In the riparian zones of the River Nile in Jinja, young girls and women face significant challenges stemming from both climate change and improper industrial water pollution. Industries improperly manage and discharge into local water streams like Naava and Misiri, the Nile water that has long been a major source of water for communities in Njeru. Unfortunately, companies have been using these streams as dumping grounds, putting the health and safety of women and girls who rely on them for farming and daily activities at risk.

This situation not only affects women and girls’ access to clean water but but also poses threats to their reproductive health, leaving them vulnerable to diseases. Even basic tasks like harvesting water become unsafe due to contamination. However, access to safe and clean water is a fundamental human right, guaranteed by laws like the Uganda National Environmental Act of 2019.

Recognizing these challenges, the Girls for Climate Action, a movement that supports and advocates for climate justice in marginalized communities stepped up to accelerate the positive change for women and girls.

Under the “climate leadership program”, advocacy for the girl/women equality and just participation in decision-making processes and policy reviews have been always fore-fronted. Over 65 women have been engaged to find solutions for this cause. Training sessions on advocacy and environmental reporting have also equipped some individuals to become ambassadors for change in these communities.

The pressing nature of the issue prompted the community to raise awareness globally through press coverage, detailing findings and evidence of the situation. Demands for urgent action against industrial water pollution and calls for negotiation skills to drive urgent ending of industrial water pollution was highlighted in the Petition and different reports that were drafted.

Petitions have been submitted to various authorities, from local offices to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and even the highest levels of government, seeking immediate intervention and sustainable solutions to address the plight of these communities.

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