Kampala, Uganda – Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has called on youth in Uganda to create legacies in climate change by planting trees when they make any achievements in a bid to improve the country’s forest cover.
The Speaker said that there is need to promote stakeholder involvement in the creation of polices to mitigate climate change.
“We talk about environmental degradation and tree planting but nothing serious is done about it. I want the young people to agitate for programmes that support our environment,” Kadaga said.
Kadaga made the remarks at the National Conference on youth participation and contribution to the Climate Change Bill 2020, on Friday October 2, 2020.
The Speaker said that Parliament had promoted tree planting drives in different districts including Moroto in a bid to create awareness on rejuvenating forest cover and highlighting climate change effects.
She also called on Ugandans to be alert on issues of Government policy, citing debate in Parliament on the construction of a dam at Murchison Falls, which proposal was rejected by MPs.
“A survey was done in the country and out of 6000 people, only one said let us have a dam there. The Minister took the proposal to cabinet which rejected it three times but approved it at the fourth attempt; Parliament chased the proposal,” said Kadaga.
On his part, Lawrence Biyika Songa, the Chairperson of the Parliament Committee on Climate Change said the Climate Change Bill,2020 was being studied clause by clause so as to create a law that addresses climate change issues affecting Ugandans.
“We are struggling to have a law because Uganda depends on natural resources and agriculture where 68 per cent of the population carry out small holder farming,” Biyika Songa said.
Addressing climate challenges that affect small holder farmers was key, including access to energy for cooking and lighting, he added.
He underscored the need to promote clean cooking and reduce greenhouse gases which would in turn protect the environment.
“Uganda’s efforts to address climate change are scattered and they need good institutional agreements. We also need a climate change fund to support initiatives on the subject,” he said.
Peter Bo Larsen, the Country Director DanChurchAid Uganda said that more people could be displaced due to the effects of climate change, especially that grants to help vulnerable communities in Uganda, were reducing.
The Deputy UNDP Resident Representative Sheila Ngatia, commended youth participation in climate change initiatives, and committed to work with stakeholders in a bid to ensure that the Climate Change Bill 2020 comes to life.