By Phillip Bakalikwira and NECJOGHA TEAM
Kampala, Uganda – Thousands of members of the civil society organizations including Climate Action Network Uganda (CAN-U) ACT Alliance, Youth Go Green and Buganda Kingdom on Friday matched in Kampala streets in what was globally known as a strike for climate.
The protestors also included university students and a sizeable number from the media.
The youth under the banner, “Youth Go Green’ put their best foot forward as they walked in protest against Climate Change.
This is part of a global campaign by the youth to remind the world to take action on Climate Change. The young people are protesting inaction within Government and business against climate change.
According to Edwin Muhumuza, the Chief Executive Officer for the Youth Go Green, the protest match is seeking to moblise the world to take action on climate change.
The walk by the young people and some of their partners started from City Square on Kampala Road, proceeded to Jinja Road and then branched to Garden City and then Parliament.
After match on the streets, the protestors assembled at Parliament and handed over a petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.
The petition is reminding Government to be more ambitious in addressing impacts of climate change.
The protest match was being organised ahead of the Climate Change summit in New York in the US in the coming week.
Muhumuza said the Government had signed protocols including the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement on climate change but more action on adaption (coping with adverse impacts) to the changing climate is needed. He also said they want to see protection of the environment taken seriously.
“We have policies on the environment and climate change but wetlands are being degraded, we want more action because healthy ecological systems shield people from adverse impacts of climate,” said Muhumuza.
Harriet Mbabazi, resilience Manager from Oxfam International (Uganda) said the weather had become unpredictable resulting into declining quantity and quality of food. She said the youth were the future of the country and that it is important to secure the future of the youth by securing a healthy environment.
She also said they were amplifying the voice of the voiceless including the youth and pastoralists. She also appealed to the public to join the movement to demand for accountability from world leaders.
Mariam Talwisa from the Climate Action Network Uganda (CAN-U) said the developed world that has caused climate change should do more in fulfilling the commitment of contributing to the Green Climate Fund. She also demanded that Government should be transparent and accountable regarding the use of the resources to fight climate change.
Namugerwa in New York Climate Summit
Leah Namugerwa is a senior three student from Seroma Secondary School in Mukono, according to Timothy Mugerwa, the director of the Green Climate Campaign Africa.
The director said 15-year-old-Namugerwa is one of the 100 youthful participants in the side events organised along the sidelines of the UN Summit in New York on September 23rd.
Countries of the world are supposed to ramp up their ambitions to curb the green houses gases under the 2015 Paris Agreement. In a related development, a second worldwide protest match is planned for September 27th.
Antonio Guteress, the Secretary-General of the United Nations offered return air tickets to the youth.
Swedish youth initiated campaign
The Climate change protest walk campaign was initiated by a Swedish youth, Greta Thunberg, an activist who started walking last year. She also declined to fly to the Summit in New York and opted to go by boat while campaigning about climate change. Consequently, the climate change protest walk have been organised in 150 countries.