Small Grants Finalists 2014

The following are the finalists for the SENRMCAM Project for 2014. Congratulations to all the recipients.

  1. Wakiso Youth Apostolate                                                                                                 Wakiso
  2. Green Harvest Initiative                                                                                                    Wakiso
  3. Environmental Conservation and Agricultural Enhancement Uganda Limited              Wakiso
  4. Buwasa Youth Development Association                                                                      Wakiso
  5. Brilliant Youth Organisation                                                                                              Masindi
  6. South Rwenzori Diocese                                                                                                 Kasese
  7. Mubuku Integrated Farmers Association                                                                        Kasese
  8. Nyamughasana Valley Farmers Cooperative                                                                  Kasese
  9. Hope for Mothers and Child Agency                                                                              Rubirizi
  10. Katara Women Poverty Alleviation Group                                                                      Rubirizi
  11. Bucobata                                                                                                                               Rubirizi
  12. Mitooma Rural Initiative for Development                                                                      Mitooma
  13. MJK Tree Nursery Demonstration Project                                                                      Isingiro
  14. Foundation for AIDS Orphaned Children                                                                       Isingiro
  15. Mbewo Farmers Support & HIV/AIDS Control                                                               Manafwa
  16. Bukigai Farmers and Needy Association                                                                       Bududa
  17. Katikekile Action for Development                                                                                  Moroto
  18. Child Way Uganda                                                                                                           Abim

 

Small Grants Beneficiaries 2014

A message from the Project Manager

As a Project Management Unit (PMU), I must admit that we were overwhelmed by the response. Because of the very many proposals received, PMU had to apply some criteria for screening of proposals. This included determination of whether or not the proponents had a letter of recommendation from the district (by CAO, DNRO and or CDO), and availability of a certificate of registration). That still left PMU with over 200 proposals. This compelled PMU to consider the project’s remaining life time for determining proposal for funding.

Given that the project is officially ending in December 2014 and the limited financial resources, PMU decided to drop the idea of expanding to other districts as per the advert for the call for proposals that appeared in the print media last year. The project decided to continue working in the original 11 districts of Kasese, Rubirizi, Mitooma, Isingiro, Wakiso, Masindi, Manafwa, Bududa, Moroto, Kotido and Abim. This meant that proposals from NGOs/CBOs in other districts could not be considered. We appreciate the interest shown in working with our project and hope that another opportunity to work with WWF as an organization will present itself in the near future.

James Okiria Ateker

Project Manager

Makanaga: A wetland rich in plants, birds and wildlife

The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) received 40,000,000 shillings in Small Grants from the Piloting Initiatives in Environment and Climate Change (PIEC) project to do biodiversity conservation and promotion of eco-tourism at Makanaga Wetland in Wakiso District. UWEC implemented this project in partnership with Shoebill Stock Foundation and Entebbe District Wildlife Association.

PIEC is funded by UNDP and implemented by WWF – Uganda Country Office.

Migratory birds at Makagana Wetland

Migratory birds at Makagana Wetland

Makanaga Wetland System is located in Bussi Sub County in Wakiso. UWEC did the project mainly to raise the profile of Makanaga wetland by identifying activities that could enhance community participation in biodiversity conservation and support livelihoods.

An inventory of important birds and plants of Makanaga wetland has been produced. Other treasures and potential tourism attractions were identified. Makanaga is home to the rare and threatened Shoebill Stork. Other important and common birds include common terns, gull billed terns, Goliath Heron, African Jacana, Great Cormorant, African fish eagle, Egyptian Geese and others. The full list has 135 birds.

The wetland hosts animals like otters, Africa civet cats, Sitatungas, black and white colobus. It also has important plants like Cyperus Papyrifera, Afromomum angustifoliu. Makanaga is a breeding site for different types of fish and that is why different water birds frequent this wetland.

The project established boat trails to ease the viewing of this biodiversity. Donkey trails and an observatory tower will be set up.

Boat trails that were established

Boat trails that were established

The major threats to this wetland include poaching, bushfires, degradation through agricultural activities, pollution of water through use of pesticides, herbicides, bad fishing methods and lack of awareness by the local people about the importance of this area.

With the small grants funding UWEC has trained 20 community members in tour guiding and equipped them with knowledge on wetland management and benefits.

In addition, soil and water analysis of Makanaga was done to help determine sanitation issues and the productivity of the sites sampled. The community now knows which sites are suitable for what plants, and the water analysis helped in identifying the suitable sites for fish breeding.

On learning that the wetland is a rich marsh with tourism potential, the community now takes pride in their area and have committed to working together to grow the wetland’s tourism potential.

London wildlife trade conference an opportunity for action

London – World leaders should come prepared to take strong action when they attend this week’s London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade. The two-day event is an opportunity for governments to commit to finally ending the illegal trade in elephants, rhinos, tigers and other wildlife.

