Environmental Alert (EA) is working with local communities in Moyo, Adjumani and Yumbe districts in West Nile, Tororo in Eastern Uganda, Kampala, Mubende and Wakiso in Central Uganda as well as Kyenjojo in Western Uganda through linking evidence based information and micro-advocacy action to intermediary and national policy and advocacy processes. In these areas, EA promotes economically viable, socially acceptable and ecologically alternative livelihood activities in which wetlands, land and forests are sustainably utilized and increasingly delivering benefits appropriate to meet the community’s social and economic needs. EA and its community partners will contribute to sustainable livelihoods through marketing climate sensitive food and nutrition security models, inspiring community entrepreneurship, a pro-poor and engendered policy environment and active public participation of vulnerable natural resources dependent men, women and youths. The current programmes (2009-2013) targets to reach 21,400 primary beneficiaries (men and women) and over 70,000 primary and secondary beneficiaries as a result of the purposeful scale-up plan entrenched in the innovative approaches for programme delivery.
The Food Security and Enterprise Development focused programme pays attention to improvement in sustainable farming practices; enhanced community knowledge and skills on proper nutrition; strengthening producer groups/organizations for bulk marketing to enable realization of economic access to food; Creating employment opportunities on-farm and off-farm; Promoting value addition to agricultural products; Promoting domestic and external trade in agricultural products through market linkages, influencing regulatory mechanism and food production strategies and programmes. All these are to be realized while applying different strategies including partnership building, community owned structures, incentive systems, knowledge management systems and documentation and information dissemination. This is also in line with Uganda’s target for growth of the agricultural sector and corresponding improvements in livelihoods.
Operations are guided by the principle of equitable participation of beneficiaries, the community representatives, local Government staff, and other project partners all through the processes of analysis, planning, implementation, monitoring & evaluation. EA takes initiative to support progressive learning and exposure of staff to alternative approaches and strengthen their facilitative role in execution of programme’s activities. Partnerships fostered at local and national levels with other civil society organizations including private sector and respective local governments form an integral part of the programme’s development and enables other actors to take on particular needs of the community. This approach is accentuated in the programmes and projects with specific strengthening of local associations, district coalitions and community own resource persons (CORPs).
There is clear achievements of appropriate technology transfer through use of simple, inexpensive locally available materials. Skills that are left with local partners include; participatory learning and action, community led documentation, peace building, psycho-social interventions, paralegal and advocacy, technical production skills for sustainable food production and marketing, basic nutrition principles and practices, climate change adaptation mechanisms and others that are delivered based on their own identified needs.
The Food Security and Enterprise programme achieves long-term benefits by strengthening the ability of community structures and community own representatives in all sub-counties of EA operational areas to assume responsibility for continuity hence CORPs and support more community members in civic collective action. A strong, informed and active natural resources based constituency will hold duty bearers accountable in pursuit of pro-poor, gender-based and environmentally friendly decisions, strategies and programmes. They will further seek better value from their representatives at all levels given that greater commitment and sustained citizen-own accountability agenda is and will remain a pre-requisite to realization of access to services by the poor, apprehension of a conducive policy environment that promote equitable development, a sustained and food secure population.