This year, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) chose to celebrate the World Cancer Day under the theme, ‘’I can, we can’’ which acknowledges that you and I have have a huge responsibility in addressing the cancer burden. A lot of emphasis was placed on the need for all of us to act and act now to reduce the ‘risk factors’. For us as Raising Ghabdo Foundation (RGF), this message could never have been any clearer because this is what we live for!
And while it is a good thing to raise awareness about the scourge that cancer has become through a number of activities; cancer runs, walks, donations, media campaigns et cetera, a lot more focus should be placed on highlighting practical interventions that inhibit the disease right from its root cause – a healthy environment to live in.
The pollution caused by the burning of majority of fuels here in Uganda can easily be attached to respiratory, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
According to transitioninaction.org, ‘’The fossil fuel and other dirty, high-carbon industries are estimated to cause 4.5 million deaths a year related to air pollution, occupational hazards and cancer. It is also estimated that climate change – driven by burning fossil fuels – already causes 400,000 deaths on average each year, mainly due to hunger and communicable diseases that affect above all children and the elderly in the most vulnerable countries’’.
But let us bring it back home to the Pearl of Africa. Look around you. Take a quick peep into your own kitchen, your neighbor’s, your friend’s. Is it hard to spot a sure source of carcinogens through the fuels we use? Maybe not in your kitchen but, think about the people deep down in the villages; kamwenge, nakapiriput, kaberamaido and so many others. How about those in refugee settlements and camps?
And guess what, it only gets worse!
According to UNHCR, 81% of Uganda’s refugees are women and children, who are at high risk of gender-based violence. These women and children must fetch for firewood, fend for food and hassle through the soot and smoke to prepare a humble meal for their families. This smoke that could easily cause them respiratory problems and cancer in the future may not be the only punishment they get. They will be beaten by their husbands if the meal is not ready in time or at all.
We are choosing to act, NOW!
Now is a good time to stop the cancer rooted in unclean energy. Now is the perfect time to end gender-based violence attributed to lack of access to cheap, easy and cleaner energy.
We use innovative ways to create safer and cleaner energy sources that you can use. Our briquettes by Zeed energy for example recycle ordinary waste materials like plastics, paper, saw dust and so much more to create a cheaper and safer source of energy for preparing meals. Have you checked out our Cooking Baskets? That is another surely clean, safe and easy to use food preparation option. You too, should act now! Visit our website: www.raisingghabdo.org to see how you can plug in.