Weʼre raising £7,000 to Reforest riverbanks and help with wildlife relocation on the Nile River, Uganda
- Jinja, Uganda
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The Hairy Lemon Island in Uganda, a tropical paradise loved by many, is about to be destroyed to make place for the Isimba Hydroproject reservoir. Trees are being chopped on the tropical archipelago of islands as we speak. As the jungle and rainforest comes crashing down it’s causing great trauma for the wildlife as they lose their habitats. The animals from the surrounding islands and area that survived the initial tree felling, have moved into a few pockets onto the main Hairy Lemon Island. Amongst other animals, red tailed monkeys, pangolins, bush babies, servets and a range of different species of snakes are on the island and are target species for relocation.
There is an emergency plan for getting a specialist team to do the wildlife relocation, but the trapping, the experts and the relocation all costs money. Without the support to make this project happen the animals will be left amongst the devastation of the undergrowth, likely hunted for bush meat, left to starve or drown as the reservoir floods, or perhaps even traded on illegal animal trade black market. They may attempt to swim to the mainland, but in an area surrounded by villages without the shelter of the trees, they are unlikely to last for long.
It’s not just the animals that have given to us over the years, the Hairy Lemon islands, or the Nile River in general, wouldn’t be the same without the trees and jungle lining the river banks. The natural forest and the health of the trees on the river banks all up and down the Nile have been cleared for a number of hydro projects, for farming, and for firewood and charcoal also. Creating good riverbank habitat for animals and birds, is crucial for the long term health of the region.
Bubugo Conservation Trust have a few projects proposed, the primary one being 'Trees and Bees', which combines riverbank reforestation with income generation for local communities through bee hives and the sale of honey. The income generation inspires and motivates the community to support the project, and to allow the riverbanks to regenerate. They’ve chosen a few little pockets to restore to their natural beauty, for the ecology and wildlife, and so that people can continue to be moved by the natural beauty of the Nile River for years to come. One area around Superhole rapids, and one on the islands flooded by the original Bujagali Dam 7 years ago, that have since been deforested.
The riverbanks project will be managed and overseen by Bubugo Conservation Trust, and the management team of Jenny Farmer PHD, and Charlie Langan PHD. Both have lived in Uganda for many years and work as researchers on land use and environmental issues.
Sam Ward, of Kayak the Nile, made a podcast about the current situation, and the projects we are trying to get off the ground. If you want to hear more, check it out here: http://www.climatechangeunfolding.com/episode9/
What we need
Our fundraising goal is £7000 (about $9000) which will be used in the following way:
- £800 ($1000) to contribute towards wildlife relocation costs from the Hairy Lemon islands (needed immediately as the islands are about to flood)
- £3100 ($4000) for the Trees & Bees Project around the Superhole rapid on the Nile River
- £3100 ($4000) for the Trees & Bees Project on the Lake Bujagali section of the Nile River
By raising enough money to fund these projects, the impact would spread far beyond just the areas of riverbank and islands where the projects will exist. Here are some of the positive impacts that would hopefully come out of this project.
- Helping relocate animals from the Hairy Lemon to a safe location, including some endangered species
- Creating a new forest along the riverbanks of the Nile River and along with that habitats for a whole range of birds and animals.
- Generating a long term, sustainable income for local communities along the Nile that are often in extreme poverty.
- Carbon capture with a healthy forest, cleaner and healthier Nile River (without all the erosion into the river), helping sustain biodiversity in a highly pressurised environment amongst a number of other secondary benefits.
Here is a guide on what your money could buy:
o £75 is enough to buy two bee hives, and to train a bee keeper, and help generate an income for a family for 5 years.
o £200 is a long term, sustainable income for two families, a significant amount of trees planted, and in exchange for your generous donation you'll receive an 8x12 inch print of your choice from Emily Ward’s limited edition Hairy Lemon photo collection.
o £400 is a long term sustainable income for four families, a significant number of trees planted. In exchange for your generous donation you'll receive an 8x12 inch print of your choice from Emily Ward’s limited edition Hairy Lemon photo collection.
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About the fundraiser
A researcher from the University of Aberdeen specialising in land use and soil carbon. Passionate about sustainability and conservation. Founder of Bubugo Conservation Trust, a community based organisation on the banks of the Nile River.
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