Children are taking the lead in the fight against climate change by actively participating in tree planting initiatives. In a bid to instill environmental awareness and conservation values from an early age, primary school students are engaging in efforts to combat the adverse effects of climate change.
Jamal Isaac Abdallah, a primary four pupil at Mirembe Junior School in Namuwongo, shared her experience of planting four fruit trees three years ago and expressed her excitement about soon enjoying the fruits of her labor. She believes that tree planting plays a crucial role in conserving the environment.
According to climate change activists, teaching children to care for nature at a young age is essential, as these values are likely to stay with them as they grow older. Samson Kasumba, a media personality, emphasized the significance of educating and nurturing the younger generation to address environmental challenges effectively.
Kasumba served as the guest of honor during the launch of the Children’s Climate Change March, which is scheduled for November 11, 2023, at Kampala City Council Authority Hall. The launch took place at Mother Majeri Bweyogerere.
He noted that previous generations did not fully grasp the importance of environmental protection, leading to issues such as widespread littering of plastic bags and bottles, as well as deforestation in the name of agriculture or urbanization. Kasumba emphasized that the younger generation, with proper guidance and support, can correct these past mistakes.
Kasumba proposed that the primary school level is where the focus should be to instill values and environmental consciousness in young minds. He stressed the importance of adhering to the biblical teaching of “training up a child in the way they should grow.”
Thomas Kisolo Kitandwe, the headteacher of Mother Majeri Primary School, likened encouraging children to plant and nurture trees to planting a seed that will never die. He expressed his belief in the malleability of young minds and emphasized that the government should prioritize environmental education in primary schools.
Kitandwe also raised concerns about the lack of integration of subjects related to the environment and the issue of littered plastic bags and bottles in urban areas. He emphasized that the young students’ fresh minds are receptive to positive influences and called for early education on environmental issues.
Mother Majeri Primary School, with over 1500 pupils, considers all its students to be climate change ambassadors, instilling the potential for change. Joseph Masembe, the founder of Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green, is mobilizing over 100 schools for a climate change walk, aimed at raising awareness and promoting nature conservation.
Masembe believes that children will eventually lead the country and that prioritizing their education is crucial to prevent natural disasters like landslides in Buduuda, Kigezi, and Kampala during heavy rainfall.
Looking forward, Patience Anyongo Aranga, a primary five pupil, stressed that while children are actively taking control of the environment’s well-being, the government should also strengthen regulations to address those who engage in environmentally harmful activities.