How WoNES has promoted environmental issues & women’s livelihood in Western rural district
Iyesha Kamara, Technical Advisor of WoNES enlightened this medium on Wednesday 21st April 2016 that Women’s Network for Environmental Sustainability (WoNES) designed the project “Strengthening Women and School Nature Clubs” participation in climate change and environmental governance in the Western Area Rural District” to ensure that women become more proactive in protecting the environment by designing community specific measures to mitigate the impact of environmental hazards on women and children while empowering community people to take the lead in their own development.
In partnership with Christian Aid, WoNES is utilizing these collaborative efforts to educate, raise awareness and demonstrate best practices in using community participation to promote sustainable environmental governance.
According to Iyesha Kamara, the overall objectives of the project are public education, awareness raising and capacity building for essential community environmental governance intimating that the second phase which lasted from 1st February to 31st March 2016, further empowered the networks by supporting their respective activity plans including the establishment of vegetable gardens, advocacy, tree planting, waste management and sorting, networking and experience sharing and engaging the Local Council.
According to Gertrude Karimu, Coordinator, WoNES held expensive discussions with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that the project gets the required support and commitment. She also noted that meetings with the Council sought to inform them on activities undertaken within their jurisdiction as well as facilitate the establishment of a concrete working relationship with the networks.
WoNES purchased and delivered a range of gardening tools, seeds, dustbins and other items for the networks which aided the implementation of activities. Some of the proceeds from the sales were distributed among the women’s networks thereby addressing livelihood needs while the bulk will be used to expand the gardens. Also, waste collection is closely linked to the tree planting exercise as the practice of collecting empty water sachets is expected to positively influence and inculcate a culture of better waste disposal within communities.
Mrs. Nabeela Tunis, Program Manager informed that the advocacy trainings were conducted in phases. The trainings focused on imparting environmental knowledge and advocacy skills using role play and in subsequent trainings, the women were given the opportunity to share their knowledge as well as demonstrate what they had learnt to a wider audience including the traditional and local authorities.
Moses Kamara, WoNES Field Officer, disclosed that two planning and information sharing meetings between WoNES and the Western Area Rural District Council officials enhanced the working relationship leading to further collaboration on climate change and environmental governance activities undertaken with the networks in the Western Rural District. This medium observed that over 200 garden beds have been established in Fogbo, Tombo and John Thorpe using items (seeds, tools and dung) supplied by WoNES in addition to nurseries developed by the women and school networks to transplant during the rainy season.
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