In This Issue

Staff News

USAID Grants Management

To better understand the HIWA grant, World Vision organized a five day 'Gateway to Grants' Training for all partners in the month of November at Munyonyo Speke Resort Hotel. 

To this, success was based upon passing 9 workbook tests with a 75% pass mark on each. The second condition for Certification was upon passing the final exam with a 75% pass mark. 

Outgoing Staff

ECOTRUST would like to recognise and appreciate the enormous contributions played by outgoing Programme Coordinators, Annet Ssempala and Stephen Kigoolo in the expansion of ECOTRUST Programmes.

Stephen Kigoolo was very instrumental in the various ECOTRUST Programmes most noticeably the Renewable Energy Programme that has made energy efficiency a reality for hundreds of households throughout Uganda.

Annet Sempala was highly motivated, diligent and always delivered with finesse. She was critical in extending the Trees for Global Benefits Programme to Eastern Uganda earning herself the Lumasaba name, 'Nambozo'. 

We wish you all the best and thank you for your years of dedication, enthusiasm and team spirit.

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 latest newsletter, the sixth of this year,all of which i hope have helped keep you updated on our activities. We are winding up for 2015 and already planning for 2016. I hope it's been a good year for you.

Below are the updates on our latest together with another Farmer Focus video. Your feedback is highly appreciated.


Pauline Nantongo Kalunda
Executive Director
Community Visioning for Pro-Poor REDD+ Action Planning in Eastern Uganda
ECOTRUST has facilitated a visioning exercise in which community groups in five sub-counties in Mt. Elgon region of Eastern Uganda have developed Pro-Poor REDD+ Action Plans. This is under the DANIDA funded project titled "Towards Pro-poor REDD+ (Phase II) - Promoting pro-poor REDD+ principles and rights-based approaches to strengthen the conservation, governance and sustainable management of landscapes in Uganda." 

ECOTRUST is implementing this project in partnership with IUCN to incorporate principles of pro-poor approaches (PPAs) and human rights based approaches (HRBAs) in the national climate change mitigation initiatives to deliver policies and implement programs that reduce deforestation and forest degradation. This will contribute to the improvement of local livelihoods and long term security of forest carbon stocks in key forest-rich regions. In Uganda, the project will integrate PPAs and HRBAs into the National REDD+ Strategy, and other frameworks for sustainable management of forest resources in the country.
The visioning exercise involved a series of participatory consultative meetings with various groups to develop benefit sharing plans which provide suitable rewards for adopting mitigation activities for rural poor communities in the Mt. Elgon region of Eastern Uganda. The community visioning is important for building social capital, which is one of the benefits communities accrue from participating in REDD+ initiatives.

Among the strategies communities proposed is the formation of village SACCOs, through which payments can be easily channelled and the money jointly used towards achieving community development goals. Other strategies include the combination of financial and other forms of compensation e.g. access rights (cultural sites, medicinal extracts), community empowerment and capacity building for sustainable agriculture. This was a high indicator of the potential these communities have to cooperate in the REDD+ schemes. The Focused Group Discussions(FGDs) included men, women, People With Disabilities (PWDs) and other vulnerable groups from the districts of Mbale, Manafwa and Bududa.

In addition to developing action plans, the visioning exercise also enables the groups to develop constitutions that facilitate the implementation of the Pro-Poor/HRBA's in the Programme. Three of the groups (Bubetshye, Nabumali and Bufukhula) in Nyondo sub-county have with support from Mr. Joshua Wotti, the Community Development Officer (CDO) completed the  constitution making process.

ECOTRUST Programme Officer,Jimmy Muheebwa conducting an Action Planning Meeting in Bukibokolo subcounty - Bududa District

MyClimate visits ECOTRUST

ECOTRUSTs Renewable Energy Programme was privileged to host Tobias Hoeck - Project Manager of Myclimate's Climate Protection Projects - Switzerland.  The trip included field visits to Solvatten household users, as part of an evaluation of the Solvatten water purifying technology that ECOTRUST is distributing throughout the country. Solvatten is a patented, scientifically proven Swedish invention that uses solar energy to treat water with 3 well documented water treatment methods that is; filtration, pasteurizatio n with heat and Ultraviolet sterilization to inactivate and kill the micro-organisms that cause water borne diseases. Not only does this technology make water safe for consumption, it also reduces deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions. 

