Environmental and Conservation Education for IDP Schools in Adjumani, NW Uganda
November 1, 2007
Adjumani is a poor district in the north west of Uganda; due to the activities of the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), the district saw an increase in Sudanese refugees and IDPs from the Acholi region. Combined, the population increase put pressure on marginal and ecologically fragile lands. Biomass was indiscriminately harvested for use as firewood, lighting, warming shelters, charcoal burning, house construction, leaving areas bare of trees and shade. This contributed to erosion and the loss of soil nutrients.
In the Adjumani district of northwestern Uganda, there were 80 primary schools, a majority hosting IDP children and 10 located in camps for displaced persons. The project selected 6 schools in association with the local Department of Education. 17 teachers were trained on the topic of environmental conservation; an ECO club was set up in 6 schools for growing organic vegetables and planting trees.
The participation of parents and the local community was essential for the success of the programme and committees were established from the schools, parents and community to monitor and report on children’s rights in the project areas.
A three-day participatory environmental management training on the topics of soil management, seed bed preparation and planting, and organic farming was conducted for 17 teachers from the schools.
Each of the 6 schools formed one ECO Club, and 40 children participated in the ECO Club activities in each school. The schools received information material, seedlings, tools, and assistance in creating central nurseries.
On the topic of children’s rights, two 3-day advocacy trainings were conducted and Child Well-Being Committees (CCWBC) were formed. 120 people participated in this project. Each of the schools formed one Rights Club. Over all, 1,600 students benefited from this project.
The participation of parents and the local community was essential for the success of the program; further, committees were established from the schools, parents, and community to monitor and report on children’s rights trainings.
REI visited Adjumani in early 2007 and visited schools already running ECO Clubs. We saw some tree-planting and vegetable gardens, as well as visiting the nursery where the seedlings and young trees were produced. It is a well-managed project.