In This Issue
Staff News
We received great news during the month of September, two of our Programme Cordinators gave birth to beautiful baby boys;
Adrine Kirabo, Programme Cordinator - Masindi and
Lydia Kuganyirwa , Programme Coordinator - Kasese are both  new mothers of  healthy baby boys. Congratulations and best wishes from the entire ECOTRUST family.

We would like to welcome two new staff members to the ECOTRUST family. Christine Begumanya is the new Project Officer for the HIWA Project (HIV/Health Initiatives in Workplace Activity) and Priscilla Nabuyemba is the new Renewable Energy Project Officer. Congratulations and welcome to the family.

Upcoming Events
Board of Trustees Meeting 23rd -25th October / Official opening of the Rwenzori Gateway Trails

The ECOTRUST Board of  Trustees Meeting will take place from the 23rd - 25th of October at the Equator Snow Lodge (for the first time).
We will also use this opportunity to officially unveil the new hiking trails at the Rwenzori Gateway

 TGB Farmer Review 

We will be conducting a field review of the 260 TGB farmer applicants in the Districts of Mbale, Manafwa and Bududa this October. Qualifying farmers will be given the go ahead to start planting this rainy season.

Equator Snow Lodge

Equator Snow is a sensational destination for the experienced mountaineer, the casual trekker or the ordinary traveller. Working in close collaboration with the Ruboni Community, and Rwenzori Mountaineering Services, a selection of mountaineering activities can be organised from Equator Snow Lodge, ranging from guided mountain walks with low endurance hikes, to climbing the mountain peaks for the technically more competent.

You may choose just to rest and relax at Equator Snow Lodge with its spacious mountain cabins, and wooden decks, it is designed for comfort and relaxation.

The Rwenzori Mountains have been declared a World Heritage Site. Accordingly, the public restaurant, lounge and bar areas are designed around the history of the Rwenzori Mountains, with displays of significant historical illustrations.

Come and experience the legend that has surrounded the Mountains of the Moon, as they were named by Greek historians more than two thousand years ago.

For inquiries and bookings; Contact Jimmy Muheebwa on 256 772550177 or 256 704550177

Solvatten is a solar water treating system which uses energy from the sun to purify water, making it safe for drinking. It is an 11 litre jerrycan made from Sweden which uses filtration, heat and UV from the sun to kill all the micro - organisms in the water, making it safe for drinking and personal hygiene.

It reduces the burden of water-borne diseases thus improving health, promotes sanitation and hygiene, and reduces costs on electricity and wood fuel needed to boil water among others.

You can get yourself a Solvatten unit from our main office in Entebbe or any of our branch offices in Masindi and Mbale. For any information regarding sales. Please contact Priscilla Nabuyemba on 256700150426 or 256787031149

About Us

The Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST) is a non - governmental environmental conservation organization established in 1999. ECOTRUST has developed a valued niche in 'conservation finance' and pursued relentlessly a clear vision of 'a healthy environment with prosperous people' and a mission,' to conserve natural resources and enhance social welfare by promoting innovative and sustainable environment management in Uganda.'

ECOTRUST's core values of' accountability and transparency in all our dealings, Creating value for our stakeholders, Pursuit of excellence and continuous improvement, Commitment to personal integrity, creating a culture of teamwork' remain the jealously protected business principles of the organization, guiding all business decisions and entire management ethics.

Welcome to our August - September Bulletin. I would like to thank you for the feedback from the last news Bulletin, we appreciate your time and interest in our different programme areas. The implementation of HIWA (HIV/Health  Initiatives  in Work Areas)  kick-starts  this October and we are excited to see the impact that this project will have in the Uganda National park areas/communities. 

We will be officially opening our Rwenzori Gateway hiking trails later in the month at the Equator Snow Lodge (Kasese, Western Uganda). Come spend a few days at the exquisite Equator Snow-lodge and discover some of the mystical wonders of the Rwenzoris.

Here are some of the activity highlights of August and September. 

Pauline Nantongo Kalunda
Executive Director

Solvatten Safe Water System Verification Exercise s
ECOTRUST partnered with MyClimate to make Solvatten (a safe water system that uses solar energy to purify water) affordable through use of carbon credits. Solvatten uses solar power instead of wood or charcoal fuel and is one of the ways of adopting and mitigating climate change. This is part of ECOTRUSTs Renewable Energy Programme Area which aims at making energy efficiency a reality for Ugandan communities. ECOTRUST has been distributing Solvatten Safe Water System throughout the country since 2013.

From 18th to 21st August 2015, ECOTRUST hosted Auditors from Earthood Services based in India who came to conduct a verification exercise on the distribution and use of Solvatten. The verification exercise was conducted smoothly and Auditors were happy and pleased with what they saw in the households visited. It was evident that households are using the Solvatten and are happy with the technology. It is simple, easy to use, and requires minimal maintenance. Most households visited use Solvatten at least twice a day. A Medical Clinic in Kawempe Lugoba (Central Uganda) uses Solvatten to treat water for use by patients to take their medication. At least 10 - 15 patients use the water on a daily basis. Bright Children Primary School in Kyebando (Central Uganda) bought two (2) solvatten units which they use to treat water for their two hundred ninety one (291) students.

