Environmentalist, Vanessa Nakate and Climate Finance Expert, Tim Reutemann, are on a mission to transition schools in Uganda to solar energy through the Green Schools Project
The Green Schools Project is a renewable energy initiative, which aims to transition schools in Uganda to solar energy and install eco-friendly stoves in these schools.
In Uganda, we need a transition to renewable energy. Also, educating students and the community helps create a learning platform for sustainability,” Nakate said.
Schools in Uganda use wood fuelled stoves to prepare meals for students throughout the day.
The eco friendly stoves will reduce the amount of firewood used from five truckloads to two truckloads, per term, aiding in forestation initiatives and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Powering schools with solar energy will bring a sustainable energy source to schools that is less harmful to people and planet than fossil fuels.
The Green Schools project is a Climate Mitigation Project in Uganda under the Paris Agreement.
Moving funding online
Initially, the Ugandan government was unable to secure funding for this project from Western donors as “there was a failure to agree on the mechanisms of the project and a lack of coordination between Western governments and African governments,” Reutemann said.
Funding efforts for the Project were moved online and Reutemann ensures the money raised reaches the project as online fundraising platforms discriminate against fundraising initiatives in Africa.
Reutemann said: “Online fundraising eliminates the slow, traditional, process of applying for funding, which is entirely a paper-based process that could take 3-7 years.
Online fundraising provides a bottom-up approach and very dramatically changes who has access to climate finance and speeds up the process because the climate crisis isn’t slowing down.”
Online fundraising efforts have enabled The Green Schools Project to install solar panels and eco friendly stoves in 4 schools, to date.
A sustainable future
The Project aims to install the solar power technology and eco-friendly stoves in all 24,000 schools in Uganda.
If the sustainability initiative is successful in schools, solar panels and eco-friendly stoves can be installed in homes throughout Uganda.
It costs $2,000 – $3,000 to install solar panels and eco-friendly stoves in each school in Uganda.
Reutemann got involved in The Green Schools Project out of his sense of urgency that the climate crisis needs to find solutions as it is a global threat.
Reutemann used some inheritance money from his parents as initial seed money for the Project.
“It [The Green Schools Project] gives me hope as it is a new way to target climate change from the ground.”
The Green Schools Project is personal to Reutemann, it is not in association or affiliation with his climate finance work in the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Switzerland.
For more information and updates on The Green Schools Project follow Vanessa Nakate on Twitter.
Donations to The Green Schools Project can be made here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/green-schools-with-vash?utm_s