Namasho Women start biogas use in Bududa

The group of 40 women has constructed six biogas digesters of 6 cubic meter capacity for 8 households. These can light two lamps and two stoves. The households have 8 members on average.

“Before the biogas I used a bundle of firewood daily costing 5,000 shs and 300 milliliters of paraffin costing 1,500 shs,” said Ms. Zipporah Wamoto, the chairperson of the group. “Now I use only one bundle of firewood a week and 300ml of paraffin lasts a week.” She adds, “I don’t cut trees as often as I used to. We use the slurry in our plantation as fertilizer. Money is used to do other things like pay school fees.”

“It is cleaner, easier and faster to cook, especially boiling tea,” said another beneficiary. “My husband can now boil his own water for bathing and his tea. He was skeptical when I brought up the idea of biogas but today he likes it and is the one who feeds the digester with cow dung. I can cook tea and entertain my guests at the same time without smelling of smoke.”

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Namasho Women Group is in the process of giving out 6,000 tree seedlings of grevalia and mango to 100 households.

Environmental and socio-economic benefits

  • The families with biogas are now using less firewood and say they are cutting down fewer trees.
  • The slurry is a high quality fertilizer and fodder for animals.
  • There is a decrease in respiratory illnesses and eye infections that are caused by smoke from firewood and tadooba.
  • Homes are more hygienic

Saving Lake Kako

Mushumba Community Initiatives for Development (MCID) is a Community Based Organisation in Ryeru sub-county, Rubirizi district. With support through the Small Grants, Mushumba members came together to save Lake Kako against silting and soil erosion. They planted 9 acres along the lake shoreline with vetiver grass and 1,760 tree seedlings. Apart from being a major source of water for the people of Mushumba and its neighboring communities, Lake Kako is a key factor in moderating the local climate.                 FSCN4763

What are the socio-economic benefits?

The slopes of the lake provide rich soils where community members grow crops like maize, millet, cassava, potatoes, coffee, beans and bananas. The slopes are good grazing grounds because of the presence of elephant grass and other nutritious vegetation for animals. There is fishing which is a major source of protein for a number of households.

The trees, bushes and shrubs around the lake are a source of firewood, building materials and herbal medicine.

It’s also a recreation area for swimming and other leisure activities and the lake adds to the natural beauty of the area. The lake supports about 20,000 people.

What are the environmental benefits?

By conserving and restoring Lake Kako, there is:

• Reduced landslides around the lake

• Controlled soil erosion and silting

• Increased biodiversity

• Climate modified as a result of trees growing around the lake water. The water body

(Lake Kako) and the vegetation (trees planted) contribute moisture to the atmosphere through evapo-transpiration which leads to rainfall formation.

• The land and sea breezes modify the temperature of the areas adjacent to the lake.

• A rare species of fish in the lake, Cray fish, will be allowed to multiply.

• Community empowerment since the conserving of the lake has demonstrated that they can address their own environmental challenges

The solar cooker

The CBO has introduced solar cooking technology in the area as an efficient sustainable alternative source of energy for domestic cooking and as a way of reducing heavy dependence on biomass fuel. 350 community members were sensetized on the benefits of using a Solar cooker. 3 demonstration solar cookers have been constructed and are in use – at Mushumba Health Center II and in two homes.

“Members were captivated by the power of the sun in cooking food especially by the little time it took for the food to get ready”

“Members were captivated by the power of the sun in cooking food especially by the little time it took for the food to get ready,” said Mr. John Mubangizi, executive director of Mushumba. “The most exciting moment came with the tasting of the food prepared by a solar cooker.” The solar cooker took one and half hours to cook a meal of bananas and dry beans.   DSCN4938

Kataara Women’s Poverty Alleviation Group is making paper from elephant dung

With a $10,000 grant from UNDP, this group of women focused on two activities – construction and promotion of energy saving stoves and eco-tourism. They have constructed 180 energy saving stoves for 180 households of 6 villages of Katara Parish with each village getting 30 stoves. Kataara chose to make fuel-efficient cookstoves to minimize the deforestation and encroachment on the protected area of Queen Elizabeth National Park which neighbours Kataara Parish. “People go collect firewood from the national park and they are shot at, the women get raped there,” said Mr. Moses Agaba, the group’s coordinator.

