It is a market day in Kabale, Uganda and the Trans African Caravan of Hope has come to town. On this market day the Caravanites have come to officially start the Ugandan chapter flag off of the Caravan. Kabale is a town in Western Uganda.
On this day, Youth Plus Policy Network are in charge of the event. The caravanites did a march through town to the Kabale Municipal stadium. After the march the enthusiastic group sang 3 national anthems of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda as a sign of solidarity. Youth Plus officials then explained what the Caravan was about and afterwards over 300 signatures were collected by caravanites on this market day.
Iris Nagudi, one of the caravanites says of the signature collection event, ‘The people in the market were so easy to talk to and they eagerly signed on.’ Some of those in the market were farmers who requested as Iris put it, ‘Let the caravanites go and bring us solutions that have worked elsewhere. We want to learn to adapt.’ Iris works with Youth Plus Policy Network as a Programme Assistant and has been on the caravan since its kick off in Bujumbura, Burundi.
Muyambi Ellady is one of the Uganda Caravanites headed to Durban, South Africa.He is a social scientist, toxicologist and secretary general of Uganda Network on Toxic Free Malaria Control - UNMETMAC. Muyambi tells me that Kabale district has been seriously affected by the impacts of climate change. ‘This district used to be disease free but degradation of wetlands and destroying of forest covers has seen temperatures rise. A type of environment that now favors mosquito breeding.’ Consequently, he says, changes in climate have caused this place to experience more disease. A situation, he notes, that is increasing the disease burden in Africa.
Not very long ago, Kabale was an area that was chilly and cool, that has drastically changed. This is confirmed by a Youth Plus Network participant, Colline Saabwe who adds, “There was never a mention of Malaria in Kabale. Malaria is now common in this area.”
Muyambi says that COP17 ‘must see world leaders held responsible in order for them to make commitments for a more healthy and educated community.’ The disease burden must dealt with he adds.