Environmental Sustainability Takes Center Stage in Teso School Debate

Toroma Peas Secondary School Crushes Usuk Secondary School in Climate Justice and Environmental Sustainability Debate

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Following the environmental destruction caused by communities through deforestation, bush burning, and charcoal production, non-governmental organizations along with district leaders in Teso have opted to organize school debates on climate justice and environmental sustainability.

Under the theme “Climate Justice and Environment Sustainability,” Toroma Peas Secondary School, Usuk Secondary School St. Stephen, and Pricilla Comprehensive School were selected for a challenging debate on Friday, November 24, 2023. However, only Pricilla Comprehensive School did not show up.

The chief judge, Paul Opesen, declared Toroma Peas Secondary School the winner with 51% marks, and Usuk Secondary School came in second with 50% marks.

While closing the one-day deliberation organized by the Church of Uganda TEDDO and ActionAid at Royalist Hotel Katakwi, the Secretary for Education and Community in Katakwi District, Hon. Irene Among, applauded the partners for initiating the debate, stating that it would help improve the English language in schools.

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Among, who is the District councillor for Getom and Akoboi sub-counties, noted that Ongongoja, Okulonyo, Ngariam, Guyaguya, and Magoro sub-counties are leading in charcoal burning.

“Based on the president’s directive, we shall arrest and prosecute whoever is found with heavy trucks carrying charcoal,” Among stated.

Simon Okello, the Environment Officer for Katakwi, mentioned that the vagaries in rain patterns and prolonged dry spells indicate the effects of climate change, which are highly realized in the district.

“I can confirm with authority that Katakwi people are suffering so much because of climate change-related issues, and this has affected their social welfare and well-being. As a district, we are afraid that due to these effects, we may not achieve the vision of 2040 for middle-income status,” Okello said.

Abraham Otuya, the Program Officer for Resilience Livelihoods at TEDDO, emphasized that political leaders and technical experts should restore the environment by advocating for effective policies and funding to sustain it from being destroyed.

Otuya stated that they are training communities in Katakwi to improve their agricultural production (Agro-Ecology), mainly in the sub-counties of Palam, Toroma, and Kapujan, respectively.

Documented by Benjamin Epeduno

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