Following the environmental degradation caused by communities through deforestation, bush burning, and charcoal burning, non-governmental organizations and district leaders in Teso opted to organize school debates on climate justice and environmental sustainability.
Under the theme “Climate Justice and Environmental Sustainability,” Toroma Peas Secondary School, Usuk SS 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 SS came in second with 50% marks.
During the one-day deliberation organized by the Church of Uganda TEDDO and Action-Aid at the Royalist Hotel in Katakwi, Hon. Irene Among, the Secretary for Education and Community-Based in Katakwi District, commended the partners for initiating the debate, stating that it would help improve English language skills in schools.
Among, who is also the district councillor for Getom and Akoboi sub-counties, noted that Ongongoja, Okulonyo, Ngariam, Guyaguya, and Magoro sub-counties were 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.
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Simon Okello, the environment officer for Katakwi, mentioned that the changing rain patterns and prolonged dry spells indicate the adverse effects of climate change 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 2040 of the middle-income status,” Okello explained.
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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 the environment from being destroyed.
Otuya mentioned 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.
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