How Climate Literacy Has Created New Business Opportunities in Uganda
Uganda is one of the countries greatly vulnerable to climate change in both the economy and wellbeing of the people. More than 80% of Ugandans live in rural areas, relying on agriculture for their livelihood.
Change in weather patterns leads to lack of food and flood damage, as evident in areas like Kasese and other suburbs. The poor and vulnerable are hit the hardest where flooding happens frequently, with residents prone to waterborne disease and malaria.
As we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, we highlight EASEUganda, an organization co-founded by former BeadforLife staffer Irene Namaganda. Through EASE, Irene is engaging communities in activities that enhance the natural environment for a green earth and the wellbeing of humanity.
EASEUganda works with 50 women, many of whom are Beads-to-Business graduates, who are its change agents to collect biowaste. The waste is dried and turned into biochar, used to make organic fertilizer to improve the soil. In addition, EASEUganda’s cooking briquette project not only helps the women of the Namuwongo slum community (where many of our graduates live) to save on cooking fuel, it saves trees that would have been cut down to produce charcoal for cooking.
Mariam Tusabe is one of the EASE community members, and a graduate of our business training program, who collects and dries biowaste. She lives with seven children (grandchildren and orphans) and sells fried cassava chips and pancakes as her business. With limited community space, she sun dries the cassava and banana peelings on her roof and takes them to EASEUganda when she has a sizeable amount.
“Collecting and drying biowaste improves the hygiene of our community. We get natural fertilizer, which helps us cultivate our backyard gardens. This saves us from buying vegetables from the market, sprayed with pesticides, that are not very good for our health,” Mariam says.
It will take a concerted effort to help the environment and ensure good food supply for the people of Uganda. Various organizations like EASE are working towards mitigating the impacts of climate change and developing green technologies. This is really helping Uganda, as people become more aware of their influence on the climate and the climate’s influence on their worlds.