The Standard Chartered Bank Uganda 2022 Climate Change Innovation Challenge Friday came to a conclusion at an event held at Gayaza High School.
The top five finalists are St. Mary’s Kisubi, St. Kizito Bugolobi, Gayaza High School, Mamtaz SS and Mengo SS emerging the overall winner. They all won a cash prize of $1,000 (UGX3,741,000).
Six other schools – Uganda Martyr’s H.S Lubaga, Kololo SS, Ndejje SSS, Bishop Cypriano Kihangire, Nabisunsa Girl’s School and Mbogo College – which didn’t make the top five each received a certificate for their participation and UGX 400,000 as seed capital.
The Climate Change Innovation Challenge is one of the Bank’s environmental conservation initiatives. It was unveiled on 21st June 2022 at Old Kampala SS with thirty (30) secondary schools in the Kampala Metropolitan Area.
The participating schools were tasked to use their critical-thinking and research skills to come up with innovative solutions to environmental issues affecting their communities. The shortlisted school teams were then invited to the pitching event and were each given 10 minutes to present their action plans infront of a panel of judges.
The core objective of the Climate Change Innovation Challenge is to further advance the Bank’s bold STAND – ‘Accelerating Net Zero’ which is its global commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions from its operations by 2025 and from its financing by 2050.
The judges looked out for clarity, implementation framework, scalability of the presented environmental conservation projects, impact of the intervention, budgets, writing quality, presentation skills, originality, teamwork and responses to the judges’ questions.
The Executive Director of ECOTRUST Ms. Pauline Nantongo Kalunda commended the learners for the rich ideas. “You as students are the future leaders and the ones, we cede over to this one planet we call earth. You must own the responsibility of its conservation. We should all be wary of the dangers of not exercising the rule of law when it comes to protecting the environment.
We need to see Government make deliberate efforts towards bringing to book people who degrade the environment. This can be done through creating awareness and have the consequences for breaking the law be visible to the public.”
The Standard Chartered Bank Uganda CEO Sanjay Rughani said they recognise climate change as one of the greatest challenges of humanity. “The complex trade-offs which come with climate actions mean there are no simple answers. From the ideas presented, I am confident that the initial investment of UGX69million made in this project will go a long way in tackling some of the environmental issues affecting our communities.” Rughani said.
The Assistant Commissioner Ministry of Education and Sports Moses Musingo said th initiative is commendable and a creative approach taken by the bank and ECOTRUST to engage and involve the youth in solving environmental challenges.