I joined Co2balance on June 15, 2015 as a Project Development Coordinator for the projects in Uganda mainly in the Lango sub region and Kaliro district in Eastern Uganda.
I was very keen to learn more about carbon finance in relation to water projects and this is what Co2balance has to offer.
My orientation covered visits to the projects that included Kole, Otuke, Alebtong, Dokolo and Kaliro districts and it was a great experience meeting the borehole users who were so enthusiastic and appreciative of the projects that had been introduced to provide constant safe water.
Growing up, I had always wished to live in the Lango sub region of Uganda (which borders the hometown I hail from) because of it’s good climate and friendly community.
In February 2004, my wishes were clouded by the invasion of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel terrorist group led by Joseph Kony that attacked and killed innocent civilians irrespective of gender and age, widespread human rights violations like abduction, mutilation, child-sex slavery, and forcing children to participate in hostile acts.
They wiped out hundreds of people from the northern and north-eastern part of Uganda. This also saw many people being abducted and children turned into child soldiers.
This led to many people fleeing for their lives and they ended up in settlement camps with so little provisions to even cover their basic needs. Led by the top LRA commander Okot Odhiambo, the rebels attacked one of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Barlonyo and killed over 300 civilians and abducted others.
Few years later, the war ceased with the fleeing of the rebels and people decided to go back to their home towns because the situation in the camps were appalling. The government with the help of aid agencies helped secure the areas for the people and drilled boreholes to offer clean water as one of the basic needs of the community. However, as a result of a high population and lack of maintenance, these boreholes broke down and people went back to using unprotected open wells which saw an increase in water borne diseases like typhoid, cholera, etc coupled by so much fear of walking to distant water sources lest they are again attacked by the rebels.
Co2balance with its borehole rehabilitation and maintenance project has seen many of these boreholes repaired and clean water is now easily accessible to the communities – of which they much appreciate.
‘We the women no longer have to walk for many kilometres to open wells to collect water as the repair of the boreholes has made clean water more accessible…’ said a one Agnes Olila.
During our visit of Otuke District, we had a chance to visit Barlonyo Memorial site where 121 victims of the LRA were buried in mass graves. This still leaves a big scar on the hearts of the people in the Lango region who lost their loved ones to this great injustice.