I am Adong Jane Margaret, The Chairperson Gwokke Keni ICT Centre Group,
We are currently on Environmental protection and conservation in Agago District.
As of 30/05/2017 in another development, Gwokke Keni PHA& OVC Network implemented a project on Protection of Shea butter trees through sustainable livelihood in Agago District with the support from UNPD/GEF-NEMA under the bigger project of Kidepo Critical Land Scape.We carried out the project in the four sub counties of Lokole, Parabongo,LiraPalwo and Arum. The proposed intervention aims at conservation of Shea butter trees through encouragement of alternatives sustainable livelihood in the four sub-counties of Agago District as stated above.
The key environmental problem which are very common and on increase in Agago district are: cutting down of Shea butter trees mainly for charcoal burning for sale to earn money to cater for family basic needs, setting bush fire during hunt for wild animals for bush meat which always destroys the Shea butter trees.
These environmental challenges believed to have been geared by severe poverty among community members, limited capacity of community on post harvest handling of Shea nuts and processing of Shea butter for sales in groups to value Shea butter trees, inadequate alternative livelihood source.
These bad practices have resulted into gross loss of Shea butter tree belts in the district and we have to come up with some urgent mitigation interventions.
We work together with UNDP, NEMA, Agago District local government particularly District Natural Resource Officer( District Liaison Officer) for Agago District local government, cultural leaders, local leaders at parish and village level, sub-county local governments of 4 sub counties of Lokole, Lira Palwo, Arum and Parabongo.
Through this project with a number of activities implemented we were able to integrate the sensitization of the availability of ICT centre that BOSCO Uganda supported us with and we realized some of these achievements.
• 60 sensitization meetings with community members on conservation of Shea butter trees and post harvest handling of Shea nuts, value addition and over 1.800 people reached.
• 4 live radio talk shows on conservation of Shea butter tree
• One Shea butter storage facility constructed as a demonstration centre for processing Shea nuts
• Two Cold press machines were procured to process the Shea butter nuts into oil.
• Formed 4 women groups of Shea nuts collectors and producers in the 4 sub counties of Agago district and among others.
With all the above we believed there will be reduction in cutting of Shea butter trees.