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Africa must unlock the power of its women to save climate change

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As the African delegates prepare to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate change in Katowice in Poland this week, the leaders have been called to empower the women on climate change.

Research shows that when women are involved in decision making, agreements on the environment are more likely to be ratified and projects around natural resources, such as water, are more likely to succeed.

If given access to education and finance, African women can contribute to finding technological solutions and driving the continent’s renewable energy industry too.

Dana Elhassan, Senior Gender Expert at the African Development Bank, said in a press release by APO that: “When you empower women in the context of climate change you empower a family, a community and a country.”

There is also strong evidence that women play a vital role in dealing with disasters by mobilising communities, something that will become increasingly important as climate change advances.


“You cannot solve a problem with half the team. A lot of the unpaid work that women do, such as collecting firewood and water, and caring for the family, are massively affected by climate change – so we have to make sure adaptation initiatives address their needs, vulnerabilities and potential.”


Women as agents of change

Studies show that when women are part of decision making, ratification of multilateral agreements on the environment are more likely, adds Mafalda Duarte, head of the $8.3 billion Climate Investment Fund, one of the largest climate financing instruments in the world.

“Discourse is quite tilted to considering women as victims of climate change – but we are agents of change and if we are perceived as such this will make a big difference,” says Ms Duarte.

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Buliisa residents accuse land grabbers of branding them Congolese nationals

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Buliisa land eviction victims branded as Congolese.

Buliisa, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Several people facing forceful eviction from their ancestral land in Buliisa are accusing their tormentors of branding them as Congolese nationals. The affected people say that the majority of the land grabbers refer to them as Congolese despite the fact that they have occupied the contested land since their birth.

A case in point is the more than 1,000 people who are being threatened with forceful eviction from their ancestral land in Watembo and Booma villages in Butiaba town council. The affected residents are feuding with Francis Kaahwa, a prominent businessman in Buliisa and Kampala over approximately 1,800 acres of land.

According to residents, Kaahwa often refers to them as Congolese who migrated from DRC and settled in the area yet their great grandfathers settled in the area in the 1940s.

Deo Ntakimanyi 60, the Boma village LC I Chairperson says that his late grandfather was born on the contested piece of land but he is shocked to hear that he is a Congolese.

Gilbert Okumu 70, a resident of Watembo village also says that he was born and raised in the area but was shocked when Kaahwa started referring to him as a refugee with the intention of grabbing his ancestral land.

Pascal Kyalisiima, another affected resident says it is unfair on the part of the land grabbers to label them as Congolese to dupe security and grab their land. He says they have genuine National identification cards and Graduated tax tickets they paid in the 1950s while settling on the contested piece of land.

Jane Kusemererwa 80, says she lost both parents who were equally born and buried on the same piece of land and wonders she is now being referred to as a Congolese. Bernard Asiimwe, another resident wants the authorities to take action against Kaahwa for referring to them as Congolese well knowing that they are Ugandans.

Kaahwa has denied the accusations leveled against him by the residents. He however maintains that he is the rightful owner of the contested land, adding that he genuinely acquired the title.

Allan Atugonza, the Bullisa County member of parliament says many people who have in the past grabbed land in Buliisa have always referred to the indigenous people as Congolese nationals, which is false.

Stephen Mfashingabo, the Buliisa Resident District Commissioner-RDC says they are verifying the allegations despite the fact that nobody has formally brought the matter to the attention of his office.

Original Source: URN Via The Independent

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Sembabule district suspends land title issuance over rampant disputes

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Sembabule, Uganda. Sembabule district local government has halted the issuance of land titles in a move to address the widespread land disputes in the area.

The decision was based on the district production sectoral committee report, which highlighted the widespread land disputes as one of the factors affecting agricultural production in the area. Records indicate the district is currently stressed with land wrangles that are largely arising from irregular allocations facilitated by unscrupulous area land committees at sub-county levels.

Julius Ssebugwawo, the Secretary of the District Production Committee says that hundreds of residents in the area are living in fear of eviction by people who irregularly acquired land titles over big chunks of land and that as a result, the disputes are frustrating agriculture.

According to him, they established that notable wealthy persons in and outside Sembabule are using manipulative tactics to connive with area land committees to facilitate irregular allocations of public land, at the expense of hundreds of residents who also depend on the same land for survival.

