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Addressing global warming challenges with refugees in West Nile region and Democratic Republic of Congo Ituri region

Empowering refugees and locals through environmental protection

Photo of Godfrey Innocent Onega
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

There are several reasons why refugees are on the increase globally and this is highly attributed to socio- economic and political reasons factors mainly wars that trigger confusion, chaos, confrontation, displacement, destruction and death; this is properly planned and executed by African dictators, their agents and to some extent rebels who prefer war instead of peace,democracy, conflict resolutions and dialogue. Man cannot live without environment, therefore planting trees to address global warming,environmental protection is the key to human lives and animals to change the trend refugees must be deeply involved into this project. This project shall give instant answers to millennium development goals challenges [MDGs]. Global warming is advancing in Africa and the world over with specific attention to Uganda northern region,West Nile and also the numerous importance of planting “trees for lives as our slogan”,this exercise will benefit the refugees and the locals and change the trend of rain in the surrounding areas too.; new approach that practically addresses this challenge must come in urgently. Apart from the rain pattern that heavily relies on forest cover, trees prevent soil erosion,but also help as medicine that cures diseases such as cancer PRUNUS AFRICANA tree is known for that. Understanding the importance of trees collectively (refugees and locals) can benefit widely in an organized manner with the sense of project ownership and guaranteeing its success. Air pollution is fundamentally altering climate with profound impact on the health of the planet. Air pollution is the contamination of air by gasses and solid particles, 9/10 people globally breathe polluted air every day, organic waste in land field, industrial waste and the combustion engine releases huge amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

With specific focus on West Nile region and DR-Congo Ituri region as the area for implementation of this project since a number of refugee settlements are found in the districts like Adjumani, Arua, Moyo, Arua camp among others shall be the area for this project taking into consideration districts like Zombo, Nebbi and Pakwach which are equally affected as a result much pressure on the resources caused by the refugees encroaching on the local communities’ resources.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Planting trees is seen as a universal permanent solution to fulfill those challenges, It’s about how man can live in harmony with nature, locals and refugees work together for common cause that affects them all, resources instead shall be seen as socio-economic transformation and part of the society what affects them, affects the locals too. Refugees have same rights to basic needs, freedom of thoughts movements economic and social rights shall be high the agenda.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

My idea is to address global warming which is a major threat to human kind and all other living things, cutting down trees is like the same as man committing suicide daily because our lives depend on trees. This idea good at solving food security as already mentioned that alongside planting trees short term crops shall be grown to improve on household incomes and restore food security for families and create jobs as factories shall emerged “we have been planting trees without clearly attaching values and importance of trees to man” which spices can grow better where when to plant which crop can match with what type of cereal.the refugees and local and the public in general I am sure their lives with change and the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] shall be answered . Besides that good agricultural practices and protection of soil shall be adhered to for better production.Trees for commercial purposes this can be either sold by individuals companies or even exported abroad.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

My idea of planting trees that requires keen attention up to planting, monitoring of the trees project , will be 4-meters square spacing not the traditional 3 meters good quality of the trees need enough space .The change of mind set planting to benefit us how or when to plant what benefit shall locals get must be set clear such question if not addressed can’t get the desired result and so the idea will be so unique also use of local languages shall be key in communication few soldiers with high morale can win a war than many soldiers without morale. Trees shall be categorized as trees for timbers,firewood, for fruits. Sports like football and netball with other forms of indoors activities shall be organized in the refugees and communities to fight diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and etc. Programme can also be organized as competition like to be refugee settlement camps and among locals this shall spread to other areas so that new approach is taken seriously.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

