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On Wednesday 5th October 2022, nine (9) students from various Universities in Uganda were remanded to Luzira prison over allegations that they participated in a demonstration in support of the recent European Union Parliament resolution seeking to delay the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) citing human rights and environmental abuse concerns.

NAPE is greatly concerned about the harsh manner in which the students were arrested by the police and the charge of “common nuisance” that was levelled against them before being remanded to Luzira prison. NAPE is convinced that the detention of these students is in contravention of the Ugandan Constitution which provides for freedom to assemble and demonstrate together with others under Article 29 (1) (d). NAPE calls for unconditional and immediate release of the students.  Click here for the full statement from NAPE.

National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) with support from the European Union (EU) has launched 20 Community Based safe spaces to handle cases of gender-based violence and human rights abuses in Kiboga, Buliisa, Hoima and Kikuube districts in Uganda.

The safe spaces will enable victims of gender-based violence, human rights abuses facing stigma get psychosocial support, counselling, referrals and legal information by community caretakers who were identified and trained by NAPE in conflict resolution, counselling, gender equality and peace building.

The safe spaces were on 21st July launched in Kiboga, at the grounds of NAPE’s Community Green Radio which is the mouthpiece of NAPE’s work in the region. The radio will also have a safe space for victims from Kiboga and Kyankwanzi districts. 

While speaking at the function, Rajab Bwengye, the coordinator of projects at NAPE said the idea of setting up safe spaces was as a result of increasing gender-based violence cases and human rights abuses as a result of COVID-19, oil extractives and food insecurity.

“ NAPE has supported grassroot communities to carry out an action oriented research on gender-based violence in the districts of Hoima, Buliisa and Kikuube districts and one of the recommendations in the research was establishing safe spaces in different communities where women can run for safety and get information on how to handle gender based violence cases,”  Bwengye said.

 

 

Frank Muramuzi, the NAPE executive director said the environment cannot be well protected if the community is unhealthy with high level of violence and food insecurity and called for concerted efforts to end violence.

The Deputy RDC for Kiboga, Mathius Lutwama who was the chief guest called for other means of solving domestic issues other than fighting. He said couples can find ways of settling domestic matters without resorting to violence.

Ms. Sarah Nakitende who represented the Kiboga District Chairperson at the function said that sensitisation, dialogue and counselling were key in reducing the cases of domestic violence.

At the function, the caretakers of the safe spaces were given tools to assist them in doing their work. These included chairs, tables, stationery, and hand washing equipment.

 

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NAPE and Oil Refinery Affected Residents Association (ORRA) have embarked on carrying out joint activities aimed at amplifying voices of oil host communities.
 
The partnership between the two CSOs was kick-started with a capacity building training on community mobilisation with a specific target of PWDs, youth, women and persons living with HIV. 
 
 
This activity was organised with support from UNWOMEN, Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) in recognising the contributions and promoting peer learning between CSOs working on Women, youth, peace and humanitarian issues.
 
Ms. Joan Akiiza, the NAPE Legal Officer who organised the training said that a series of other activities were planned all aimed at ensuring that the voices of the grassroots communities especially those that are usually marginalised such and women and youth are heard in oil debates and their rights respected.
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The NAPE Executive Director Mr. Frank Muramuzi said that publishing the lobby had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant countrywide lockdown.  
 
Muramuzi said that with the end of the lockdown, all NAPE operations are now back including the NAPE lobby which carries news and analysis about the state of the environment and human rights in the country.
 
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