By Guest Writer
Editor, it’s very important to note that Uganda is under attack of climate crisis. Over one million of people have been affected by climate change impacts especially in North Eastern Uganda and other parts of the country.
When we talk about North Eastern Uganda, we specifically mean Karamoja which has been badly hit by food insecurity. It’s noted that over 900 million people in Karamoja die of hunger. However, we need to know that the whole of Uganda is being affected by the same.
More so, one must understand that climate change is real and it’s happening now, so it needs urgent action to protect livelihoods of the citizens. According to research, the situation in Northern Ugandan is due to political issues, limited resources, economic distress, climate change impacts, corruption, among others.
In addition we need to know that Karamoja is also endowed with minerals such as marble, granite, gold, aluminium among others.
Amidst all these, this region is among the poorest in the country. And so urgent action is needed to save their livelihoods. Few weeks back, the government of Uganda disbursed trucks of food to Karamoja to intervene and save the citizens. However due to increased rate of corruption, affected people are likely not to benefit from this.
More so, it’s noted that over 7000 girls in Karamoja dropped out of school during the pandemic due to early pregnancy reported by NBS on Sunday 24th /7/2022.
This has led to increased population, gender inequality and gender based violence since these girls are not ready to start up families. And due to high food insecurities, parents are exchanging their girls with food by forcing them to get married to old men to get what to eat. This should be condemned.
In addition, there is a need to change the mind-set of people especially youth and girls who are being affected by teen pregnancy so that they can attain their right to education amidst giving birth.
Parents need to be sensitized on how to empower their children especially girls who are already depressed, to have a change of mind to find ways to improve on their social economic development through business skilling.
As activists, we need to create awareness especially in local communities to sensitize parents to take care of their children and ensure that they get education.
Last week on Thursday, I managed to meet Kyakaboga youth Resettlement Group discussing on the current situation in areas where Project affected persons were relocated. Most of them are unemployed with limited education levels because they didn’t get a chance to go back to school after they have been relocated from Kabaale district to kyakaboga resettlement camp.
I met two girls who were struggling with school fees and some of them even dropped out of school because their parents’ nolonger support their education because they are girls.
You can imagine the society where parents refuse to take the girl child to school .However I was very inspired by the two girls I met who really showed concern in education. These two girls practice agriculture to cater for themselves i.e. buying bad, paying fees for their education.
However I encourage other girls who are going through the same challenges not to give up rather finding the ways of survival to take care of themselves.
Government need to create public awareness on local radios to eradicate parents especially those in rural areas on the importance of educating the girl child. When the girl child is educated, they are powered to change the world.
In my opinion, I think there is need to sensitize, empower, these youth for wealth creation and encourage them to get involved in green economic alternative to boost their livelihoods.
In addition, the government need to extent business skills to affected communities so that the talents, skills of the young people are developed hence reducing on the level of unemployed in Uganda. More so Government need to invest more in these green economic alternatives to create employment opportunities to the young people.
In a nut shell, there is a need to change the mind-set of youth to copy up in these hard times to
For God and my country.
The author is Ireen Twongirwe the Human right defender and environmentalist
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