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Africa: The Ugandan Youth Activists Urging Action At COP27


Africa: The Ugandan Youth Activists Urging Action At COP27

World Leaders Should Listen to Young People Affected by Climate Change

This week, world leaders are meeting in Egypt for COP27, the global climate summit. Joining them will be Ugandan youth activists who have decided to make their voices heard. Hilda Flavia Nakabuye and Patience Nabukalu, two young, outspoken women from Friday’s for Future, a global, youth-led climate action group, will be travelling to Egypt with an important message: listen to young people from Uganda and across Africa.

In recent years, Uganda has faced serious extreme weather events, which have taken a serious toll on lives and livelihoods. The region has already warmed by 1.3 degrees Celsius, and both droughts and heavy rainfall are expected to become more intense as a result of climate change. Flooding and landslides are common occurrences in Uganda and have had devastating impacts, such as a landslide in September 2022 that killed at least fifteen people.

According to the United Nations Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF), about 570 million children globally are currently highly exposed to flooding, and this is likely to worsen because of climate change.

It was the prospect of more extreme climate impacts that led young people in Uganda to form a chapter of Fridays for Future in their country. One of them was a13-year-old sixth grader from Uganda’s capital Kampala, who has experienced floods first-hand: “I am worried about floods, I have seen a few near my home … it killed some people,” she said. She joined Fridays for Future because she believes “something can be done.”