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Empowering Women and Regenerating Landscapes: Expanding our work in Uganda

We are thrilled to announce a new restoration project expanding our work with Uganda's Alpha Women Empowerment Initiative (Alpha Women). 

You can learn more through the blog below or hear directly from Alpha Women's Masika Elda in this short video.

Alpha Women are truly a grassroots non-profit organisation and a remarkable example of community-led conservation efforts that empower local women to lead in protecting the forest. 

Founded in 2009 in Kasese, Uganda, where gender inequality, domestic violence, and early marriage limit women's opportunity and empowerment in the area, Alpha Women’s success comes from their deep community roots. Being part of the community they serve, they bring essential understanding and cultural sensitivity to their work.

Through our partnership, we are working with locals in Kasese, implementing agroforestry practices to support soil and landscape regeneration. The positive impact of this work has led to requests for expansion into the wider community. And now, thanks to additional funding from Daughters for Earth, we have extended into the Rukoki sub-county, a particularly vulnerable area prone to landslides that have claimed lives in the region. 

The Area

Alpha Women are working with communities in Kasika Village, Bughalitsa Village, Karongo Village and Buhaghura Village, in the northern mountainous part of the region close to the Rwenzori forest.

The Rwenzori Mountains National Park is a magnificent place, full of natural beauty that takes your breath away. It is located close to the equator and boasts the highest non-volcanic mountains in the world. The area spans from glaciers and snow-capped mountains at over 5000m, down through alpine zones, bamboo and grassland, rainforests and finally African savannah in the valleys. It is home to one of the sources of the River Nile, with high fast-flowing rivers, magnificent waterfalls and lush vegetation making this area incredibly important for biodiversity. 

Over many years, as communities have made their homes in the lower altitude hills and forest edges much of the land has been converted from forest to farmland. This has put intense pressure on the forests and the vital sanctuary of the many species that call it home.

Alpha Women are leading the way in protecting this forest. By restoring the land of the villages around the edges of the park, they are reducing pressure on the forests and providing more habitat for the species that live there. It's also helping to create Nature corridors between the Rwenzori Mountains and Kibale National Park - essential for migrating wildlife and protecting communities from the impact of climate change and extreme weather events.

Project Goals and Activities

Initially, working with 300 women and girls from four surrounding villages, this initiative integrates a regenerative approach that is not only helping to preserve a vital ecosystem but aims to enhance climate resilience, increase soil fertility, reduce erosion and landslides, and provide food, fuel, and income for the local population.

Key Focus Areas:

  1. Forest Restoration and Establishment of Tree and Grass Nurseries:

    1. Developing nurseries to ensure a sustainable supply of trees and grasses for planting and regeneration.

  2. Community-led Agroforestry:

    1. Training women in agroforestry, Nature-led land restoration and environmental protection.

  3. Women in Leadership:

    1. Empowering women with leadership, team building, community outreach and sustainable livelihood training and skills, as well as training gender champions.

  4. Exchange Visits:

    1. Facilitating exchange visits to share experiences in tree planting and landscape restoration.

  5. Fruit Growing and Agroforestry:

    1. Educating women on fruit growing and incorporating agroforestry practices into their farming.

  6. Kitchen Gardens:

    1. Establishing kitchen gardens to improve nutrition and provide additional income sources.

  7. Tree and Bamboo Management:

    1. Training on the planting, protection, and management of trees and bamboo.

  8. Soil Erosion and Landslides:

    1. Providing education on preventing soil erosion and managing landslides.

  9. Low-Energy Cookstoves:

    1. Reducing deforestation by training women and girls to make and use low-energy cookstoves.

Masika Margaret the Chairperson of Alpha Women said of the project:

“In these areas of Uganda it is not traditional for women to own land nor to be the ones who plant trees.  Alpha Women are helping train women to protect the forests and plant trees and to teach men that women can lead this work too.
We have already planted over 11000 trees. These trees will reduce the risk of landslides, provide fruit for food and cash crops for our community and provide a way to ensure mothers can keep their girls at school”.

By focusing on these areas, this initiative will not only help restore and protect the landscape but also provide sustainable livelihoods and promote gender equity in the region. 

It's a model for sustainable development that we’re incredibly proud to partner on and could be replicated in other areas facing similar challenges. 

Please help us support more projects like this by becoming a monthly donor and giving back to Nature.


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