CAISL

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Climate Action for Improved and Sustainable Livelihoods

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Start date:

 July 1, 2023

End date:

 December 31, 2024

Progress

Joint Energy and Environment Projects (JEEP) in partnership with Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development (UCSD) is working towards promotion of sustainable local energy solutions and improved livelihoods for poor rural communities in Nebbi district with funding from Civil Society in Development (CISU) and Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy (NFRE)- Denmark. It has a duration of 18 months (July 2023 – December 2024)

The focus of the project is on Nebbi District (ND) to make it a JEEP Model district in climate mitigation measures and built-up community resilience, accessibility to environmentally friendly solutions and advocacy skills. The intervention focuses mainly on youth and women participation.

The intervention will, provide efficient advocacy techniques to stimulate implementation of Uganda Environmental Law and Uganda Climate Law and work towards having access to sustainable energy solutions incorporated in local development plans with allocated funds

The activities will contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 1 No Poverty, 5 Gender Equality, 7 Affordable and Clean energy, 13 Climate action, and 17 Partnerships for the goals

Updates

The goal of efficient solar-powered LED lighning solutions is to provide accesible and affordable lightning to off-grid communities in the JEEP model district Nebbi.

Testing at JEEP Office

JEEP is closely working together with the Nordic Folkecenter in transfering their landmark idea of efficient LED-lighting in remote, off-grid areas into practice. Albeit the project still being in the proof of concept phase, after rounds of tireless tinkering, innovating and testing, JEEP was finally able to produce a prototype. Unfortunately, due to ressource and other constraints it is easier said than done to directly translate the theory or even the practice in Denmark into practice in Uganda. To that end, oúr organizations are collaborating on how to overcome such issues and how to perfectly tackle Uganda-specific challenges.

Installation

After the necessary amount of prototype LED-lights was assembled, JEEP went on a Field Trip to visit a public school in Atego sub-county, Nebbi district. The school provides a unique opportunity of social mobility for its pupils. Unfortunately, their opportunities are not equal as they don’t have the light to learn after dark. The LED-lights installed by JEEP fixed that problem. In this, JEEP didn’t only provide light for aspiring pupils, but also created a community-hub, that can be recognized from far and even guide ways after dark.

Conclusion

The projects first installation was deemed succesful. Pupils were happy to have more time to study for their finals. At the same time, the installation came with a lot of learnings, such as the need to be prepared for adverse classrooms and the demand for other forms of solar-usage once it is there.

Prototype LED-lights being tested at the JEEP headquarters.

Installation of solar-cell and battery.

The installed lights shining bright in the school.

Energy Hubs

JEEP succesfully conducted two energy hubs in Nyaravuru-Angal town council and Acana Sub County. During the Energy Hubs, JEEP field staff demonstrated energy saving technologies to the gathered masses. Using a public address system, they explained how these technologies work, their benefits and how they can be of help in climate change mitigation. The field officers also talked about green enterprise development amongst the youth in Nebbi district. That way, sustainable technologies like those developed by JEEP can also have a great socioeconomic impact.

Community Drives

To reach the farthest of regions, JEEP field officers also conducted community drives. Using two newly acquired motorbikes, they reached as far as Nyaravuru-Angal town council, Parombo town council, and Acana Sub county. A radio-spot message was also developed, to be played while driving the motorcycle. As they were driving around, the field officer stopped in town centers and used the microphones to elaborate and create awareness about the CAISL project, environment, climate change, sustainable energy technologies and how CAISL is going to help the people of Nebbi combat climate change through advocacy and use of energy saving technologies.

Advocacy Skills

Since advocacy skills are crucial for the two former activities, the field staff was trained in advocacy best practices by Mr. Nkwanga David from UCSD. In an hour-long workshop, they learned about both conveying messages about environmental conservation and law to communities, as well as packaging their feedback back to the administration. Further, JEEP staff was hosted by Radio Marian Fm in Jupangira Sub county.

Conclusion

These activities were deemed succesful. After they were presented, there was great demand for sustainable technologies and people were eager for the training sessions to start. JEEP concluded that the advocacy and information part of CAISL will continue to the end of the project.

People gather around Angal Hospital Market Energy Hub.

Trainer elaborating in Parombo Town Council.

Objective

The objective was to equip selected individuals with skills and competencies in construction and maintenance of energy saving stoves. This is necessary to help community members save on fuel they use for cooking by constructing energy saving stoves using available local materials. These materials include ant-hill soil, dry grass leaves and water, as well as easy to get equipment like hoes, basins, and jerrycans.

