On September 18, 2019, the Global Green Growth Institute Uganda Country Program joined Divine Bamboo Group Limited and the rest of the world to celebrate the World Bamboo Day in Luweero District at Degeya Bamboo Nursery. The event was joined by several organizations and individuals interested in the Bamboo value chain uptake, including students from Makerere University Forestry Department who joined as researchers and the Ministry of Water and Environment as policy and strategic partner.
World Bamboo Day was officially established on September 18 at the 8th World Bamboo Congress held in Bangkok in 2009 and declared by the Thai Royal Forest Department. Divine Bamboo Group Limited used this day to raise awareness of the benefits of bamboo and to promote its use in everyday products.
Bamboo is a fast-growing, flexible and strong perennial plant that regenerates quickly, provides economic returns within 3 to 4 years, and can be used to create a wide range of products. It has undergone a remarkable transformation and has replaced steel and cement as a low carbon alternative for household items, flooring, housing, drainage pipes and more. With over 30 million hectares spread across the tropics and subtropics, this grass plant can provide a nature-based solution for poverty alleviation and environmental protection, as well as mitigate the effects of Climate Change. With a few interventions in Uganda by the Government, NGOs, and CBOs, bamboo has been planted to fight desertification, soil erosion, conserve biodiversity, and provide a source of income to millions of people in both the urban and rural areas.
To mark World Bamboo Day, Uganda-based social enterprise Divine Bamboo conducted a training workshop on bamboo’s potential, gave away more than 2000 seedlings to farmers in Luweero district, and demonstrated the making of charcoal briquettes. The workshop is part of the organization’s ambitious plans to “plant half a million bamboos by 2020.” Specifically, over 100 farmers were empowered on how to prepare and multiply of seedlings, pruning, treatment of bamboo, various uses of bamboo, etc.
The CEO, Ms. Divine Nabaweesi, said that Climate Change is real, but they see huge potential in curbing its effect with the bamboo plant. She cited several examples like Uganda spends over 3m USD importing paper, yet bamboo can provide a cheaper and alternative raw material. Based on an assumption, the entrepreneurs think that if Uganda can plant 1 million bamboo trees, they can provide a basis for investors to set up paper industries. As Uganda continues to lose hectares of land of forest cover, she said that Uganda can offset it through initiatives like promoting bamboo planting. She encouraged farmers of Degeya Village, Luweero District to participate in planting as the current demand cannot be met with the available stock.
During the World Bamboo Celebrations, Mariah Kizza, the Communications focal person of GGGI Uganda office, thanked Divine Bamboo for enthusiastically participating in the 2019 “Greenprenuers” Competition organized by GGGI headquarters and encouraged them to always work towards promoting green and sustainable practices that will save Uganda from the effects of environmental degradation and Climate Change. She further emphasized that Bamboo has enormous effects to the improvement of air quality, which is one of GGGI’s strategic outcomes in Uganda, and hoped that more Ugandans, especially the youth, can join the production and innovation of surrounding bamboo to create more green jobs. GGGI also created awareness on the green entrepreneurship program and shared with the participants more ways to go green.
About Divine Bamboo Group Limited
Divine Bamboo Group Limited is an innovative forestry company that provides a clean cooking fuel in the form of high-quality charcoal briquettes produced from local bamboo, grown specifically for energy purposes on our sustainable bamboo plantations in Uganda. It implements an out-growers model and has linkages to various bamboo markets. Read more: https://www.divinebamboo.com
Based in Seoul, GGGI is a new intergovernmental organization founded to support and promote a new model of economic growth known as “green growth.” The organization partners with countries to help them build economies that grow strongly and are more efficient and sustainable in the use of natural resources, less carbon-intensive, and more resilient to climate change. GGGI’s experts are already working with governments around the world, building their capacity and working collaboratively on green growth policies that can impact the lives of millions. To learn more, see www.gggi.org and visit us on Facebook and Twitter.