Self Help Africa are the lead partner in an innovative new EU-funded project that aims to create a sustainable ‘green economy’ in the Lake Bunyonyi region of Uganda.
‘Striking a Balance: Developing a Green Economy’ was launched in Rubanda on July 19. The three year project will be implemented by Self Help Africa in collaboration with African International Christian Ministry (AICM) and the local authorities of Kabale and Rubanda District Local Governments. The scheme will contribute to the inclusive, low-carbon economic transformation of communities in the Lake Bunyonyi basin. Led by 12 local village natural resource management committees, the initiative will generate sustainable economic growth, increased employment, reduced poverty and improved nutrition.
To date, people living around Lake Bunyonyi have not had the opportunity to sufficiently use the area’s vast natural resources to improve their lives. ‘Striking a Balance’ hopes to change that – enabling local communities to make a living from local resources, whilst ensuring the protection of the environment at the same time. 18,000 households in the region will benefit from the sale of sustainable energy products from the implementation of this project.
The project will also create 500 environmentally sustainable jobs across sectors that include horticulture, beekeeping, mushroom production, small livestock and sustainable energy. A futher 500 farmers will also receive training to increase farming and enterprise knowledge, in order to increase income and food security of the people around Lake Bunyonyi.
Significantly, the project will also target vulnerable groups: women, young people and the indigenous Batwa rainforest people will make up more than half of the 1,000 direct beneficiaries, making sure that these members of the community will not be left behind.
Mark Ireland, Self Help Africa’s Head of Region, said: “Kabale and Rubanda have huge untapped potential. “All players within the Lake Bunyonyi catchment need to oversee better management of natural resources, agriculture production, extension services, facilitating market and value chain development – which this project will facilitate” he added.
By the end of the three-year project, the goal is to implement a sustainable multi-sector management strategy for the lake catchment.