By Landry Ninteretse
Students and young professions from the East African region met in Kampala on 2nd and 3rd March in an inclusive conference aimed at mobilizing and uniting young generations for a common cause to promote sustainable practices regarding energy and climate.
During the two-day conference, representatives from the five countries and experts made presentations and discussed on ways to address energy and climate challenges.
In general, the five countries are facing the same challenges: over use of biomass, rapid population growth, deforestation, insufficiency of hydroelectric power, extreme dependency on natural resources, ignorance, a high level of bureaucracy and weak government policies to address these issues.
When looking for ways to these challenges, we must overlook our boundaries and find out global and innovative solutions. Participants in this conference designed a strategy for sustainable energy use and climate change within the East African region. The strategy includes the promotion of an efficient use of traditional bio fuels, the use of animals and plants wastes as source of energy through biogas tanks and briskets, the promotion of solar energy and use of natural gas and a massive and regional tree plantation campaign. Participants emphasized the role of media to help to engage governments on these issues and to increase awareness of individuals and communities and urged to include energy and climate studies in primary and secondary school curriculum.
I strongly believe that by working together and learning from each other, we can spark innovative ideas to enable future energy and climate change transformations and reduce the current environmental degradation.