On Friday, 25th September 27 students from 27 schools from within Kasese District in western Uganda participated in the global climate strike at the Centre for Citizens Conserving (CECIC) offices for the film screening to increased students’ understanding of the negative impacts of oil and gas exploitation activities on communities and biodiversity and mobilize students to demand an inclusive and just energy transition.
The students were given a glimpse of the effects on oil exploration to the social, economic and environment setting, they discussed the developments of oil and gas in Uganda and how they can join the demand for just energy transition since the world economies are switching from fossil fuels to cleaner energy.
The film screening is part of CECIC’s efforts to raise students’ awareness of the impacts of oil and gas exploitation activities and mobilize them to demand an inclusive and just energy transition.
After screening the film, Gumisiriza Glora called on participants to give their views on the film in regards to the impacts of oil and gas activities on Uganda’s rich biodiversity, how youth and women groups and civil society can take part in efforts of conserving the environment.
Mbambu Babrah, thanked CECIC for bringing this film to be watched by the students to understand the dark side of oil exploration to the environment. However, she said, “CECIC should come back and sensitize the community more about these dangers because I only knew that skilled youth will get jobs because this is what the government has been saying on the radio station but it’s only CECIC that has enlighten us about these dangers of oil exploration.”
“As women, we have realized we shall suffer more because the oil activities will contaminate the land, water and air making it difficult for us to survive in the community and yet we have known this land for centuries and we have nowhere to go if the land is contaminated.”
As a way forward the following recommendations were discussed, one, participants committed to organizing school environmental clubs for the schools where they study from so that we don’t only stop at watching the film but to share knowledge on the dangers of oil exploitation activities and also demand and pressure the government for a just transition.
Secondly, they called on CECIC to organize a bigger forum where more students will be represented so that more students are aware of the impacts of oil activities on the environment as well as other community representatives to also see first-hand the impacts of oil activities on the environment.
Furthermore, the participants recommended that their local leader to start being transparent about the dangers of oil activities to the environment so that the youth and the communities be fully aware. Continue to follow our journey towards a Uganda that is fossil-free.
By Edwin Mumbere