CHAMPIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY: East African youth are innovating to adapt to climate change

CHAMPIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY: East African youth are innovating to adapt to climate change

How are East Africans surviving amidst climate change? Youth in communities across East Africa are launching innovations to adapt to the region’s changing climate, a cross-border project led by InfoNile has found.


In East Africa, temperatures have risen by about 1.3 degrees Celsius since 1960 and are expected to rise by another 1.8 to 4.3 degrees by 2080 to 2099, according to UNDP. Average rainfall will increase overall but at the same time with unpredictable rains, an increase in intense storms and more droughts.

Farmers, unable to rely on traditional rain cycles, are feeling the worst of the effects. Unusual rainfall has also caused Lake Victoria to burst its shoreline, submerging beachside communities and displacing more than 200,000 people in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

But from Bushenyi to Nakuru, Nyamagabe to Morogoro, youth are paving the way for change, and bringing hope. 

Reporters for InfoNile, a collaborative cross-border group of geojournalists, highlighted little-known innovations led by youth in East Africa that are helping communities adapt to climate change. These included planting trees to prevent landslides in eastern Uganda, selling briquettes to promote clean energy in refugee settlements, starting drip irrigation projects for Tanzania farmers and building terrace farms along the banks of the Nyabarongo River in Rwanda. 

Funded by the CIVICUS Goalkeepers Youth Action Accelerator, the project involved journalists from major news organizations in the region including Uganda’s New Vision, NBS TV, Step FM, and Aica; Kenya’s Science Africa, Rwanda News Agency, and the Tanzania Daily News.

This project was also published on the New Vision, Science Africa, and Mara Online.


The individual stories produced for the project include the following, with InfoNile versions also published in Arabic, Amharic and Swahili:

Funding Alternative Livelihoods to Save Wetlands; NBS TV (InfoNile version)

Reaping from harm; a slow extinction of Uganda’s wetlands; Aica (InfoNile version)

Rwandan youth takes lead in Nyabarongo watershed protection; Pan African News Agency and Rwanda News Agency (InfoNile version)

Adaptation Solutions by a Kenyan youth help restore environment in six counties in Kenya; ScienceAfrica

A Village Group Using Trees to Save Lives from Deadly Landslides Disaster in Mt. Elgon Sub Region; New Vision and Step FM Mbale (InfoNile version)

Refugees using human waste as fuel; New Vision and Arua One FM (InfoNile version)

Youth in Sebei, Uganda Crush Plastic, Turn Human Waste into Cooking Fuel; Aica, Elgon Daily, Time FM Mbale (InfoNile version)

Restored wetland in Bushenyi to support agriculture, fish farming; New Vision (InfoNile version)

Tanzania government plans to roll out small-scale irrigation technology to help farmers deal with climate change; Tanzania Daily News, InfoNile

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