Solvatten Safe Water System is a patented, scientifically proven Swedish invention, which uses solar energy (pasteurization and UV), filtration and turbulence to treat contaminated water from microorganisms, which cause waterborne diseases. The heated water is used mainly for domestic consumption like drinking, hand washing, cleaning household equipment and bathing.

Auditors visit households in Central Uganda
Local Tour Guides receive training at the Rwenzori Gateway
ECOTRUST has been implementing a project for long-term ecological monitoring at the Rwenzori Gateway, where it is managing 35 ha of formerly degraded farmland.
One of the key strategies of the project is to build capacity of the local community in specialized areas particularly offering a comprehensive training to the local tour guides that operate the Rwenzori Mountains Central Circuit and the community circuit. A total of 20 guides from Rwenzori Mountaneering Services, Ruboni Community and Turaco Camp all of whom operate the Rwenzori Central Circuit were part of the 3 day training exercise that covered topics such as; Communication Skills, First Aid, Interpretive Guiding, History, Customer care etc.. This training was also intended to build mutual working relationships between ECOTRUST and these tour guides to establish harmony in using the Gateway trails, Ruboni community trails, UWA and community trails. 

Local tour guides receive training at the Equator Snow Lodge
EBA (Eco-system Based Apatation) Farmers Monitored
EBA (Eco-system Based Adaptation) farmers in Eastern Uganda from the districts of Sironko and Bulambuli were inducted into the programme and a review of the interested farmers was done between February and March 2015. 115 famers in 22 groups were given a go ahead to start implementing the interventions on their land. This was followed by monitoring between August and September to assess the performance of these farmers. The monitoring was done in mainly two areas i.e Tree planting and Soil and water Conservation. The results of the monitoring showed that a total of 2,258 trees have been planted, 8,301.9 meters of trenches dug and 26.3 ha of land is under improved land management. A total of 88 farmers were successfully monitored and will receive their first installment payment this October. The EBA project is sponsored by UNDP through the Ministry of Water and Environment.
IUCN ESARO Regional Conservation Conference - Nairobi, Kenya.
The IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office (IUCN ESARO) held a Regional Conservation Forum (RCF) from 29th September to 2nd October 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya at the InterContinental Hotel under the theme "Creating Solutions for People and Nature in Eastern and Southern Africa". The forum was co-hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Kenya and IUCN East and Southern Africa (ESARO). The RCF was a preamble to the IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) due in Hawaii USA, in September 2016. This regional forum was aimed at enabling IUCN regions to prepare for the World Conservation Congress. The forum featured an open dialogue around the future of conservation practice and sustainable use today geared towards coming up with solutions to critical conservation and development issues facing Eastern and Southern Africa. The other days of the forum were dedicated to the IUCN Constituents' preparation for effective participation at the 2016 WCC, discussing the 2017-2020 Global IUCN Programme as well as the IUCN ESARO's Implementation Plan 2017-2020 among other things.

The Uganda National Committee had an opportunity to meet with  the IUCN president, Zhang Xinsheng

ECOTRUST participates in the Plan Vivo Stakeholders meeting - Sigatuna, Sweden
The Plan vivo biennial Stakeholders meeting was organized by the Plan vivo foundation, hosted by Zeromission, and held in Sigtunastiftelsen , Sweden from the 28th - 30th September. The meeting provided an opportunity for the stakeholders to share successes, discuss challenges and set a road map for the future.  The meeting attracted representatives from Plan vivo projects from all over the world; Mexico, Nicaragua, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Indonesia, the Pacific Islands, India and many more. ECOTRUST was represented by Pauline Nantongo Kalunda, Executive Director and Dr Sarah Nachuha, Programme Manager. The first day of the meeting featured presentations by the Plan Vivo core team and Zeromission on the background of the Plan Vivo Foundation and the progress that has been made so far in terms of issuance of carbon certificates. There was also a presentation on the SHAMBA (Small-Holder Agriculture Monitoring and Baseline Assessment) tool that is still under development by the University of Edinburgh. The aim of SHAMBA is to develop a greenhouse gas accounting approach for Climate and Smart Agriculture in Sub Saharan Africa that is accessible to non-specialists and is applicable across a broad range of environmental conditions and land use interventions. 
Day two featured an exciting Q&A that provided an opportunity for members of the public comprising of buyers, the private sector, offset reselling partners, sustainability consultants and researchers to seek clarification on different aspects of the various Plan vivo projects. The design of these projects should hinge on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and great emphasis should be attached to ensuring that we use climate justice approaches which put the small holder farmers at the center.
The three day visit concluded with a visit to Wenngarn, a site with unique history, enchanting buildings that have been transformed from an asylum center for alcoholics to a village community through the Sisyfos project, directed by Mr. Olle Larson. The team toured the site and later planted an apple tree to symbolize what Plan vivo prides in.

Part of the Plan Vivo Stakeholder team plants an apple tree at Wenngarn.
TGB Farmer Focus - Daniel Mukhwana
The new segment of TGB Farmer Focus features Daniel Mukhwana, a farmer from Manafwa district, Eastern Uganda. Mukhwana works with his family members to plan and use his land sustainably. He has also been able to pass on the capacity given to him by ECOTRUST to train other farmers who have also recruited several into the Trees for Global Benefits Programme.

TGB Farmer Focus - Daniel Mukhwana
TGB Farmer Focus - Daniel Mukhwana