|As a young Scientist of Civil/Water engineering background, I worked formerly for Action Against Hunger(Volunteer 2005), Caritas Gulu (2006), Invisible Children (2007) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) partnering with Warren Buffet Foundation (2008) on the project called Global Water Initiative (GWI). On many occasions, as I performed my work in the fields, I painfully noticed that many borehole water well levels had dropped beyond the intake points, so the pump cylinders /submersible electric pumps could not access the water anymore. I saw the frowning faces of children, mothers and witnessed some fights for water at the borehole water wells In Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia whenever the pumps ran out of water due to the fact that the static water level was below the pump cylinder.
Further to the above, I also witnessed that ,In the construction Industry, the ‘‘sweet’’ ground water was being wasted by using it in the building Construction rather than drinking purpose. The borehole water pumps were over worked, causing break downs and over use of ground water which threatened the natural replenishing process of ground water.
In 2011, I carried out an assessment in my Lapeta Village , Gulu next to Sir Samuel Baker School ,bordering Akonyibedo village. The river between the two villages had almost dried compared to my childhood days. Many spring wells had dried for the first time in over 20 years. Wang Olum, the famous name given to the spring well that supplied us water for drinking and domestic use in the 80’s when we were young boys had a much reduced flow volume . As I interacted with the village elders ,all they wanted to do to bring back spring water and rain was to appease the invisible spirits on top of the hills by sacrificing a ‘‘stinky’’ male goat with very long beards. As a Scientist, who understands the problem, I refused to succumb to the pressure and educated them instead.
In addition to the above, other areas of Uganda/Africa experienced too much drought which paralyzed crop yields in gardens and farms and too much floods (el nino rains) which washed away bridges, crops in gardens, homes. Landslides emerged and killed people in Bududda in Eastern Uganda. Today,forests and trees in communities are almost depleted for charcoal yet re-aforestation drive is lacking.
All these were very strange series of events in my life as a man who grew up in a scary war torn area of Gulu District in Northern Uganda but fortunately the Education that I suffered to receive as young man/student who slept in the classroom ceiling boards, thick thorny bushes and suffered hunger, poverty, trauma, held at gun points became my weapon to technically understand and analyse the science of Climate change with respect to water levels, drought, floods, etc, for which I believed most of them were linked to human activities that can’t go unchallenged!
It was on this account that I decided that the time was NOW or NEVER to command my relevance to a cause that is bigger than me and any other individual. I therefore signed in my heart that I would NEVER regret what I have done MORE than what I have not done in a mission that is life threatening. As the vision and emotion grew up in my mind, it became too pregnant to be aborted, I knew that Africa can’t stand alone in the fight against Climate Change, so I took the whole night of June 17th 2011, authoring a convincing document named ‘’Call to Action’’ to nine(9) proposed Board members from Africa, Australia, USA, UK ,China and Canada. This whole Friday Night work ,spilled to next morning and it was a sacrifice which was very much against my own rules . But I did it Instead of going out to routinely dance the night away or meet friends at Gulu’s then No.1 hot spot : BJz Bar & Club. The following morning as I finished the ‘’Call to Action’’ e-mail at Sun rise, I saw 17 miss calls from friends who wanted me to get out the previous night for a dance party ,which I really care about as a hobby. Anyway, no regrets for staying behind to author "Call to action".
Fortunately, all the 9 proposed Board members accepted my ‘’Call to Action’’ to be Founder Board members except one who declined. But as the saying goes in my culture’s fire place informal education, ‘‘ Not all eggs get hatched during dry seasons’’ which explains the decline but we moved on, got replacement, continued further discussions /correspondences which I spear headed to the end about registration, Constitution and Policies!
Three months later in October 2011, I left Uganda to pursue my Postgraduate Studies in Water and Environmental Engineering in England-UK, which imparted into my mind more knowledge to this climate issue. I therefore continued in early 2012 to liaise with the National NGO Board at the Republic of Uganda’s Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kampala. On 16th March 2012, this dream came true when Engineers in Green Actions-Africa (EGAA) got issued with Certificates of Registration and Operation from the National NGO Board at the Ministry of Internal Affairs hence increasing my momentum and that of the Board of Directors to swiftly takes these actions seriously.
Because I know that Africa is better placed with its citizens taking its challenges by its horns from within, I swiftly returned home from UK in December 2012 to Gulu, Uganda after my studies and now happy to be relevant to a cause that is bigger than me.
Christopher Columbus once said, ‘‘ You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore’’ I have the ultimate courage to ‘‘cross the ocean’’ . Our journey has began!
This is my Story.
You are welcome to join us at Engineers in Green Actions-Africa(EGAA) now!