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Kataara Women working on the cookstoves at their workshop in Rubirizi (Photos by Agnes Asiimwe, WWF)

Those using the stoves are happy to have embraced the new method of cooking. “I would use one head load of firewood per week but I now use the same bundle for two weeks,” said Ms. Birungi Mwanje, who adds that she goes around telling neighbours how the stove has reduced her firewood demand by half. Although the community has been slow at appreciating the value of using these stoves, they are taking it up slowly. Kataara has sold 100 stoves within 3 months.  A stove is sold at 10,000shs.

Kataara hopes to make 5,000 stoves for sale by April 2014. From 10,000 shs made from each stove, 3,000 shs goes to the maker of the stove and 7,000 shs goes to the savings and credit scheme of the group. The group lends out this money to members who are given a three months grace period before paying back with 5 percent interest.

Craft Making

The group is also making handicrafts as a business and to conserve natural resources. Kataara collaborates with Queen Elizabeth National Park to promote conservation of the elephant that is facing threats of poisoning as a retaliation against crop raids, by making paper out of elephant dung.

“We make elephant dung paper to show the community that elephants should be conserved because there are people who kill them for meat and ivory,” said Mr. Agaba. “By using elephant dung it adds value to the elephant.” He added,”Elephants always eat our crops so in a way we are compensating ourselves by picking their dung.”

“Elephants always eat our crops so in a way we are compensating
ourselves by picking their dung.”

At first the members collected the dung from their gardens but now the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has allowed them to pick the elephant dung from inside the protected area. From the elephant dung Kataara has made visitors’ books and menus for the neighbouring Kataara and Engazi lodges. They are now making greeting cards, photo frames, handbags and writing pads. Handcrafts are a source of income for the members. The office also doubles as a craft shop with baskets, mats, jewelry, cards  and other items. Members make most of the items individually and take to the shop for sale.

ImageThe women pound elephant dung to make paper

You can get in touch with this group at katarawomens@gmail.com

Job Opportunities at WWF Uganda

pandaWorld Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is one of the world’s largest independent and experienced Conservation organizations operating in over 100 Countries in the world. WWF UCO with funding from the European Union is implementing the “Sustainable Financing of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park (RMNP) Project Uganda” a project aimed at promoting sustainable conservation financing within the Rwenzori Landscape. The Project will be implemented in partnership with the mandated Government Institutions, Civil Society Organizations, the private sector and communities within the Rwenzori Landscape.
WWF UCO is seeking for experienced and talented individuals in various professions named below to work with the above named project in Kasese. In addition to the job specific qualifications, all candidates should adhere to the WWF values of being knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging.

1. Project Manager
The Project Manager will ensure the delivery of sustainable provision of ecosystem services and similar initiatives from WWF’s partners in the Rwenzori Mountains Landscape, in Kasese, Kabarole, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo Districts aligning them with the WWF Country Programme activities in the area.
Qualifications & Skills: Master’s of Science degree or equivalent training in Environmental Economics, Natural Resource Management or related field.
Reports to: Programme Coordinator. Supervises: All Project Staff.

2. Finance & Administration Officer
Under the direct supervision of the Project Manager, and technically to the Financial Analyst, the Project Finance and Administration Officer will be responsible for budgeting and financial reporting of the project activities.
Qualification & Skills: Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or equivalent professional qualification. Minimum 5years work experience.
Reports to: Project Manager. Supervises: Project Receptionist, Driver and Messenger.

3. Monitoring & Evaluation Officer
The Monitoring & Evaluation Officer (M&EO) will implement the Monitoring & Evaluation strategy of WWF UCO and related activities in support of the WWF UCO Conservation Programme.
Qualification & Skills: Bachelor’s degree in Ecology, Sociology, Economics, Monitoring & Evaluation. Minimum 3 years’ work experience. Reports to: Project Manager.

4. Communications’ Officer:

The Communications’ Officer will develop and implement the project’s communication strategy, raise awareness of the project activities and coordinate with key stakeholders.
Qualification & Skills: Bachelors’ Degree or equivalent in Information, Communication or related field.
Reports to: Project Manager.

5. Field Officers (2): The Field Officers will be responsible for oversight and facilitation of field activities carried out by (i) Local Governments (ii) Local Communities and (iii) Project Partners.
Qualifications & Skills: Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Development, Ecology, Biology, Geography any other relevant field.
Reports to: Project Manager.

