By Kirungi Sylia
Female journalists have been asked to take the lead in covering climate change-related stories.
The call was made by western media for environment and conservation Executive director Peter Akugizibwe Araali while in a training of female journalists from Albertine region held in Hoima city recently.
Akugizibwe narrated that, the training was intended to equip female journalists with skills and knowledge on climate change, how to report and seek solutions.
Female journalists were also trained on how to apply and use podcast and new media tools while reporting on climate change to widen the scope of their audience and readership.
“In most cases, climate change stories are ignored in most Newsrooms, but we call upon female journalists to take the lead in disseminating and creating awareness to the public about climate change and mitigation measures put in place to solve the problem.” Akugizibwe added.
He explained that effects of climate change mostly affect mothers in homes because they are managers of homes yet they are not on the forefront when it comes to climate change issues in most newsrooms.
He said in case of a prolonged drought resulting into poor yields in a home, it will be a local mother to suffer mostly with her children on what to feed them.
“Also when there is no water in a home, it is a mother who suffers most since water is very important in her daily activities, like cooking, washing, bathing among others. So, there is need for female journalists to come on board on issues of climate change since they greatly understand how the problem affects them and their fellow women” he noted.
Akugizibwe applauded Global Green grants fund for supporting this training and appealed to other partners for support so that the training can go beyond the Albertine region.
Meanwhile, Leila Bbale one of the environment activists, however advised female journalists to start practicing solution journalism.
She added that female journalists should advise fellow women on how they can change Agriculture methods basing on long shifts in weather that have changed cultivating seasons.
“Women should be advised to plant short term crops or crops that can match with their type of soil or weather in order to harvest some good amount of yields.” Bbale added.
She further explained that community members should be encouraged to harvest rain water and store it which can be utilised in gardens during dry seasons.”Women should be taught on how harvest rain water and store it, so that they manage cultivating food during dry seasons which enable them have enough food for their families and suplus for sale” Bbale added.
The female presenters on radio stations have also been asked to slot in some segments of climate change messages, invite specialists to draw clearer picture on climate change and Elaborate mitigation measures for listeners to follow during their radio programs.
Precious Naturinda a climate change activist also advised fellow female journalists to always move to fields to grassroot communities, record their issues then play them on radio programs .She asked journalists to avoid consulting and interviewing district leaders but rather community members themselves, since even district leaders do not know what is happening at the grassroot level.
Charles Batambuze who represented Doreen Ndeezi , WEMECO board chairperson also challenged media houses to always organise refresher courses for female journalists as reedy to build their capacities.One of the participants Esther Kabadeda decried of little time accorded to the training yet it is important and requested for more engagements.
Another female journalist Annet Namugenyi requested for a training in story pitching, saying this can help them to look for grants to enable female journalists investigate climate change stories and other environmental issues. She added that majority commercial media houses do not consider climate change issues as a concern.