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#Women4theClimate: 17-Year Old Leah Namugerwa is leading Uganda in climate advocacy

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#Women4theClimate: 17-Year Old Leah Namugerwa is leading Uganda in climate advocacy

Hello readers.

Welcome to #Women4theClimate on CleanbuildVoices!

The recently-concluded COP26 climate summit saw Africa’s young climate advocacy champions alongside their peers around the world.

While male participants outnumbered their female counterparts in terms of representation at the decision-making level, the global climate conference underscores the need for the inclusivity of women at the table. This should begin at the national level in every country in the world.

Here in Africa, we have budding young female activists who are shaking things up in their communities. One of such is Leah Namugerwa, our woman crush for the week.

Leah Namugerwa is a 17-year old Ugandan climate advocacy champion who is advocating for climate justice in Uganda. Her interest in the climate grew as a result of Uganda’s rapidly changing weather which has led to severe climate disasters – from droughts in some parts of the country, to flooding in some other parts which has led to mudslides.

She swung into action the moment she understood that Uganda’s climate predicament is a result of climate change. Not short of role models, she drew inspiration from her uncle who is also an environmentalist, and fellow climate activist, Greta Thunberg. Thus began Leah’s effort in driving the climate conversation in Uganda.

One of the initiatives which she is a part of is Fridays for Future. Through it, she engages in activities like cleaning up lakeshores, collective tree-planting exercises, climate change awareness in schools, and going on climate strikes.

Leah speaks passionately about climate injustice and how climate change is not only decreasing Uganda’s biodiversity but also crumbling its agricultural sector due to the harsh weather effect on crops.

Apart from advocating for the climate and bringing attention to climate change, Leah also enforces climate legislation – meeting foreign ambassadors and Uganda’s speaker of parliament and attending conferences in Kenya, Rwanda, and Switzerland. She is currently leading a petition to compel the Ugandan President to enforce a plastic ban.

Leah has set a target of planting one million trees and is challenging Ugandans to plant a tree to celebrate their birthdays. Even though the target is still a long way off, she believes that if every Ugandan planted a tree, millions of trees would be planted every year.

Watch this space as we’ll be back for another edition of our #Women4theClimate next week.


Featured Image: Leah Namugerwa, Uganda’s climate activist 

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