Pathfinder's Health of People and Environment Project Celebrates Earth Hour on Bussi Island
Lights will go out around the world on Saturday in honor of Earth Hour—a global call to action to take responsibility for our environmental impact. Bussi Island is answering that call, but it’s likely their work will take much more than an hour.
Communities will work to plant thousands of trees, clean beaches and waterways, and encourage their neighbors to sign up for energy saving cook stoves that reduce the need for firewood and the community’s carbon footprint. The project is an initiative of the Health of People and the Environment, Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE LVB) project, comprised of a partnership between Pathfinder International, the Ecological Christian Organization, Osienala, and Conservation Through Public Health.
Saturday’s efforts will entail:
- Taking advantage of the planting season by planting 30,000 trees
- Adding 1,000 homes to the sign-up list for energy saving cook stoves
- Clearing five tons of trash from the lake and local beaches
- Adding 50 homes to the sign-up list for Biogas, a cheap, affordable source of alternative energy for cooking and lighting homes
“Earth Hour is a great opportunity to bring our HoPE LVB partners and the community together to make a difference on Bussi Island,” said Lucy Shillingi, Pathfinder’s Uganda Country Representative. “Without a healthy environment, a healthy population is a nearly impossible goal, so celebrations like these remind us of the importance of the work we’re doing.”
The HoPE LVB project, which reduces threats to biodiversity while increasing access to family planning, has donated solar units to local health facilities in the past and encourages the sale of solar lights in the community both as a commodity and a means for doing other income-generating activities. The use of solar energy in the home also protects children’s health from the toxic fumes of other energy sources like kerosene.
Learn more about HoPE LVB or Pathfinder’s work in Population, Health, and Environment.
Focus Area: Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health
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Dr. Tauseef Ahmed, Pakistan country director of Pathfinder International, a non-profit organisation working to improve adolescent and youth access to sexual and reproductive health services in more than 30 countries, says that early pregnancy is not uncommon among teenage brides. In fact, having a baby is a way of proving one’s fertility, and the values of adolescent pregnancy are “protected by women and girls themselves,” he told IPS.
On June 16, with funding from the Ford Foundation, Pathfinder International in Egypt, in conjunction with the National Population Council, launched a new national strategy for preventing child marriage.