In October Belgian actor Yemi Oduwale visited our partners and their locations in Uganda. Together with Join For Water, Yemi wants to look at ways to create more awareness around sustainable water use, the need to protect our freshwater resources and making sure everybody has access to safe drinking water.
Yemi Oduwale: “At first I was a bit hesitant about going to Uganda, because I am slightly sceptical about organisations from Western countries entering vulnerable countries and telling everyone how things should be done. Join For Water has completely dispelled any doubts I had. It was fantastic to see how Join For Water leaves the initiative to the people of Uganda, as well as Ugandan NGOs. This is important for the support and prolonged success of a project.”
The four-day journey took us around Fort Portal, and the catchments of the Mpanga and Semliki rivers. Among other things, Yemi visited a tree farm and planted a few trees himself. Soon, a total of more than 20,000 trees will be planted. Trees play a vital role here: they secure the riverbanks, which reduces the amount of sediment that can enter the water. This ensures the costs for the purification of river water for drinking water do not skyrocket. The roots of trees also ensure that rainwater is retained, and the groundwater layers can replenish themselves.
Yemi also travelled to Rushango-wetlands. “A lot of illegal farming takes place here, which damages the wetlands. It plays an important role in the local water supply, but is being polluted by intensive livestock farming, among other things. Join For Water and its local partner JESE (Joint Effort to Save the Environment) have set up a conservation plan together. The area will be demarcated using fig trees. These are respected by Ugandans as the boundaries for different zones. I thought that was quite remarkable, because we would probably be using barbed-wire fencing. Native plant and tree species are also planted. And farmers are asked not to further engage in agriculture in the wetlands area anymore. They receive support to set up other, less damaging activities, such as honey production. All these initiatives will ensure that the wetlands can slowly recover.
Join For Water keeps its promises. This organisation plays a vital role in protecting our water resources. That is of huge importance! Today, but also for future generations.”
Yemi also shared his journey via his Instagram account. Be sure to check out the highlights on his Instagram page: @yemioduwale