UCU student pushes the gospel of climate change
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2023/01/ucu-student-pushes-the-gospel-of-climate-change/
By Vanessa Kyalimpa
August 20 is the birthday of Charles Lwanga Miti, a year-two student of the Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance at Uganda Christian University (UCU). Miti chose an unconventional way to celebrate his birthday in 2022, by walking 50 miles from Kampala in central Uganda to Jinja in eastern Uganda.
Miti’s walk was in one way a celebration of the ideals that his name stands for in the Luganda dialect. In Luganda, a local language widely spoken in Uganda, Miti means trees. No doubt that Miti’s initiative was to create awareness about climate change. Titled “The Climate Walk,” Miti documented the initiative on his social media pages, with the hope that he would spread his initiative far and wide.
And, yes, he did.
Miti shared information about what CLAN does
Soon after the walk, Save Soil, a global movement, reached out to him to become their youth representative in Uganda. The goal of Save Soil is to show governments across the world that their citizens want policies that revitalize ecology and soil.
Also, as a result of the awareness that Miti created, two weeks later, on September 3, he was invited to participate in a marathon in western Uganda as a guest runner.
But what could have sparked Miti’s interest in environmental conservation? “Through my experience as a farmer, I noticed that farming has been really difficult due to the longer dry spells,” he said.
Miti, who has been farming since 2015, explained that as a result of the recent longer dry spells, the harvests are not as high as previously was the case.
He started farming by growing tomatoes, but later diversified to green pepper, strawberries and watermelon. Later, he also started rearing goats and poultry.
However, because of the need to professionally run his business enterprise, as well as to increase its size and profitability, Miti enrolled for the accounting and finance course at UCU. Being in a community of youth, he started an initiative called the Climate Awareness Network (CLAN). He said he had discovered the need to sensitize the students more on the effects of climate change and what role the learners can play to mitigate them.
“It bothered me that many students believed combating climate change was not their role, but rather of policymakers,” he said.
“I knew that with the country’s largest population being youth, there wouldn’t be a better way to fight climate change without them being involved,” Miti added.
CLAN has partnered with student leaders of UCU to conduct outreaches, sensitizing people about the dangers of polluting the environment. For instance, it partnered with the student leaders to participate in cleaning Bugujju, a community that neighbors UCU.
Miti has learned to use resources at his disposal to amplify his message about the effects of climate change. Writing on the Standard e-platform, Miti makes a case for the need to understand what climate change is and what role one can play to mitigate it.
“Climate change affects us all, and so solving it is everybody’s responsibility, especially you, the youth,” he wrote.
Because Miti feels his is a noble cause, he is pitching to the Director of Student Affairs (DOSA) at UCU the idea of a like-minded club at the university, with the goal of championing environmental conservation and mitigating the effects of climate change.
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