To mark this year’s World Environment Day, Little Hands Go Green, a civil society organization championing environment conservation among children, and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) teamed up to educate children and Ugandans about the dangers of using polyethylene bags commonly known as kaveera.
The two agencies activated what they called Kavera Free Uganda World Environment Day Caravan. The caravan saw both NEMA and Little Hands Go Green with support from various stakeholders visited different schools in eastern Uganda with the gospel of ending the use of kaveera as a means of conserving the environment.
The caravan was launched in Prayer Palace Primary School in Kireka, in Wakiso District before visiting schools in Mukono , Lugazi, Jinja, Tororo and Mbale districts. The caravan saw stakeholders plant trees, collect littered kaveera and cleaned towns.
National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Deputy Executive Director Ms Christine Akello urged pupils to get rid of plastic bags which pose a great danger to the environment.
Paula Marie, one of the Little Hands Go Green Ambassadors revealed that have started mini caravan from school because they want the children to know that the future is in their hands and they should protect environment for a better tomorrow.
Joseph Masembe, the chief executive officer of Little Hands Go Green, called out Ugandans to be ‘selflessly patriotic and put the interests of future generations before the interests of a few investors and capitalists’ who benefit from the sale of kaveera.
Uganda proposed to ban the use of kaveera a decade ago but has struggled to enforce the ban because of political and economic intrigue and now Masembe says there is need to enforce the ban religiously and have government fully support NEMA to avoid double standards.
By involving children, parents, teachers and other stakeholders, Masembe is making a call to action because there is no plan B when it comes to conserving the environment.
“We owe it to our children and grandchildren to support them in sound environmental practice because it is only through this that we can salvage a greener Pearl of Africa for them. There is a lot to contend with, depleted forest cover, charcoal burning, plastic pollution, wetland encroachment, poaching and loss of biodiversity.
I could go on and on, therefore if we can stop thinking that the job of securing a greener future is a job for NEMA ,UNDP, ESKOM , Little Hands Go Green and other organizations and start to look at it as a job for you and me we will start to see real progress.”
Little Hands Go Green has planted 250,000 fruit trees across Uganda since inception. It regularly engages schools, children and other stakeholders in practically educating children to plant trees as a tool to conserve the environment.
Speaking in Mbale during the World Environment Day celebrations, French Envoy to Uganda Ms Stephanie Rivoal revealed that plastics are contributing to the decline of soil productivity & fish species in Lake Victoria.