6. Receptionist: The Receptionist is responsible for the proper handling of the front desk, ensuring all incoming and out-going calls are attended to in addition to professionally attending to the organization’s guests.
Qualification & Skills: Diploma in Secretarial Studies with a good Ordinary Level Certificate.
Reports to: Project Finance & Administration.

7. Project Driver
The Project Driver will provide full time driving and vehicle maintenance services to the project. S/he will be responsible for transporting authorized personnel, deliver and collect mail and other documents as required.
Qualification & Skills: Ordinary level Certificate of Education with a valid driving permit and a clean driving record. Reports to: Project Finance & Administration Officer

8. Messenger:
The Project Messenger will be responsible for the general office cleanliness. Ensuring that the office ambience is clean and neat at all times. Working with the administration function, the Messenger will handle minor repairs around the office; handle basic secretarial work like photocopying. Internally, the position will work with the Project Finance and Administration Officer.
Qualification & Skills: Ordinary Level certificate of Education. Training in Office Practice and Management is desired. Knowledge of the local language is desired.
Reports to: Project Finance and Administration Officer.
Suitable candidates should forward their cover letter, curriculum vitae and academic transcripts to the:

People Development Manager, WWF Uganda, at kampala@wwfuganda.org, or WWF Uganda Country Office,
Plot 2 Sturrock Road, P.O. Box 8758, Kampala, no later than 29th January 2014.

Only shortlisted candidates shall be contacted.
WWF is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to having a diverse workforce

CALL FOR PROPOSALS

STRENGTHENING SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION IN UGANDA PROJECT

Background

Strengthening Sustainable Environment and Natural Resource Management, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Uganda (SENRMCAM) is a project funded by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by World Wide Fund for Nature, Uganda Country Office (WWF UCO) on behalf of the Government of Uganda. The project aims to strengthen the efforts and capacities of Local Governments, Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) and communities to sustainably manage and utilize natural resources and build climate change resilient societies.

The project has four key outputs:

i)                   Biodiversity conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems demonstrated.

ii)                Sustainable Land Management practices identified and replicated.

iii)                Efficient utilization of biomass energy, promotion of renewable energy technologies and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

iv)                Climate Change resilience promoted.

This project is implemented in collaboration with responsible parties drawn from various ministries, local government and CSOs. The project partners include the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD), Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Call for Project Proposals

As one of the ways to accelerate the implementation of the project and build capacity of the civil society, the project is inviting proposals from NGOs and CBOs in the districts of  Arua, Nebbi, Nwoya, Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, Buliisa, Rakai, Buhweju, Bushenyi, Mbarara, Kiruhura, Kamuli, Nakasongola, Kabale, Kanungu, Kisoro, Soroti, Busia, Kiboga, Luwero, Jinja, Sembabule, Lwengo, Kalungu, Kasese, Mitooma, Rubirizi, Abim, Bududa, Mbale, Moroto, Kotido, Isingiro, Masindi, Masaka,Wakiso and Manafwa to benefit from its small grants scheme.

 The proposed projects may cover but are not limited to the following focal areas:

  1. Sustainable land management
  2. Biodiversity conservation and restoration on private/communal lands
  3. Livelihood improvement enterprises
  4. Renewable energy technologies
  5. Climate change adaptation and mitigation

How to apply

Interested applicants are advised to pick a project proposal template from the WWF UCO Offices at the address below or from Natural Resource offices of the districts mentioned above.

Proposals in hard copy only must be submitted to the address below by 30th January, 2014, not later than 4.00pm.  

The Project Manager

SENRMCAM Project

WWF Uganda Country Office

P. O. Box 8758, Kampala

Plot 2 Sturrock Road, Kololo

Tel: 0414 540 064

 

 

The life changing energy saving stoves

Energy saving cookstoves are changing the lives of many women in rural and remote parts of Uganda. Ms. Edinavence Kajaribu received a lorena cookstove through Kiyanga Environmental Conservation Association (KECA) in Mitooma.  KECA is one of the recipients of the Small Grants funding ($10,000) from UNDP – Uganda Country Office.

Image Edinavence in her kitchen

“Now I use one bundle a week instead of 2 bundles,” said Ms.Kajaribu. “It’s faster, I can manage it alone and do other chores as I cook. I only come to the kitchen to check if the food has water.” She quickly adds, “And it has no smoke.”

