Bristol Charity Initiates Project to Assist Refugee Farmers in Uganda in Confronting Climate Change

Last Updated on: 21st November 2023, 10:07 pm

Action on Poverty, a small charity based in Bristol, and its Ugandan partner charity VEDCO have launched a project in Palabek Refugee Settlement, Northern Uganda. The project will provide people living in the settlement and its host communities with the means to take care of their lived environments and grow enough food despite an unpredictable climate and environmental degeneration.

Palabek Refugee Settlement currently shelters over 69,000 refugees who have fled conflict in Sudan. Unfortunately, life in the settlement is heavily linked to the quality of the soil and the regularity of the rains, and depression diagnoses have been known to increase during dry seasons when food is scarce. Malnutrition and unemployment are common, with only 21.8% of refugees in the camp employed (UNHCR, 2022) and many remain dependent on humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs.

The project will utilise climate-smart agriculture, a method which views food insecurity, poverty alleviation, and climate change as interconnected challenges. This will be achieved through locally-managed access to drought-tolerant seeds, solar-drying facilities and energy-efficient stoves, organic fertilisers and improved conservation methods. These practices will increase the availability of sustainable, nutritious vegetables, benefiting over 30,000 people at risk of malnutrition.

Alex Daniels, Action on Poverty’s CEO, said: “The refugees in Palabek have seen so much, gone through so much and now they are having to deal with man-made climate change wiping out their food supplies and destroying livelihoods. We cannot leave these people behind. That’s why we’ve designed a project which addresses the food crisis in the settlement and at the same time gives refugees and hosts alike the means and resources to look after their shared environment.”

Action on Poverty remains steadfast in its commitment to creating healthier, happier, and more prosperous futures for all in Palabek Refugee Settlement through sustainable agricultural practices and community empowerment. Since 1986, the charity has supported over a million people to escape poverty by creating opportunities for people to gain skills and livelihoods in East and West Africa.

Gladys Lasso, Fundraising and Communications Manager for Action on Poverty, said: “We are delighted to have launched this project which will help to alleviate food insecurity and poverty in Palabek. By providing resources and tools to enable sustainable agricultural practices, we are confident that we can help ensure a brighter, more secure future for those in the settlement.”

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