Ssebugwawo explains that the tenure of the majority of the area land committees expired but they have continued to transact business, messing up processes of land allocations in the district. The report also indicates that the local committees have facilitated the issuance of free-hold and overlapping titles over community social amenities such as valley dams and gazetted forest reserves, wetlands and in the precious Bigobyamugenyi Archeological site in Ntuusi sub-county.

Wahab Kabaliisa and Grace Nahaabwe, the councillors representing Mateete and Bulongo sub-counties respectively explained that the rampant land wrangles have repeatedly resulted in violence as residents resist evictions by often highhanded claimants.

Nahaabwe adds that on top of threatening the settlements and economic agricultural activities, the wrangles are also casting the district in bad light which calls for serious intervention by the current district administration. Accordingly, the councillors unanimously resolved to suspend operations of all sub-county area land committees and recommended halting further issuance of land titles in the area until an audit is done on the operations of the District Land Board.

Olivia Nakayiwa the Sembabule district Deputy Speaker who presides over the council session accordingly asked Malik Mahabba; the Chief Administrative Officer to write to all sub-county chiefs and Chairpersons instructing them to implement the resolution. Mahabba said n his response that he had also noted the concern on land disputes in the area, saying this could be one of the approaches towards fixing the challenge.

Nayebare Kyamuzigita, the outgoing Sembabule Resident District Commissioner also confirms that her office has been overwhelmed by cases of land disputes, many of them threatening hundreds of people with eviction.

Original Source: URN Via The Independent 

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Museveni promises to pay evictees of Kiryandongo sugar factory land

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Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja commissions the construction of a community social centre in Bundibugyo District at the weekend. Locals tasked the President to fulfill pledges to the district

President Museveni has promised to compensate residents who were evicted from the land housing  Kiryandongo sugar factory in Kimogora Village.

The President made the pledge while commissioning the $60 million (Shs216b) factory at the weekend.

The factory was constructed by Sarrai group on government ranch land, with works commencing in 2018.

Mr Museveni said the government allowed Sarrai group to establish the factory although some people had encroached on the land.

“These squatters had encroached on government ranch land and were not bonafide occupants but are our people. Bonafide occupants are those who had stayed on the land before 1983, but these came much later. The NRM government, however, we will compensate them,” he said.

In 2017, President Museveni donated the land to three companies, including Kiryandongo Sugar Factory, Ajilis Partners, a US company, and Great Season to pave way for large-scale farming.

Mr Museveni also advised residents to utilise the project by seeking employment.

“Stop living reckless lives by spending your money on alcohol,” the President said.

Mr Museveni advised locals to engage in agriculture so as to supply produce to investors undertaking projects in the area.

He also promised farmers that Cabinet will soon debate initiatives of extending irrigation schemes to them since the weather patterns are not dependable.

“Even this season, the rain has delayed. The maize is still young. I don’t know if we shall have better yields, that is why I will have to take the issue to the Cabinet and we will talk about it,” he said.

Mr Sarbjit Singh Rai, the chairperson of Sarrai group, said they have so far planted 13,000 acres of sugarcane, adding that the factory has a production capacity of 4,000 tonnes per day.

“The factory has registered a total of 150 sugarcane out growers and we are now employing 5,000 people but we hope to increase the number to 8,000 in the coming years,” he said.

Mr Rai said the factory will also help farmers get better yields by supplying them with pesticides.

Meanwhile, leaders in Bundibugyo have reminded the President to consider fulfilling pledges he made to the district. The Bughendera County MP, Mr Moses Acrobat Kiiza, told Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja during her visit to the district at the weekend that in 2015, Mr Museveni pledged to create Bughendera district and establish a cocoa factory.

“Prime Minister, we kindly ask you to remind the President about the creation of Bughendera, a cocoa factory and also compensate the flood victims in the district,” Mr Acrobat said.

He said the district has already secured land where they propose to construct the factory.

In her response, Ms Nabbanja said: “The  NRM government does not forget its people, so be patient, we are coming to fulfil everything.” She was in the district for the fundraising of the construction of a community service centre.

The farmers also complained of poor market prices due to lack of a factory to process it.

According to the district production officer, Mr Light Kisembo, they produces 24 metric tonnes of cocoa annually.

In 2016, Mr Museveni directed then the Minister for Trade to work with the ministry of Finance to budget for the construction of the factory.

Source: Daily Monitor

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