opportunities. Especially to those who are innovative and make use of research. On that note, Prof. J. Namalwa the new mindset course that the university sought to include in its curriculum.
She continued to explain how the course would create thinkers that could come up with solutions to world problems like climate change. Among other things, she encouraged research among the youth and emphasized the importance of equipping themselves with knowledge.
Other speakers made remarks on how climate change not only affects the environment but also on people’s health and that, this should encourage everyone to join in the fight. They closed with the statement that action spoke louder than words.