CBPHi in partnership with Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Cooperation (LVRLAC), Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) undertook a pilot project “Lake Victoria Inter Local Authorities Public Health and Environmental Conservation Competition” from 2019 and the winners recognition and awards which were scheduled on 9th/4/2020, were postponed to a later date due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The competition had been piloted in 24 schools in the Municipalities of Jinja and Entebbe. Among other stake holders in the competitions were the Municipality officials (Environment/Natural resource, Education, Public Health and Community Development Officers). Both Mayors and Town clerks of the respective municipalities were equally involved and supported their municipality schools. The Municipal Development Forum also took keen interest in the competitions and was part of the team for the respective Municipalities. Uganda Virus Research Institute participated in the competitions.
In an over view, a number of changes were either caused or catalyzed by the competition among which include;
- Fencing of the school premises to stop intruders, which included domestic animals like goats from destroying newly, planted trees in the schools.
- Construction of energy saving stoves in the schools
- Construction of waste incinerators especially for the sanitary pads in respective schools
- Tree planting in and out of the school by the students and pupil
- Solid waste management improvement evidenced by waste sorting and construction of waste sorting pits
- Environmental conservation trainings from UWEC
- Greening of the school compounds
- Waste recycling
- Debates and quizzes
Each school demonstrated a unique creative approach to the competition. The competitions are student centered and target to unleash the creative potential of students. As soon as the COVID19 situation normalizes, we shall host the award giving ceremony and role it out to other areas in the basin.