“The Future of Africa” series (1): DICKSON BAHANDAGIRA – A climate activist from Uganda

No. It’s not all about me being safe, or what. You cannot run away from truth. Truth if always bigger, but you have to speak. That’s the biggest beacon we have.
Dixon Bahandagira, Uganda, Climate Activist

1. Introduction

I became aware of Dickson (“Dixon”) on the SLACK platform for “Fridays For Future”, which I felt was a highly selective group of environmental progressive, dedicated activists. Early in 2021, the group was growing its international network but still Euro-centric. Therefore, I was the more surrprised and impressed to see an activist, Dixon Bahandagira,  from Uganda, showing up in one of the channels. After getting into contact via Slack, Facebook, and WhatsApp, and learning about his projects,  I decided to support him with a donation. What is more, he actually inspired me to start off the series “The Future of Africa” with him.

So … Welcome, Dixon! 🙂

2. Person

Dixon Bahandagira (23 years) is a young activist from Kampala, Uganda. He is currently a student of Asian Studies (incl Chinese) and Environmental Studies at Makarere University and a polyglot speaking English, Chinese, Luganda, Rutooro, Runyakole, and Swahili.
Dixon Bahandagira

3. Affiliations and Projects

  • One Million Trees Campaign: Dixon is currently running a campaign of planting one million trees to try and curb climate change.
    Fund Raising: https://www.airfunding.net/project/265362
  • Greenpeace Africa”
  • “Fridays For Future”
  • “Generation Green”

4. Long Interview (Video)

Note: Short sequences were removed on request by the interviewee, which were considered sensitive.

5. Short Interview (Text)

Q1: Hi, Dixon! Nice to meet you! Can you tell me about yourself?

A1: I am Dixon Bahandagira, am 23-year-old student and a climate activist from Uganda.


Q2: Why have you become an activist? What do you want to change?

A2: It’s truly simple. We have limited time to stay on earth. We must try and use that period for the purpose of transforming your community, planet into what you desire it to be. I am a victim of climate change. My family was displaced due to floods that are caused by changes in the weather patterns. I could not watch all things happen. I had to join the fight since our leaders don’t want to come up with permanent solutions. They always come up with temporary solutions that can win them elections.


Q3: What organisations, movements, or people in general do you collaborate with?

A3:  I am a volunteer at Greenpeace Africa, Fridays For Future and I collaborate with Generation Green and individuals or well wishers who wish well for our planet and the next generation.


Q4: Can you shortly describe your most important projects and personal achievements?

A4: My current project is always the most important project. I have done several projects including extending safe water to the communities, schools and hospitals, but am currently working on a project of planting one million trees this year to try and curb climate change that leads to changes in the weather patterns causing heavy rains, that cause floods leading to death and displacement of people making it hard for a better living. This project is truly important since it will change the lives of many people and communities.


Q5: What are the most important barriers? What would you need to overcome these barriers?

A5: My biggest barrier is our leaders. They tend to focus more on the next election than the next generation. They involve in things that can make them popular and win election not things that can prepare for the next generation. Another barrier are finances. It’s truly hard to get the required funds since our leaders don’t care about our projects. They think they can’t win them the next election and the next generation won’t find them in power. The only way to solve this is connecting me to people who can truly support my projects for the better of our planet and the next generation.


Q6: Who and what inspires you? People, books, own experiences?

A6: Wow, my fellow activists inspire me a lot! They are out their sacrificing for the better of our planet and the next generation. I can’t mention all of them. They are truly many the likes of Greta, Vanessa Nakate, Evelyn Acham, Hilder, Nyombi, very many in Africa, Europe and America and the people who appreciate the work am doing inspire and motivate me to do more.


Q7: What could people from the Global North, e.g. Europe, learn from the Global South, e.g. Africa in general or Uganda in particular?

A7: The Global North people should try to protect their culture like the Global South people.


Q8: What could people from the Global South, e.g. Africa or Uganda in particular, learn from the Global North, e.g. Europe.

A8: A lot of stuff we have to learn from the Global North people, but the most important thing is that we have to learn how to make things happen not to wait for things to happen and we talk about them.


Q9: What is your vision for Africa?

A9: My vision for Africa is very simple. I know I can’t make everything happen, but I can try. I want to see an Africa free from greenhouse gas emissions with a liveable environment for everyone, with leaders who can make things happen, not watch things happen.


Q10: What question should I ask, but did not ask?

A10: How can trees curb climate change? 


Q11: What is your answer to your question?

A11: When trees grow, they help to curb climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air storing carbon in the trees and soil, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.


Q12: Thank you for your time, Dixon!

A12: Thank you so much!

5. Contact

  • Email: bahandagiradixon14@gmail.com
  • Mobile: +256704102666
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bahandagira-Dixon-115154386877593
  • Twitter: @BahandagiraD
  • and Instragramm, WhatsApp, …

References

[1] https://www.facebook.com/Bahandagira-Dixon-115154386877593

[2] https://www.airfunding.net/project/265362

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