“100 projects for climate” at the COP 22 in Marrakech : Selection and Representation of Uganda
A few days before the 22nd session of the members-party to the United Nations conference on climate change (COP22), the Paris agreement officially entered into force on the 4th of November effectively enabling COP22 on a theme of “Action”.
The Cop 22 held in Marrakech (Morocco) between 7th -18th November 2016 was proof of the existence of commitment at the highest level to international cooperation towards the application of the Paris agreement. In this respect COP22 enabled work on 20 decisions in the application of the Paris agreement which would be adopted in the following two years.
Since the beginning, France as a bearer of this agreement has supported this process politically, technically and financially. Its engagement and leadership role during the COP 22 has been renewed through Madame Ségolène Royal, the Minister of Environment, Energy and Marine affairs.
It is through the framework of Action and International cooperation that Madame Ségolène Royal the chairman of the COP21 launched the “100 projects for climate” during the ratification of the Paris agreement on climate.
A total number of 591 local projects submitted by 83 countries contributed to local working solutions aimed at encountering the climatic challenge. From the 6th of June to 6th of July 2016, 85 000 Internet users were able to vote for 100 local projects through a digital platform.
The wish of Adrine Musiime, the projects coordinator for the NGO A ROCHA, to benefit from international attention and the exposure to global issues offering local solutions was accomplished. With support from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Marine affairs and the French Embassy in Uganda, she participated in the COP22 in Marrakech where she presented her project.
Created in 2007, A ROCHA was established to engage communities in environmental conservation. It responds to the global crisis of biodiversity loss through community-based conservation projects, environmental education, research and advocacy both in urban and rural settings.
Uganda like all other countries of the world has experienced changes in climatic conditions with inherent weather variability posing considerable development challenges that have impacted social and economic development sectors, such as agriculture, water, forestry, energy and health. A Rocha’s climate adaptation and mitigation programs help to enhance resilience among local communities where the NGO works.
The project for which A ROCHA was selected aims at prioritizing access to drinking water through use of sand filters to purify water.
Across Uganda, approximately 25% of the population still lacks access to clean and safe drinking-water. This means that every day, around 9 million people are risking their lives and health by drinking from contaminated water sources.
To respond to this challenge A Rocha Uganda promotes the use of Bio-sand water filters (BSFs), a cheap and simple solution that has remarkable health, economic and social benefits. By passing water through layers of sand and sediment, they are able to remove up to 100% of worms and protozoa, up to 98.5% of bacteria and 70-99% of viruses.
Previous BSF recipients report a reduction in infectious diseases such as cholera, dysentery and diarrhoea, fewer work days lost due to illness and caring for the sick, and less time lost in fetching and boiling water.
Thanks to its involvement in the “100 projects for climate”, A ROCHA has benefited from its experience in several ways:
- • Capacity building through webinars available on the collaborative platform of the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Marine affairs that focus on how to fundraise and raise visibility of the project. For example the collaborative platform enables actors to map and connect between projects to share knowledge, expertise and network to facilitate collective response to global warming.
- • Through a fully paid trip by the Ministry of environment, energy and Marine affaires, the coordinator of A Rocha, attended the COP22 where gained experience in collaboration at the international level.
She represented her organization during a side-event organized on 14th November 2016 in the French pavilion in the blue zone and on the 15th of November in the green zone. During the panel discussions she talked about the Biosand water filter technology and its impact on women living in slum communities of Kampala, Uganda.
- • At the international level, the participation of A ROCHA at the COP22 increased the visibility and recognition of the organization and the projects that it undertakes. Adrine Musiime was able to meet and exchange contacts with a number of agencies involved in climate change. This experience also enabled her to discover local innovations that could be replicated in Uganda such as solid waste management by reusing old pieces of cloth to make floor carpet and using cardboard to make chairs.
- • A funding opportunity by way of a grant of £5000 from the Ministry of environment, energy and marine affairs to the NGO in support of the its project. The funds will be used in 2017.
On returning to Uganda, the coordinator of A ROCHA gave an account of her experience at the COP22 during the celebration ceremony of the Paris agreements held at the French residence on the November. The Minister of Tourism Hon Ephraim Kamuntu, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water and Environment Alfred Okot Okidi and several other political, institutional, economic representatives and some members of the civil society were among the guest present and they appreciated her presentation.
The French Ambassador to Uganda is delighted with the positive experience that A ROCHA benefited from and encourages the civil society and political leaders to build onto efforts already in place towards environmental preservation and the fight against climate change.