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Standing Together for Climate Action International

Together for Climate Action International has been Creating a sustainable impact in Uganda. Today we have a member of the group speaking with us about their mission. Read about their impact below as we feature them in this weeks Community Corner.

Interview Together for Climate Action International:

DEAN: So, tell me a little bit about yourself, what is the name of your organization?

ATIBU: Yes, I work for Together for Climate Action International.

DEAN:  What is your mission statement?

ATIBU: Yeah, statement is together, together as one to protect our Mother Nature.

DEAN: What got that organization started?

ATIBU: The organization started last year. We started in 2022, but we were not implementing activities.

We started the active implementation of activities last year in January.

Together for Climate Action International is an community based organization in Uganda with the purpose of working together with company members against the climate challenges that we are currently facing in our communities. I would do this through empowering communities and sensitize these communities of the challenges of the climate crisis and how we can overcome them.

So, we share with them, we give them solutions, what they can do and then also we also work with the schools, and we sensitize those young people and maintain our focus on this. The climate crisis is with the young people because we believe that if we empower the younger generation about the climate challenges that we are currently facing, it means that we are building a generation that will be able to fight against their climate challenges, which is very rampant in our communities. So, we implement our activities through the committees and the school outreaches.

So some of the activities that we are doing is a climate education add a focus on climate crisis through our campaigns, physical campaigns, campaigns on media platforms like social medias, community radios, tree planting, teaching communities in ecological smart systems of farming to practice smart agriculture that is are not currently using that. So far that is some of the activities that we are doing with our organization.

DEAN:  So, your organization covers a broad range of topics when it comes to climate action. What would you say has been your biggest point of impact?

ATIBU: Our biggest impact is that we have managed to reach very many people. We have planted trees in different communities. I think so far now we have planted around 5000 plus trees in different communities. We have managed to teach women in practicing ecological smart systems of farming and these activities benefit the community in two different ways. One to fight for requirements and the 2nd to enable them to have a steady supply of food as well as supporting them to generate income through the crops that they are growing. So, they are going for their families and at the same time sell some of the crops to gain income. We have been able to support our schools with kitchen. So, this has helped them to be able to access vegetables to use that school.

We have influenced some of our policymakers on our, on local government levels, to change some of the policies that they had put in place. For example, there was a forest, there was a smaller forest in our community which they wanted to cut down. They wanted to give it to one of the investors to cut it down and put on a factory. So, because of us and cooperation with the community, we work together, and we made it known to occur and they changed, and they gave the investor another place to set off a factory. So far that is one of the impact which I think we have, we have worked on.

DEAN:  A lot of what you spoke about I realize half has to do with helping those communities not only do better with climate action but also become very self-sustaining.

What are some of the policies yes that you help to enact?

ATIBU: It was climate action policy.

It was about protecting all the natural resources that we can, that we can protect in order to avoid the environmental crisis that we are facing, like cutting down forests, attacking wetlands, things like that. That was the aim of the policy on it. But it was on our local level, district level.

DEAN:  How do you think your organization has changed Uganda?

ATIBU: I will not say that organization has changed the Uganda that much for now because it is still, as I have told that it's still a new organization and they have just started the activities.

I will not say that we have changed the Uganda that much.

But, I would say that we have at least changed, put on some impacts on our local communities.

DEAN: What would you say is the biggest challenge when it comes to climate action for your organization?

ATIBU: The biggest, the biggest challenges are the big people that are benefiting from these actions that are affecting our climate, people in the government, people in power. Those are the biggest challenges that we are facing because whenever for example, like those people who we are going to be about the forest. That was the solution vote HELLO!

Biggest challenges that we are facing is from the beneficiaries of this environmental crisis.

For example, like the other people that were benefiting that were going to give out the forest, they were supposed to be paid by that investor who wanted that place. And then the investor and his kind people, they're the one of the big challenges that we are facing because never we oppose them,  because they have money, they have power, they have everything.

So those are the kind of the most of the big challenges that they are facing. And for example, there is people that are benefiting the East African crude pipeline. I don't know if you have ever heard about them. That project is going on in East Africa. One of the times we joined our friends, and we are doing a demonstration to stop them and we were attacked by the police. And because those people, they have money, they have power, they have everything, they have the resources to challenge us.

So that is one of the big challenges that we are currently facing which can resolve the environmental crisis.

I think the other challenges are these are normal challenges with the resources, the resources technical, sometimes the technical know-how and cooperation from our policy makers.

Those are the three big big challenges that we are currently facing. I and my others like keep like minded young people who are working on this issue of environment crisis in my community and in Uganda at large.

DEAN:  What community did the organization start in?

ATIBU: In the Masaka communities in the Masaka district. But we have different communities in Masaka. So we operate in Masaka, though sometimes you cooperate with our friends that are, that are having the same, that are working on the same issues and we work together like on that project of Stop or Corp. We joined our friends and we worked together. But for us, we are currently working in Masaka, but we hope to expand maybe in the future, and we operate countrywide.

DEAN:  What would you say would be the first step or something that you would need that would help you to be able to expand?

ATIBU: Of course, the resources.

DEAN: Yeah, of course, the resources, yeah, that's always a general thing.

Whenever it comes to missions that are strictly out of need or I say a love for the planet, it tends to be underfunded or there tends to be less people backing it because it doesn't.

It's not something that a lot of people can get rich off of. You have to truly be selfish, to selfless, to want to do something that is in the interest of everyone else and not just yourself.

DEAN:  Do you have any exciting or upcoming news that you'd like to share with me?

Anything interesting that you would like me to put in?

ATIBU: Which I currently have that is going to happen is about the acid day. That is happening on 22nd of this April.

DEAN:  Do you mind telling me a little bit more about the event?

ATIBU: We are going to celebrate the day and we are going to invite some schools. We don't know how many will turn up. And we currently we are having a rainy season in Uganda. So, we are receiving now a lot of rainfall. So, I hope on that day it doesn't rain because if it does disorganize our day, we are invited to different schools. We are going to plant, plant some trees. We are going to do plastic, we are going to do plastic collection, no planning of from it. We're going to move around different committees as we collect plastic bottles and as we fight plastic pollution. Then we have some entertainment and community engagement for the day and then sensitization about primary education and the related topics. That is what we have, what we hope to do for the for the day.

DEAN:  All right, superb. And my last question for you is what would you tell a company that has just started its sustainable journey? What would you tell a company just like that is looking to start a similar journey to yours?


ATIBU: I will just tell them to first of all to be determined on what they want to start because it's not an easy task. They need they need to have passion and to stay focused to get engaged, to also get engaged with like-minded individuals or organization or young people to share ideas how they can and do their advocacy work on climate, to stay focused, to be determined and to network with other recommended organization to next.



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