This February, the Climate Coalition are asking people across the UK to make, wear and share green hearts to Show The Love for the things we want to protect from climate change. You can find out more here.
Whilst I was in Uganda I saw so many wonderful people and things that were being impacted by climate change, but I also saw some amazing projects, ideas and initiatives that were looking to combat it. So here are just a few of the great hope filled initiatives.
‘Poo Man’ – Biogas
John Njendahayo has built a house for his father in Bakijjulula, Mityana district and has gone off-grid to make the home and base more resilient. They harvest rain water in a large tank which takes them through the dry season, they have solar for the lights and sockets, and he has trialed his first biogas project for generating further power for cooking etc. They have a specifically designed cow shed, that channels the urine and faeces directly into the biogas chamber underground, and as well as power, they are left with a great organic fertilizer which is channeled directly onto their neighbours vegetable and fruit garden.
Bringing Light to the Darkness
Even in the smallest and most rural of homes, Ugandans are tapping into one of their greatest resources!
And here’s a creative way to keep outside lights safe when the rain does come, at a local campsite, as well as upcycling some waste from the build.
Making bricks normally involves large brick ovens which burn lots of wood, as well as being made away from the building site, so requiring transportation. But the ISSB (interlocking, stablised, soil brick) is a compressed block of moistened soil, mixed with a little cement, which is cured rather than fired. Stronger than conventional clay bricks, the interlocking feature of the uniformly shaped block means that ISSBs require less mortar and are easier and cheaper to construct with. John has built a whole medical centre at Maya with them, and is looking to educate others on making and building with ISSBs as part of his next vision to set up vocational colleges in Uganda.
Dragons’ Den Ideas
We had lots of great ideas pitched to us in Bakijjulula at our Dragons’ Den event. Ideas had to be new for the area and have a community benefit, and the two winners ticked those, and more. Kosmos was wanting to expand his bee-keeping business, and local farmers were already seeing the benefit that his bees were making to their crops. Rose wanted to purchase a solar powered fruit drier, to help to save some of the fruit and veg that goes to waste each year when there is a glut.
Moveable Refugee Homes
There is a constant need for homes for refugees around the world, and this experiment is exploring the idea of recycling concrete tubes into homes that work well in different temperatures, and could be moved if needed, as generally if refugees are moved, they have to start again.
And last, but certainly not least…
The Lubanga Ber CoOperative is a group of women in the Acholi quarter of Kampala, who are creatively making necklaces, bowls, Christmas decorations and more, from waste paper. Selling one small bracelet earns them as much as a whole day of breaking rocks in the local quarry, and is bringing hope to many.