Solvatten is included in a MyClimate programme to disseminate water purification systems to low-income households in Uganda thereby improving the livelihoods and health conditions of thousands of people. This is an initiative in which Myclimate is collaborating with ZeroMission to invest revenues from Carbon offsetting into direct technology subsidies, making it possible for the rural poor communities in a low developing country such as Uganda to afford the technology.

The distribution of Solvatten technology can be further financed through climate investments by companies and individuals.

Tobias Hoeck from MyClimate listens to testimonies from the users of the Solvatten technology.

ECOTRUST Partners with World Vision for a One Health Approach
In line with our one health approach to sustainable development, ECOTRUST has entered into a partnership to implement the USAID/Uganda funded HIV/AIDS and health Initiatives in the Workplaces Activity (HIWA).  Other partners in this five year national program being implemented in 33 districts include World Vision, ECOTRUST, RTI International (RTI), Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG), The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) and The Medical Concierge Group (TMCG). The overall goal of the Activity is to improve the health of:
  • Uganda Police Force
  • Private Security Guards (PSG),
  • Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) 
  • Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA)
This partnership is a result of ECOTRUST initiatives in raising the visibility of communities in which we work with other development partners. It is envisaged that this partnership will contribute significantly to the attainment of ECOTRUST's one health approach to sustainable development, that addresses human, wildlife and ecosystem health together. The role of ECOTRUST in this initiative is to work with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to bring comprehensive health care with emphasis on HIV/AIDS related services to the rural poor communities within and around the conservation areas of Queen Elizabeth, Mt. Elgon and Murchison falls. The HIWA initiative is based on the new global 90-90-90 target strategy that calls for 90% of all people with HIV to be diagnosed, 90% of people with HIV diagnosed to receive Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) and 90% of those on ART to have a suppressed viral load by 2020.

This quarter focused on conducting a number of baseline surveys in the conservation areas such as the service availability mapping, aimed at knowing what services are being offered at the various clinics. In addition, preparations for a survey on the beneficiaries' Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) on HIV/AIDS was conducted. Among other activities, the KAP preparations involved Focal Group Discussions (FGDs) to identify key persons to be trained in the implementation of the Stepping Stones approach to behavioural change communication (BCC). The Stepping stones approach is a communication tool developed to initiate and sustain meaningful dialogues around sexual attitudes and needs. 

As we continue to partner and deliver on the expected outputs of this project, we are ready to learn from and continue partnering with the best there is about HIV/AIDS to save the lives of those in conservation as we promote better healthy lives. 
Picture of the month

A Solvatten user was kind enough to give the ECOTRUST team a taste of her home made wine during a field visit. She uses the solvatten safe water when making the wine. 

TGB Farmer Focus
Wangoda Edward is a Trees for Global Benefits (TGB) farmer from Nyondo Subcounty, Mbale District - Eastern Uganda. He has been part of the project since 2013 planting a mixed native variety of trees together with coffee and bananas. Edward has used the money from this project to replace his tree seedlings, buy school books for his children and take care of his family. 

He says that these trees have helped him to enrich his soil, enabling him to grow good coffee and bananas. Furthermore, the grasses he grows along the trenches in his garden (as part of the project) have availed him with pasture/fodder for his cows/livestock as a livelihood option. He uses the manure from his animals in his garden to further improve the quality of the soil.

Edward relies on his family i.e. his wife and children to help with the work in his garden. He tells us that when the children are away at school, he opts for the use of outside labour which he trades for bunches of matooke (bananas) from his farm.

He knows that this is a long term project and is happy with the fact that he will reap the benefits of timber, charcoal and income in the future. He is glad that ECOTRUST has laid such a foundation for him and is proud to be a carbon farmer.