Refresher Training of Trainers

In order to ensure sustainability of interventions, JEEP for this training utilized trainers trained in the past EASE&CA project and refreshed their abilities, to also streamline the learning experience of new beneficiaries. This activity is thus an excellent example of JEEPs ability to scale up old interventions and achieve even bigger results in new ones.

Outcome

In the end, JEEP reached 11 sub-counties and town-councils, empowering a total of 110 community-members to become trainers themselves. All the beneficiaries were eager to learn, so that they even reconstructed their stoves again after it rained. The turnout was also even more than expected because of good communication and cooperation with regional sub-county officials. Beneficiaries were also encouraged to advocate for energy-saving stoves and train their community, and to network with fellow trainers.

Out of the 110 beneficiaries, 58 were women and 52 men. This is a remarkable outcome for gender equality.

Conclusion

The activity was deemed succesful, contributing a significant amount towards making Nebbi the JEEP model district in climate action and avocacy, while also creating improved and sustainable livelihoods.

EASE&CA trainers during the practical refreshment session.

Beneficiaries pose next to an energy-saving stove after a succesful training.

Training in stove construction in Nyaravur –Angal Town Council.

To forward JEEP’s declared goal of ending environmental degradation, JEEP staff including CEO Ruth Kiwanuka and Head of Programmes Sylvia Nalubwama conducted a number of inception meetings. These meetings present an integrated and cooperative approach by JEEP to include all relevant actors and stakeholders in the process of fostering climate action and resilience in the rural communities of Nebbi district. Overall, JEEP was able to hold productive talks with district leaders including the Deputy CAO, RDC, DISO and Vice LCV, sub-county officials including senior staff members, and fellow NGOs active in the region, including Plan International.

District Leaders

27 district leaders, both political and technical, attended the meeting. Experienced leaders re-welcomed JEEP to scale up the succesful EASE-CA Project, so that EASE-CA trained Trainers can now conduct TOTs themselves. New district leaders were informed about CAISL and EASE-CA. In their remarks, the district leaders emphasized the need to tackle the great issue of climate change, while also calling for action against local environmental degradation. A key takeaway of the following participative discussion was the need for cooperation in monitoring the project. This ensures sustainable longevity of the project, so that the district can own it after completion and efficiently manage its further developments.

Sub County Officials

As CAISL is about the empowerment in sustainability of rural communities, communication with the latter is key. For that JEEP conducted meetings in 11 sub counties and 2 town-councils, reaching a total of 135 officials. Many officials complained about NGOs not sufficiently cooperating with them, since embedment of project activities into local structures is important for success. Further, local, and especially geographical knowledge is necessary to ascertain the needs of communities. In the end, the sub counties pledged support in the areas of technical issues, monitoring and security. The counties are looking forward to combat negative environmental impacts with the help of JEEP.

Civil Society Organizations

JEEP further met up with 7 fellow NGOs to discuss similarities and overlaps in the Nebbi district. An exchange of succesful projects, best-practices in raising awareness and choosing project beneficiaries, as well as observed problems in implementation took place as well. Participating civil society organizations deemed this exchange succesful.

District Leaders meeting with JEEP Team

To assess the progress of implementation, a monitoring visit was conducted by 2 NFRE representatives (Lene Hogh and Gitte Davidsen).

Visit to Nebbi

They first visited Nebbi district. This was also purposed to identify mistakes, successes, and things that can be adapted and replicated for future projects. During the monitoring visit, discussions were conducted in 3 district offices, 2 sub county offices and 2 schools, including the one with the LED lights. Participation in the energy hubs, community drives, environmental rights and climate action advocacy training were held. Project efficiency was also assessed using the mango check tool during the monitoring visit. Overall, the two were happy with what JEEP is doing in Nebbi, in line with locals who often ecpressed their thankfullness to JEEP.

Capacity Building

Back in the JEEP office, a capacity building workshop for JEEP officers was held. The workshop highlighted the importance of integrating political goals, such as the SDGs, the NDPIII, etc. into project proposals. This doesn’t only foster stakeholder cohesion and easier monitoring of these goals, but at the same time can help JEEP in acquiring funds.

National Renewable Energy Conference

During the minitoring visit the National Renewable Energy Conference and Expo also took place. This was a great opportunity to showcase JEEP’s enterprise products and work in the districts of Nebbi and Adjumani. It was also a unique opportunity to network with other organizations and to share new innovations, like the LED lights.

Conclusion

The monitoring trip was deemed succesful, as it refreshed the NFRE partnership.

The energy hub in question.

JEEP CEO Ruth Kiwanuka in midst of her Team at the NREC.

The JEEP Team at the capacity building workshop.