The current poaching epidemic impacts the world’s most iconic species. The number of rhinos poached in South Africa alone increased to over 1,000 last year from only 13 six years ago. There are as few as 3,200 tigers remaining in the wild, and over 20,000 African elephants were illegally killed in 2012.

Priority issues to be addressed in London include strengthening law enforcement and criminal justice, reducing demand for illegal wildlife products, and supporting sustainable livelihoods for communities that live alongside wildlife.

“We are in the middle of a poaching crisis. The London Conference is the perfect opportunity for governments to show that they take this problem seriously,” said Heather Sohl, chief species adviser at WWF-UK. “Any measures agreed in London must be backed up at home by delivering actions equal to the challenge.”

Last month, the UN Security Council took a strong stand against the illegal wildlife trade by specifically targeting wildlife traffickers in two separate sanctions regimes. WWF and TRAFFIC expect governments attending the conference to seize on this positive momentum by agreeing on a declaration that details the next steps in this global fight.

Mba Ndong Marius, an Eco Guard from Oyem hold seized Ivory tusks.  © WWF-Canon / James Morgan

Mba Ndong Marius, an Eco Guard from Oyem hold seized Ivory tusks.
© WWF-Canon / James Morgan

“Governments must use the London Conference to establish a road map for the response to the poaching threat,” said Steven Broad, executive director of TRAFFIC. “We need a clear description of what actions will be taken and by whom. Most importantly, we need firm commitments to supply the financial, human and technical resources needed to ensure success.”

Illegal wildlife trade is a global problem, but its roots are local. WWF and TRAFFIC are also calling on governments at the London Conference to announce national-level actions to tackle poaching and reduce the demand for wildlife goods.

The government of Uganda is expected to attend the meeting hosted by the UK government.

The government should strongly support the anti poaching efforts of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, while security and law enforcement agencies such as Interpol, the Uganda Police, the army, need to work together to firmly deal with the rich buyers of ivory.

The London Conference takes place from 12-13 February. The event is being hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson. WWF-UK president, HRH The Prince of Wales and his son HRH The Duke of Cambridge will also attend London Conference events.

For further information or to schedule an interview with WWF or TRAFFIC, please contact:

Natalie Clark, Media Officer, WWF-UK, 01483 412253, nclark@wwf.org.uk

Richard Thomas, Global Communications Co-ordinator, TRAFFIC, 01223 651782, Richard.thomas@traffic.org

World leaders go to London to tackle illegal wildlife trade

On 12-13 February heads and ministers of around 50 governments from around the world will meet at the London Conference to agree how to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

Poaching for the trade has reached unprecedented levels and it’s estimated the trade is worth an incredible £6 billion per year, making it the fifth largest international crime. It’s time for governments to take serious action to stop the trafficking.
Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will be leading the UK government efforts. WWF-UK’s President HRH The Prince of Wales, along with his son, HRH The Duke Of Cambridge, will both be in attendance.

The illegal wildlife trade is a serious crime and causes an alarming threat to many species. In 2012, 22,000 elephants were killed worldwide for their ivory, and last year rhino poaching levels were a staggering 7500% higher than 2007, their horns sought for illegal Asian markets.

Park rangers who dedicate their lives to protecting these animals are also putting their lives in danger with over 1,000 rangers losing their lives to poachers in the last decade. Such wildlife crime has links to other serious crimes like arms, human and drug trafficking, funds regional conflict and impedes economic development in some of the poorest countries.

The aim of the two day conference is for governments to sign a declaration not only showing their political commitment against the illegal wildlife trade, but to agree specific actions they will then implement in their own countries.

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Kiyanga conserving through beekeeping and clean cookstoves

With the Small Grants funding, Kiyanga Environmental Conservation Association gave out 90 beehives to 9 people in Kiyanga with experience in bee-keeping. Within 3 months after distribution, half of all the beehives were already colonised. Honey is harvested twice in a year. From the 10 beehives, a beneficiary will harvest at least 60 liters of honey in 2 seasons. 20 liters fetch 240,000shs. Mr. Patrick Tukamuhabwa is one of the beneficiaries. A beekeeper for five years he said that from honey he will get an income, food and medicine. In addition honeybees are pollinators whose service increases crop yield and helps the ecosystem remain diverse and sustainable.

Patrick Tukamuhabwa with his beehives

Patrick Tukamuhabwa with his beehives

The beekeepers are facing some challenges. Ants often attack the bee-hives chasing away the bees. There is a belief among the residents that bees spread banana wilt, a disease that has severely destroyed banana plantations in western Uganda.

Kiyanga plans to buy 80 more beehives to give to 8 other people. “And in addition we shall also give honey harvesting gear to all the beneficiaries including gloves, smokers, knives, boots, brushes, buckets among others items,” said Benon Bushoborozi, the group’s chairman.

