By Watchdog reporter

National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) alongside Little Hands Go Green on Friday engaged children with disabilities at Kyambogo Primary School in the suburbs of Kampala to plant trees ahead of the highly anticipated Green Festival 2017 as a way of bridging the disability gap and promoting Inclusiveness of children with disabilities in our society.

NEMA Uganda and Little Hands Go Green believe that involving children with disabilities in this exercise will promote inclusiveness in society as well as bridge the disability inequality gap and promote sustainability.

NEMA Executive Director Dr. Tom O. Okurut, who was the chief guest at the event, said the authority decided to take part in the initiative because they saw a need to involve the disabled children into conserving the environment since they are also part of the community.

“We saw that everybody has a role he/she must play in conserving the environment. Even though they are disabled they have a big role in contributing to the environment and also the knowledge they get while included in this program is very important,” said Dr. Okurut.

NEMA ED Dr. Tom Okurut (Left) and Little Hands Go Green CEO Joseph Masembe (right) planting a tree at Kyambogo Primary School

On the other hand, Little hands Go Green Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Masembe said for a long time, his organization has been pushing and carrying out environmental conservation education in primary schools across the Uganda and in Rwanda but had not deliberately set out to purposely include children with disabilities directly in the campaign.

“This tree planting exercise therefore will be the start of a deliberate push and a call to all to look at Ugandans in general to ensure that persons with disabilities are respected and given an opportunity to enjoy a better life by empowering them to take part in the greening efforts as well. Uganda is still grappling with the rampant effects of deforestation and climate change and the recent mudslides in Sierra Leone were a constant feature in years past in the Eastern Ugandan region of Buduuda,” said Masembe.

He further revealed that at this Year’s Green Festival, children with disabilities enter for free and will also be able to showcase their conservation efforts.

The GREEN festival will take place on Sunday 3rd September 2017 at the Kololo Independence grounds in Kampala Uganda.