What’s the climate crisis like in Uganda? (hear from youth activist Nyombi Morris!)

by | July 16, 2021

Earth’s climate has changed. And it will continue to change, making it harder to live until we make society transform its systems to reverse global heating.

But the climate crisis is not affecting everyone equally.

And we (in the US at least) rarely hear the stories of people who are having their lives turned upside down in other parts of the world. Nor do we hear the stories of people who are peacefully and courageously speaking up to power and putting their bodies on the line for justice.

Today you get both.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of chatting with Nyombi Morris, who is a youth climate activist from Luzira, Kampala in Uganda and the social media manager of the Rise Up Movement.

I highly encourage you to watch (or listen) to hear Nyombi’s story of how the climate crisis has already impacted his family, their livelihoods, where they live, and his education.

We also dive into the Rise Up Movement, what it’s like to be a climate activist in Uganda, his tree planting initiative with primary students, destructive oil pipelines (EACOP), climate justice, the importance of educating girls, and more.

I thought this was a powerful and moving conversation. Please enjoy and share Nyombi’s story with others!



0 – 9:14 How climate change is affecting Uganda and has made life very difficult for Nyombi and his family.

9:14 Vanessa Nakate & the Rise Up Movement

12:00 Nyombi’s scary and challenging experiences with police and government as a climate activist. Plus bravery and determination to keep going.

19:45 Stopping the destructive East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

26:20 How climate is negatively affecting girls’ education, gender equity, and justice.

33:00 Educating girls & empowering women has positive ripple effects for the climate.

34:05 Gratitude for youth activists & encouraging more to join.

35:07 What’s the difference between a climate denier and someone who believes it’s happening but doesn’t take action?

38:10 The Greta speech that continually inspires Nyombi.

39:00 Nyombi’s final message for folks.

40:30 Nyombi’s tree planting project with primary students.

Final thoughts

I learned a lot from Nyombi and am grateful he shared his time and experiences with us.

One of the new, shocking climate ripple effects I learned was this: extreme weather wipes out crops –> family doesn’t have enough money to get by –> girls are married off early for money or taken out of school early to work and support the family.

Most powerful quote:

“Houses were destroyed. Crops were destroyed…People who had their own lands, who had their own food – today they are stuck on streets. Some are coming to Kampala. Kids, for them, they they don’t know what education means. So when you hear climate change, just know that in Uganda it is happening now.” – Nyombi Morris

Nyombi recommends everyone watch this 4-minute video of Greta speaking the cold hard truth to world leaders who are (still) failing on climate. He watches it every month for inspiration.

You can follow and get in touch with Nyombi on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.

This post was originally featured in the Crowdsourcing Sustainability newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter below!

What others are saying:

“Strikes the perfect balance between smart, understandable, funny, and compelling.” – Jackie

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