As a young boy I grew with passion, love for planting trees, taking science subjects in primary school; we were taught the importance of planting trees which helps in formation of rain and other advantages. At my youthful age in 1991, I started implementing my dreams buying land for planting trees. My community knew me for loving trees in Zombo district where I planted trees and in Pader district this one was very ceremonious and also in Mbarara district where the trees were named after me and I feel honored and great. In Paidha town council I gave out trees to 46 local leaders with each getting 10 trees and we passed a resolution of 1 house to plant at least 10 trees. We need therefore to do work collectively to reverse the trends before global warming explodes.We also formed an association named Go Environmental Transformation of Uganda [GET- U]. 15 years’ experience in tree planting in tree projects more practical methods of work shall be exhibited as evidenced by the above photos.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

With clear vision, mission, goals, this project is going to be a turning point for rapid sustainable growth God was wise to have created the world first there is need for change of mind-set, attitude towards peaceful co-existence between man-to-man and environment before it’s too late because everyone is now feeling the level of deforestation. Policy shall be put in place at every government, religious and cultural functions incorporating tree planting just like birthday, baptism, confirmation, marriages, weddings, graduations .This shall inculcate the sense of love passion for planting tree to the younger generations. Planting trees can go along with food for consumption at their early age and short-term crops too,With 15 years’ experience in tree planting using mulching, and other forms of fertilizers, availability of land also provision of security. We shall target institutional lands, road reserved the challenges are minimal. Acceptance by the community is a big breakthrough.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

There is too much pressure for the community and the refugees struggling from scarce resources like firewood, food, shelter, medicine and water among others, unlike areas without refugees’ settlement. The level of deforestation is high which has affected soil fertility, low production level, hunger, malnutrition and poor health leading to death. My idea shall solve a number of these problems and minimize the risks. When poverty level is very high the youth can do what it takes to earn a living and they can be lured into rebel activities, robbery, terrorist groups, theft, women are tempted into early marriages and prostitution as a result increase in HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases and family breakdown. Refugees have enough problems and are traumatized therefore without addressing this global issue it’s like jumping from a “frying pan into fire” Social corporate responsibilities be exercise and the communities shall have their rights, Sense of team work shall be adopted.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

The stakeholders like religious and cultural leaders and localshall be fully responsible for their various institutionsfor mobilization using the local language and any other languages the community can understand better. The governmentand communities shall provide labour force, security, skills and land to manage this project in all the stages right up from selecting the seed up to harvest time. With participation of refugees we are part of the community, so where necessary seek for technical support. Community development officers shall not be left out. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees through their agencies in those settlement areas shall be on board as we implement this project plan. Involving many stakeholders is away of encouraging transparency also respect to the local leaders whose role is vital .The sole purpose is tackling global warming and empowering the communities in the settlement camps in West Nile Region as already explained into detail above.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Being on the move, crossing borders, and/or temporarily settled

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Pilot: We have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users. The feasibility of an innovation is tested in a small-scale and real world application (i.e. 3-15% of the target population)

Group or Organization Name

Go-Environmental Transformation Uganda (Get-U)

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

This group was formed by youths who are deeply concerned about global warming, high rate of deforestation as a result of too much pressure on land, and get income generating activities, creation of jobs among youths but not limited to social, technical and financial support. Get-U is a registered group with local government and national forest authority with her constitution that guides members on how to perform various duties like executive, finance, and technical committees with bank account. This group is working and being guarded by work plan we have meetings executive, committee and general meetings, field visit and evaluation reports; preparation for planting seasons; mobilization, sensitization and motivating farmers; we continue to lobby for more pieces of land from locals, individuals and the governmental also financial support by submitting proposal for possible funding so that we continue with this universal dream that benefit all.

Website URL:


Type of submitter

  • We are a Cooperative or Community-Owned Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State



Join the conversation:

Photo of David Ezra Jay

Excellent idea and we want to collaborate with your tree planting. We are building out a system that can support your type of operations. As we continue to gather more feedback from users on the ground, we invite you to join us, GreenStand is an open community. You can check out our latest project at Tree Tracker - Money App Also feel free to reach out to us directly as we have several partnerships forming in Uganda.

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