Evelyn Acham, the national coordinator for the Rise Up Movement started her climate activism in 2019 after seeing her friend Vanessa Nakate demonstrate over climate justice outside the Parliament building.
“Watching my friend Vanessa Nakate’s individual strikes on the streets of Kampala triggered my interest, I carried out research and understood the impacts of climate change in my county and started creating awareness,” Acham said.
Born in Jinja, Acham is a graduate of Makerere University where she attained her Bachelor’s degree in Land Economics back in 2015. She’s now a member of Friday’s for Future, advocating for bold climate activism globally.
Acham says that Uganda has experienced adverse weather patterns such as prolonged droughts, landslides and devastating floods yet people are still complacent about these realities.
“Every one should advocate for climate justice because climate change affects all of us; the young and old, no matter how much you contribute,” she said.
“Forests are still being destroyed, oil lines are being put up, this is only going to make the impacts worse.”
Acham says that climate change is also a very urgent issue that we have to address now.
“Climate change is here already. The good news is that we have the facts and solutions with us. Climate change is a health issue, it is an education issue and it affects everyone. Fighting for climate justice is fighting for humanity,” Acham says.
Acham believes that the message of climate change is still strange to many Ugandans, and requests the media to give activists a hand in spreading the message.
Early this month, Acham was one of the three climate activists who were arrested for striking in front of the parliament building.
She says such treatment is why many Ugandans are shying away from such an important topic. She urges government to heed to the warning over the looming climate crisis.