Women leaders and miners from Bunyoro and Rwenzori sub-regions have petitioned government to set up a mineral wealth fund through which they can directly benefit from proceeds from the exploitation of minerals.
They made the resolution on Thursday in Hoima Town during the launch of the Action Research on the Impacts of Extractive Industries on women in Africa.
The research was conducted by the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) and Women’s Alliance on Mining (Womin) in selected African countries including Uganda, DR Congo, Burkina Faso, Ghana and South Africa.
The research findings, among others, state that women miners of salt at Lake Katwe work without protective gear and suffer consequences of prolonged exposure to hazardous chemicals. According to the research findings, they have experienced inflammation of the uterus, dehydration and chemically-induced burns.
The WoMin, an African Gender and Extractives Alliance in collaboration with National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) launch its Participatory Action and Research (PAR) on women miners from Katwe Salt Lake, Western Uganda.
The PAR is part of a seven community based studies of women and mineral/oil-based development carried out by WoMin alliance members in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The launch also coincides withWorld Food Day and International Rural Women’s Day which falls squarely within WoMin’s regional work focusing on working class and peasant women in the extractive industries.
As WoMin, NAPE, and local partners recognise the importance of celebrating the International Rural Women’s Day theme, “Recognizing the role of women in improving rural development and food security” we wish to acknowledgethe numerous injustices inflicted upon women by extractive models of development. For example, women in Hoima have suffered greatly due to the land acquisition process for oil development. We particularly seek to highlight the challenges faced by women salt miners from Katwe Salt Lake in Kasese District.
The National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Oil Watch Uganda, African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) and several other environmental groups have rallied to demand delegates to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Parliamentarians and the global community to take urgent and meaningful action on climate change this week in Germany.
The action is part of a global day of action in more than 50 countries calling for a more just and sustainable energy system and for policymakers to end the undue influence and obstruction of climate policy by transnational fossil fuel corporations.
NAPE recognises the challenges associated with climate change adaptation in a poor country like Uganda and the lack of willingness for developed countries to play their role in assisting poor countries to adapt climate change. We have, therefore, decided to resort to empowering communities; through awareness raising, so that they can be able to demand for responsible behaviour from the worlds renowned polluters.
The Community Green Radio on Saturday August 1, 2015 celebrated the completion of the 1st year ever since it went on air. The radio, which is one of the programmes of National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), currently broadcasts through affiliation with Liberty FM from Hoima in Western Uganda on 89.0 FM.
The NAPE Executive Director Mr. Frank Muramuzi described the Community Green Radio anniversary as a great day in the history of NAPE and a great day in the partnership between NAPE and the communities in the Albertine Region.
“Though the Community Green Radio was initiated by NAPE, in essence it belongs to the communities. I am happy that in its one year of existence it has indeed turned out to be the voice of the people at the grassroots in the Bunyoro region,” Mr. Muramuzi said.
Government of Uganda has proposed a new NGO Bill 2015 that would grant the internal affairs minister and the National Board for Non-governmental Organisations broad powers to supervise, approve, inspect, and dissolve all nongovernmental organizations and community based organizations, and would impose severe criminal penalties for violations. Among several troubling, broad, and vaguely worded provisions, one article would require all organizations to not engage in any activity which is government demees contrary to the dignity of the people of Uganda.
If this bill is passed in its current form, it will obstruct the ability of all Ugandans to work collectively through local and international organizations on any research or advocacy that may be deemed critical of the government.
Even before the proposed NGO bill is passed into law, government of Uganda has started cracking the thrash on Civil Society Organizations that are critical of government. the Minister of Internal Affairs Gen. Aronda Nyakayirima has threatened to close The Great Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies (GLISS).