Uganda Nile Discourse Forum (UNDF), in partnership with the NBD Regional secretariat, built capacity of Women and Youth in Water for Environmental Sustainability and Climate Resilience under NBD’s CIWA/WB supported project “Engaging Civil Society for Social and Climate Resilience in the Nile Basin.”
Over sixty (60) Women and Youth leaders from across Uganda were trained in September 2021 after which they created a network of Climate Change Champions. The training provided participants with a wealth of practical water management and climate resilience knowledge, to enable them to asses, analyse and plan for focused, innovative, and sustainable water and environment management projects/programs.
Purpose for the training:
- To build the capacity of Women and Youth on water for environmental sustainability, climate change resilience and Integrated Flood and Drought Risk Mitigation.
- Identify and analyse roles and responsibilities of gender (both female and male) in water resources management and climate resilience with emphasis on combating social barriers for gender inequality and highlighting strategies for bringing women and Youth into the central decision-making roles in water.
- Enhance knowledge of Women and Youth on green jobs and cleaner energy technologies as mechanisms for inter-generational environmental sustainability and climate change resilience.
- To establish a network of Women and Youth to mobilize resources and implement projects contributing to the sustainability of UNDF network.
The training was expected to bring-forth the following outcomes:
- A team of Ugandan Women and Youth Climate Change champions with improved knowledge and skills on water for environmental sustainability, climate change resilience, and integrated Flood and Drought Risk Mitigation.
- Women and Youth Climate change champions’ capacity improved to engage fellow leaders and other decision makers to combat barriers for Women and youth engagement in water resources management and climate resilience decision-making.
- Women and Youth champions’ knowledge enhanced on green jobs and greener and cleaner technologies, respectively as mechanisms for inter-generational environmental sustainability and climate resilience.
- A network of Women and Youth champions set up to support their households, regions/cities/urban centres and NBD/UNDF to mobilize resources
Women And Youth Champions Engaging Other Stakeholders to Ensure Knowledge Transfer and Sustainability Of UNDF
The trainees formed a network of Uganda Women and youth champions as a front to engage other stakeholders to develop meaningful sustainable projects at personal, mother organizations, and UNDF/NBD institutional levels; beginning with pilot regional cities demonstration centres. This was a result of the action-based training of Champions empowered to set up project proposals that were reviewed by the resource mobilisation expert hired under the project. One City was selected per region of Uganda for a pilot project that would be replicated across the respective regions; Jinja City for Eastern Uganda, Masaka for Central Uganda, Gulu for Northern Uganda, and Fort portal for Western Uganda.
After the trainings, a team of experts from UNDF together with Champion leaders spearheaded the process of forming regional structures of UNDF starting with inception meetings with key stakeholders in these cities. The team met key Government officials at city level at both technical and political leadership. They met non-public stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations leaders, Private Sector leaders, Cultural and religious institutional leaders, among others.
The ultimate objective of the mobilisation was to assist UNDF build a sustainable network of resources across the country through Structures where the trained champions would build climate resilience of human systems, ecosystems and economies. The Champions will at the end of the day set up projects through the mobilization of local/region/city specific knowledge and best practices hubs, enhancing institutional capacity, informing decision-making processes and facilitating access to resources.
The mobilisation and inception meetings led to various inputs into the conceived ideas and in summary all regions and cities focused on mainly four objectives including;
- To set up a climate smart demonstration centre for sustainable cities and communities.
- To enhance the tourism sector through beautifying/landscaping, branding, boosting community tourism.
- To enhance mind-set, change towards sustainable and green city.
- Advocate for innovative waste management practices at the source, through different stakeholder engagement at all levels starting with a modal village.
The experts’ team at the UNDF Secretariat was tasked by city authorities to initiate a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will be reviewed and signed by end of November 2021 between the cities and NBD/UNDF as appropriate. Among other things, the city stakeholders committed to meaningfully contribute and participate in the projects and mobilize other city communities for the success of the projects.
Follow up meetings are being made in each of the cities where the NTSE is invited to make final presentation of the project proposals to all key stakeholders in one room for final review and inputs/contribution of ideas. The proposals will then be shared with different partners and institutions already identified to contribute resources for their implementation beginning January 2021.
Mathias Mulumba, National Technical Support Expert - Uganda
Fred Ssendege, Coordinator KACODEP