IMG_1314

Packaging remains a problem. “We put honey in empty wine and waragi bottles although our wish is to do proper, competitive packaging.”

So far 3 members with the area have started bee-keeping after learning about the benefits from KECA. They are using locally made bee-hives.

Lorena cookstoves

Kiyanga opted to do lorena energy saving cookstoves for several reasons. “We are neighbouring Queen Elizabeth National Park, as well as Karinju and Imaramagambo forests,” said Bushoborozi. He adds, “We have an understanding with the National Forestry Authority to visit the forests at least once a week to harvest fuel wood and with such cookstoves, firewood that would have lasted a week lasts 2 weeks.”

24 people were picked from 5 parishes to get energy saving stoves. By picking a few people from each parish, it spreads the opportunity for other community members that did not benefit to see and learn from the beneficiaries in their locality and possibly adopt.  To get a stove, one had to have a strong kitchen – at least semi-permanent. One also had to be sociable to allow people to visit and see how the stove works. The 24 stoves are all functioning.

“Now I use one bundle a week instead of 2 bundles,” said Ms. Edinavence Kajaribu. “There are many people who have come here and are interested in having such a stove.” She adds, “It’s faster, I can manage it alone and I do other things while cooking. I only come to the kitchen to check if the food has water and it has no smoke.”

Edinavence Kajaribu in her kitchen

Edinavence Kajaribu in her kitchen

Youth Ending Hunger plants trees and promotes biogas in Manafwa

Youth Ending Hunger (YEHA) is involved in tree planting to improve soil and water conservation. They are also making biogas to minimize the cutting down of trees and benefit from the bio slurry, the by-product of the biogas plant that is used as a fertiliser to improve the soil fertility and get a better crop yield.

YEHA has so far constructed 3 household biogas units. They plan to increase the beneficiary households to 10. Lucas Shilaku is one of the beneficiaries. Lucas said his school going children now have light on which to read. The slurry is manure and his banana plantation is already yielding well. “My neighbours are very interested and have come here to see the biogas but they cannot afford,” he said. The by-product is also fodder for pigs, chicken and fish. So far 3 people in Kaato sub-county have appreciated the value of biogas and are setting up their own.

Lucas Shiraku is enjoying the benefits of using biogas

Lucas Shiraku is enjoying the benefits of using biogas

Ms. Wabulyu Nivarent of Kaato sub-county received tree seedlings including pine, jackfruit and musizi. Almost all her trees are growing well. How will she benefit from this? “I will sell the trees and get an income and the jackfruit will be food for the children,” she said.

The area of Kaato is exposed to soil erosion so the canopy cover will minimize the problem and eventually improve the crop yield. The area is also exposed to heavy winds and the trees will serve as wind breakers. The beneficiaries plan to join a carbon credit scheme since Eco-Trust, an NGO working in carbon schemes is piloting in Kaato sub-county.

10,300 tree seedlings were distributed among 125 people. The seedlings included ovacado, mango, jackfruit, grevalia, musizi and pine. Households got tree seedlings according to the size of their land, with most households receiving between 50-100 seedlings.

YEHA is hopeful that the trees will be a source of nectar for bees and will boost honey production in the area. The fruit trees will improve household nutrition.

A large number of trees survived and are growing well but a few failed. For example, Tsu Tsu waterway overflooded and washed away some seedlings. One farmer lost 230 seedlings of the 300 received. Another lost 220 out of 300 received, mostly musizi and grevalia.

The contour hedgerows that tamed Bududa run-off

Elgon Natural Resources Environmental Networkers in Bududa has constructed 7.5km of contour hedgerows to minimise run-off and soil erosion in Bukigayi sub-county, Bududa. Landslides disasters are frequent in Bududa mostly because the high population density forced people to settle on steep slopes. Deforestation and degradation of the land increased the risk of landslides.

The runoff in Bukigayi was affecting 400 people. It was so powerful that it killed children and animals. After the intervention by this group, the runoff has stopped, the vegetation cover is growing and the soil fertility is improving. The road has grass and vehicles can drive uphill without sliding.

Mr. James Wakhatala, a local farmer, said the runoff would uproot his crops. At harvest he would get only 10kgs of coffee from his plot of land. After he dug hedgerows he now gets 30kgs from the same land. He says he can pick greens and cassava which was not possible with the runoff.

James Wakhatala digging up hedgerows in his banana plantation

James Wakhatala digging up hedgerows in his banana plantation

There was a problem of selecting which sub-county to support. “44% of Bududa has the problem,” said Mr. Michael Musamali, District Natural Resource Officer, Bududa district. He adds, “This was a demonstration. People in Bumakuma Parish have already started digging up hedgerows (on their land) because they now have the skills and can dig effective hedgerows.

Along the edges of the contours, the farmers have planted elephant grass which they feed to the cows.

The hedgerows now benefit about 16,000 people in Bukigayi.