FCP was a one-year project implemented by the Jane Goodall Institute – Uganda, funded by the Jane Goodall Institute – Austria in Cooperation with the Austrian Public Campaign “Mother Earth”.
The Project targeted over 3,500 community members in seven (7) villages in Buseruka and Kiziranfumbi sub counties (between Wambabya and Bugoma Central Forest Reserves (CFR), Hoima District.
The goal of the project was to consolidate the achievements of the Sustainable Livelihoods Project(SLP) that ended in 2013 and was implemented in the same villages. SLP intended to restore regional forests and waterways, improve community livelihoods and promote environmental education. Whereas it was a success, some of the interventions still required continued technical support while others needed scaling up so as to benefit other (previously not reached) community members in the target area and potentially adjacent villages.
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES
1) Restoring Regional Forests and Waterways
(i) Tree nursery establishment in villages
Tree nursery establishment and management aimed at enhancing tree planting in the Bugoma-Wambabya forest corridor. Establishment of tree nurseries was based on the need for fuel wood requirements, forest corridor connectivity, fodder for animals and timber requirements. As such, fast growing timber tree seedlings such as eucalyptus, pine and sesbania were raised to provide for fuel wood and timber requirements to reduce pressure on the natural forests. Other species such as Mitragyna stipulosa that characteristically grows in water logged conditions especially along low-lying river edges and swamps was planted along the Wambabya-Bugoma riverine forest to enhance forest corridor connectivity.
Five (5) community nursery groups were supported to raise seedlings. These include the Wambabya Nature and Tree Conservation Group, Ngemwa-Nzorobi Forest Conservation Development Association (NZOFOCODA), KIKAKODA, WAFOCODA and Butimba Sustainability Conservation Association
(ii) Tree planting in degraded forest and riverine areas
Five (5) community nurseries were established raising 83,625 eucalyptus seedlings and 5,280 cuttings of Mitragyna stipulosa. School groups also Sesbania and Mvule (Milicia excels) seedlings. It is these indigenous species that were planted in the degraded forest areas.
(iii) Installing iron removal plant in boreholes and shallow wells
Four iron removal plants were installed on four water sources in the project area. The water sources include 3 boreholes of Kyakatemba, Kigaaga and Kanyegaramire Villages plus one shallow well in Rwamusaga Village. This is intended to improve the quality of drinking water in the project area by removing iron. All water in the water sources mentioned above had turned brown and communities stoped using it. Iron is an objectionable constituent of portable water as it imparts a bitter characteristic, metallic taste and change in color of water, which may be yellowish brown to reddish brown. This makes water unsuitable for use. In addition to this, Iron stain everything with which it come in contact.
With the construction of the iron removal chamber, water is now very clean.
(iv) Provision of extension and advisory services to nurseries and tree growers (PFOs)
Regular extension and advisory services were provided to community nursery groups by the project team, but it was largely the Trainer of Trainees (ToTs) and KIKACODA Executive who were with the groups throughout the project period.
(v) Forest Monitoring
Forest monitors who had already been equipped with knowledge and skills of collecting data using Ordinary Data Kits (ODK) technologies continued monitoring forest management activities in the entire Bugoma-Wambabya Forest corridor. JGI Uganda’s GIS Officer continuously guided the forest monitors on data upload into Google Geo-database.
2) Environmental Education and Engagement
(i) Interactive meetings with communities
The community interactive meetings were attended by 456 participants (33.6% Female) from seven (7) villages as seen in Table 5 below.
Table 3: Number of community members participating in interactive meetings
|Village||Number of Participants||Total|
|Total||303 (66.4%)||153 (33.6%)||456|
The main theme of the interactive meetings was Forest and Water Conservation. Discussions highlighted the dangers of deforestation, especially on water sources. The “Lake game” was used throughout the meetings to highlight the dangers of water pollution. It is a common practice in Buseruka and Kiziranfumbi Sub-counties for community members to wash motorcycles, cloth as well as watering their domestic animals in water streams that are also a source of drinking water. The Lake Game helps participants understand how they as individuals can change their own actions to minimize water pollution. It aimed at changing people’s attitudes and behaviours so as to take informed action towards water resource conservation. At the end of the meetings, local authorities in each village vowed to come up with bylaws that would ensure safe and clean water in the project area.
As part of the project, 20 Participants (21.1% Female) who included 19 Roots & Shoots Primary School teachers and one (01) District Education Official were trained on how to integrate Environmental Education (EE) into the school curriculum. The four day residential training workshop was held at Riviera Hotel in Hoima District from 19th to 22nd January, 2015. The aim of the workshop was to equip teachers with the basic teaching methods that can be used to integrate EE into their classroom activities as well as equipping them with basic knowledge in ecology, environmental conservation and the multidisciplinary infusion model for EE implementation.Such interactive and highly-participatory workshops focus on developing lesson plans, games and activities about the environment that are in line with the existing curriculum and can be easily understood by children.
The Ugandan teachers then go back to their schools and train other teachers on the methods they have learned. It is anticipated that once teachers are knowledgeable, they will pass on this knowledge to students throughout the teaching and learning activities in their schools. This particular training had three major parts that included integration of EE into the school curriculum, tree nursery establishment & management and Forest education.
Teachers were trained on how to use the multidisciplinary infusion model for integration of EE into the school curriculum. Under this model, EE can be effectively implemented with minimal demands on existing school curricular load.This model requires that teachers from all disciplines be competent to adapt and/or use EE materials and as such, both teachers of mathematics, science, English and Social Studies (SST) were trained.
Since the project’s main focus was on forest corridor connectivity and enhancing riverine forest regeneration, it is necessary to satisfy fuelwood and timber requirements by community members through tree planting so as to reduce pressure on the natural forests in the area. As such, teachers were trained on how to raise seedlings. The teachers would then train their students on return to their schools.The training constituted both theory and practical sessions, and was as much as possible participatory to ensure practical learning and sharing of ideas among the trainers and participants.
During the training, teachers were equipped with basic knowledge of forest ecology, major threats to forests in Uganda and the need for forest corridor connectivity. Forest education lessons were conducted at Busingiro Ecotourism Site in Budongo Central Forest Reserve. This was followed by a forest walk that aimed at making teachers to appreciate nature and the forest ecosystem.
(vi) Engaging Roots & Shoots groups in community activities such as Woodlots
Teachers had been previously trained in the establishment and management of tree nurseries during the January 2015 teacher workshop. It was therefore found necessary to support establishment of nurseries in schools. The purpose was to enable the teachers to pass on the knowledge they had acquired to the Roots and Shoots groups in their schools. Each school was provided with nursery equipment such as wheel barrows, spades and watering cans as well as seeds to start their tree nursery work. Table 3 below shows results of seedlings raised;
Table 5: Number of seedlings raised by Roots & Shoots groups
|Primary Schools (Roots & Shoots Groups)||Tree species raised in nursery beds by school groups||TOTAL|
|Eucalyptus||Pine spp||Sesbania||Milicia excelsa (Mvule)|
|Rusaka Primary School||185||124||134||0||443|
|St. John Baptist Primary School||1,062||750||0||0||1,812|
|Kabale Primary School||330||330||330||255||1,245|
|Wambabya Primary School||195||101||5||5||306|
|Sr. Tito Winyi Primary School||400||70||310||0||780|
|Kisambo Primary School||856||0||0||0||856|
|Kiziranfumbi Utd Primary School||187||0||626||0||626|
|God Provides Primary School||260||0||450||0||710|
|Kyakatemba Primary School||1,210||0||0||0||1,210|
|Kigaaga Primary School||156||56||0||0||212|