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SOLVING THE ENERGY-ENVIRONMENT CRISIS IN UGANDA’S REFUGEE CAMPS

Through landscape restoration activities like planting trees and agro-forestry, we build resilience for farmers against the changing climate

Photo of Stephen Bright Sakwa
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

Uganda hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world. Currently hosting over 1 million refugees, of which over 900,000 are from South Sudan (Amnesty International) The refugees have mainly been settled in semi-arid, agriculturally marginal areas north of the country and the camps tend to be large and have a more negative impact on the environment than would be the case if several considerably smaller camps, catering for the same total numbers, were set up. Furthermore, the refugees often have to stay in Uganda for asylum for extended periods, and the impact on the environment around camps is usually prolonged and in some cases the environmental impacts of refugees may be irreversible. The environmental degradation is mainly as a result of settlement, energy demands and agriculture for food production. The scramble for energy in the camps sometimes results in fatal conflicts between host communities and the refugees creating a rift and lack of harmony between refugees and host communities. This builds despair, conflicts, fear and lack of peace especially for the displaced groups. Tree Adoption Uganda mainly specialises in landscape restoration and the solution will aim at bringing tree planting to the very heart of each displaced household through farmer trainings on agroforestry, tree planting, management of small tree farms especially fruits to supplement diets as well as sustainable harvest of energy like coppicing instead of cutting entire trees. This will in a long run increase resilience to climate change and improve the environment around refugee camps. This however is a long term solution and therefore, short term solutions to energy and environmental challenges will be incorporated. These will include training and implementations for sustainable energy techniques like energy saving stoves as well as training women and young people in the making of briquettes for energy and income

Geography of focus (500 characters)

The idea will target refugee and host communities in Uganda because the country hosts one of the largest refugee populations in the world. The solution will address the energy and environmental challenges as a result of the refugee influx. The communities face a lot of challenges as a result of high energy demands which result in deforestation and conflicts with host communities leading to despair among the displaced people.

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)

The search and scramble for biomass energy like firewood to put a meal on the table is one of the principle causes of clashes between refugees and host communities in Uganda, this results into fatal clashes, hostility and despair especially among the displaced groups. The idea will contribute to energy efficiency, reducing biomass energy demands and conflicts with host communities. This will restore joy, dignity, respect and harmony between refugees and hosts while restoring landscapes

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

-The idea doesn’t only contribute to the basic need of energy/food but brings about peace of mind as frequency of biomass fuel search which usually results into clashes, sexual harassment and hostility is reduced. -The income generated by women and young people will enable them support their families through provision of basic needs like food, clothing, shelter among others

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

Implementing the idea will bring about a positive change of heart towards environmental conservation as the groups will be trained in tree planting and sustainability. The tree adoption model will ensure that farmers are motivated to take care of the planted trees hence landscape restoration and climate modification in the long term The idea will reduce pressure on natural resources especially trees as energy saving stoves will be introduced to reduce the high energy demands The idea will also have a social-economic impact as women and young people will be empowered to make and sell briquettes as an energy alternative. It will also directly contribute to reduction in energy consumption through the introduction of energy saving stoves. Success will be measured against the baseline 1. Frequency of biomass fuel search in relation to baseline 2. Proportions of biomass fuel used 3. Trees planted 4. Number of energy saving stoves constructed and adoption 5. Income generated

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

We envision a world where people live in harmony with nature and flourish, resilient and self-sustained. We value people and the importance of diversity. We believe displaced people can contribute a big deal to Uganda’s sustainable development if properly guided. We have been inspired by our own work in restoration. Having worked with many households in different parts of the country to restore landscapes, we believe we can do more especially with marginalized and vulnerable groups to improve resilience of the communities while conserving the environment

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

The camps are always receiving more displaced people, hence demands for energy, food, space and other basic needs keep rising. Besides, the northern part of Uganda experiences semi-arid conditions which makes agricultural production unreliable, yields vary from season to season due to dependency on rain for agriculture. The instability in Southern Sudan contributes to these dynamics as more refugees keep coming in. It is therefore imperative to implement this idea to safeguard and enhance harmony between displaced people and the host communities.

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

Uganda is one of the most hospitable countries in the world, and this can be stressed with the high refugee numbers in the country. The host communities will most likely support activities intended to bring about harmony between them and the displaced groups to make the project successful.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

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

  • Technology-enabled: Existing approach is more effective or scalable with the addition of technology

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Blueprint: We are exploring the idea and gathering the inspiration and information we need to test it with real users.

Group or Organization Name

Tree Adoption Uganda

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

Tree Adoption Uganda (TAU) is a youth-centric NGO powered by the vision of creating communities where people and nature flourish. Through landscape restoration activities like planting trees and agroforestry we build resilience for small holder farmers against the changing climate while economically empowering unemployed young people in Uganda's rural communities through education and training on setting up and managing indigenous tree nurseries and tree farms. We bring tree planting to the very heart of each individual family all over the country, focusing on inspiring a nature-inclined transformation and change of heart in each member of a household. This way we arouse a passion among community members to work towards sustainable agricultural practices, conservation and restoration of under green areas. Impact to date: We have so far worked with 835 individual households on Sustainable land Management approaches and planted over 85,000 trees with communities in Uganda

Website URL:

www.treeadoptionuganda.org

Type of submitter

  • We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise

Organization Headquarters: Country

Uganda

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Kampala

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Photo of Nisingizwe Joselyne
Team

Me i have liked this idea it will have positive impact on refugees in uganda.

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