From generation to generation, what has been clear is that the involvement of women in creating solutions to social challenges is nothing short of necessary.
In (African) societies marred with poverty, diseases, limited access to education, unemployment, poor sanitation, gender inequality to mention but just a few, it is evident now, more than ever, that women are affected most by these challenges.
To say it is important to have the feminine gender involved in making decisions regarding solutions to such challenges, is not just a moral notion, but also one whose logic is vindicated by statistical data.
It is even more important to have women lead units whose activities are geared towards achieving better societies – better on various fronts.
This is in tandem with SDG 5: Gender Equality; Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls.
Under the iElevate campaign, the advocacy arm of Saving Earth Africa (an Environmental Organization), the pronouncement of young women in leadership is one to reckon with.
In a bid to curb down the pollutants entering Lake Victoria, the organization found it prudent to create an advocacy arm whose role, among others, is to achieve a mindset change amongst young people.
It is noteworthy that much of the solid waste entering Lake Victoria is generated from markets, restaurants, slums, industries and many other economic activities carried out around the catchment area.
Poor solid waste management, which is ubiquitous in the Lake Victoria Basin Region, has for long facilitated pollution entering the lake.
In the catchment area alone, over 35 million people derive their livelihoods from the lake.
The impact of the lake goes as far as Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.
It is on this very premise – the extent of the impact – that the necessity of the advocacy is founded.
As stated in Principle 3 of the 4 Dublin guiding principles for Integrated Water Resources Management: Women play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water; the need to have women, better still, young women, at the forefront of such a noble cause is requisite.
Most institutional arrangements for the development and management of water resources have for long been deficient of the pivotal role of women as providers and users of water and guardians of the living environment.
The iElevate campaign is one whose operation cycle is evidently espousing courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts.
That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice: Bethany Hamilton, Professional Surfer.
What’s for sure is, in such a drive and/or campaign, a lot of social challenges will be addressed.
Some of them are unemployment (since collection, sorting and proper management of waste requires labor), gender inequality (having young women at the forefront), youth inclusion (young people will be involved most) and above all, environmental protection & restoration of biodiversity.
With such a drive, a change of mindset is another thing that will be achieved.
Through partnering with bodies and institutions (such as schools) which have an effect on one’s behavior, a generation whose behavior is marked with environmental cautiousness will be realized.
Furthermore, the necessity of this campaign is pronounced in SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
In such a time, it is quite saddening and by all standards defeating, to note that a good number of Ugandans and Africans still don’t have access to clean water.
Addressing a challenge such as water pollution greatly discounts this occurrence.
What makes it even more critical is the fact that Lake Victoria is the source of the Nile – the longest river in the world.
Hence, any effort, small as it may seem, is a stride made and as a matter of fact, in tandem with saving nature and humanity.
In a nutshell, the iElevate campaign is a quintessential element in countering social challenges, achieving global goals and ensuring sustainable development.
As singer Beyoncé once said, “We have to tell our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.”