Edinavence is one of the 24 people that received the lorena cookstoves in Kiyanga sub county. To qualify as a beneficiary one had to have at least a semi-permanent. One also had to be sociable to allow people to visit and see how the stove works.

Kiyanga neighbours two key forests – Karinju and Imaramagambo as well as Queen Elizabeth National Park.  The community has an understanding with the National Forestry Authority (NFA) to pick firewood from the forest not more than once a week.  With the lorena cookstoves it cuts the need to go to the forest for firewood by half.

Ms. Birungi Mwanje received an energy saving cookstove from Katara Womens Poverty Alleviation Group in Rubirizi. Katara too received a $10,000 grant.

“I would use one head load of firewood per week but I now use the same bundle for two weeks,” she said.  Ms.Mwanje uses just one block of wood as opposed to the many poles she used when she cooked on the traditional three-stone fire.  “I keep telling the neighbours how the stove has reduced my firewood demand by half,” she said.                                                      Image                   Ms Birungi Mwanje in her kitchen

Kikokiro Savings and Development Group in Wakiso is promoting renewable energy technology in Wakiso. The 25-member group makes briquettes and cookstoves for sale.  Within two months of receiving the $12,000 Small Grants funding, the group made 87 cookstoves as well as 600kg of stick briquettes and 70kg of honeycomb briquettes.

Charcoal briquettes are similar in appearance to ordinary charcoal but are made out of agricultural residues and charcoal waste that would normally be discarded as useless waste.

The group sells the big stoves at 40,000 Uganda shillings ($16) and the small stoves at 25,000 Shs or $10. By mid-October they had sold 400kgs of stick briquettes at 1,000shs a kilo, and 60kg of honeycomb briquettes with one honeycomb selling at 2,000shs.  The group members say the demand for the briquettes is high and the business opportunity is promising. They are now working on making standardized products that can be packaged and sold in supermarkets and many other outlets.

Wide adoption of charcoal briquettes would minimize the heavy dependence on charcoal and firewood that are contributing to wide scale deforestation in Uganda. In addition, money is saved and there is a decrease in common diseases from smoke such as eye infections and asthma.       ImageA family that received cookstoves from Katara

Innovation: Wakiso Youths Make Eco-Bricks

A group of youths working under the name Wakiso Parish Youth Apostolate (WAPYA), based in the district of Wakiso has revolutionalised the process of brick-making. The youths make sun baked interlocking blocks, known as the eco-bricks. Fire burned
bricks are the most commonly used bricks in Uganda. With the eco bricks no burning is required meaning that no wood is needed. The eco blocks are made with soil, lake sand and cement and are strong and durable.

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The group started making the bricks in June 2012 with a borrowed interlocking block machine. In October 2012 the group received two block making machines from the UNDP funded project under WWF, through the Ministry of Energy. With one machine they were
making 350 blocks a day and now make 700 blocks a day with the two machines. The group hopes to acquire a motor powered machine which would double the number of blocks made per day.WAPYA is a faith based organization and presently markets their blocks in churches and schools within Wakiso. They have also got contracts from a few individuals. The interest in the blocks is still low because of the price. The cost of one ecobrick is 400 shillings while an ordinary fire burned brick costs 150shs. Still, the eco brick has several advantages;

  • They don’t require firewood because they dry in the sun and dry quickly. Ordinary bricks may take two weeks to a month before they are ready and burning a single brick requires at least a kilogram of firewood.
  • They require less labour. With the normal brick there is need for porters to carry water, carry firewood, set the bricks ready for burning while the eco bricks only require about three porters to mix the materials and operate the machine.
  • Eco-bricks can be made on site and hence minimise on breakage as commonly happens during the transportation of the burned bricks.
  • – Eco bricks use less water while ordinary bricks require more water.

WAPYA is one of the five Community Based Organisations in Wakiso district being supported by UNDP. The CBO recently received additional funding of close to nine millions Uganda shillings to help them acquire two more block making machines and increase their production. Brick making is one of the main causes of deforestation and the destruction of forests is one of the biggest sources of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. At the moment, deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for up to a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions each year.

We urgently need to reduce emissions if we’re to avoid the consequences of climate change – from flooding to drought, food shortages to species extinction. Conserving our forests is a crucial part of this. WAPYA’s eco-brick innovation is a step in the right direction.