Taking place on 3rd March 2021, UN World Wildlife Day celebrates and raises awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. This year, World Wildlife Day will be celebrated under the theme “Forests and Livelihood: Sustaining People and Planet”, highlighting the vital role of forests and their ecosystem services in sustaining the livelihoods of millions of people globally. This aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 12, 13 and 15, and their wide-ranging commitments to alleviating poverty, ensuring sustainable use of resources, and on conserving life on land.
At CO2balance, we would like to recognise World Wildlife Day by celebrating our current safe water project work in Nakasongola and Masindi, Uganda, as we work towards providing safe water to local communities and subsequently reducing deforestation of surrounding forests. Alongside protecting valuable forest ecosystems and supporting community livelihoods, the project also financially supports the Rhino Fund Uganda located at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
Across rural areas of Nakasongola and Masindi Districts, rural communities typically rely on wood fuel on traditional three stone fires to purify their water for drinking, cooking and basic personal hygiene. CO2balance’s project provides safe water to ensure that households consume less firewood during the process of water purification and therefore reduce deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion process. The boreholes included under the project are fitted with zero emission technologies such as commonly used hand pumps. CO2balance work with community groups in the project area to identify broken down boreholes and implement a long-term maintenance programme to ensure that the quality of the water delivered by the boreholes is fit for human consumption for the entire length of the project.
In addition to supporting World Wildlife Day’s forestry theme this year, the project contributes towards protecting precious local wildlife: the rhinoceros. The partnership between CO2balance and NGO Rhino Fund Uganda has been active since 2019, whereby income generated from the safe water project is donated towards the Rhino Fund. Rhino Fund Uganda’s activities take place at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which consists of 7,000 hectares of savannah and woodlands for the rhinos to inhabit. The NGO’s purpose is to return rhinos back into Uganda, following extinction of some breeds in 1983, through a breeding and release programme. Find out more about Rhino Fund Uganda’s mission and current projects on their website.
CO2balance will continue to work in a holistic approach, recognising the intrinsic link between our forests, wildlife, and indigenous communities. Continue to follow the blog to see project updates and evidence of the positive outcomes in this region!