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Community-led Initiative Aims to Reclaim and Restore Green Spaces in Churachandpur/Lamka Town

RWUS has been actively engaged in cleaning rivers, streams, and the overall environment through women-led initiatives since 2019. Their efforts have involved distributing awareness pamphlets, advocating for women as environmental promoters, and collaborating with the municipality, Autonomous District Council, and other civil society organizations. Starting in January 2023, these initiatives have been carried out in a more systematic manner through partnerships with Highland Impact and Vision Lamka under the LawmLawm campaign.

On March 14, 2023, the LawmLawm campaign was officially launched in Churachandpur/Lamka town. The event was attended by the Director of Environment and Climate Change, Manipur, representatives from local MLAs, chiefs from 50 villages surrounding the Tuitha river, and numerous enthusiastic youth volunteers.

Churachandpur/Lamka town, known as the fastest-growing and second-largest town in Manipur, is currently facing urgent environmental challenges that adversely affect the well-being of its residents. Issues such as diminishing streams, deforestation on hillsides, uncontrolled urbanization, and unplanned growth have significantly contributed to the deteriorating public health. In response, a community-driven initiative, LAWMLAWM, has been initiated to reclaim, revive, and restore green spaces in and around the town.

The LAWMLAWM campaign, named after the term “too much” in Zo language, aims to raise awareness and take concrete action on environmental concerns. It seeks to empower women and youth as environmental champions and defenders, encouraging collective efforts to address these issues effectively. By placing emphasis on the active involvement of women and youth, the campaign recognizes their potential in leading positive change within the community.

The initiative’s primary objectives revolve around reclaiming, reviving, and restoring the town’s green spaces. In particular, the restoration of water bodies is considered crucial in achieving these goals, as it plays a vital role in reclaiming the natural environment and ensuring a greener future for the community.

LAWMLAWM adopts a collaborative approach by engaging various stakeholders such as schools, colleges, youth groups, civil society organizations, and other relevant parties. The initiative will involve data collection through surveys and site visits, along with consultations and workshops to gather valuable insights. Additionally, training programs will be conducted to equip teachers, community leaders, and environmental defenders with the necessary knowledge and skills.

Key activities under the campaign include tree plantation drives, clean-up campaigns, environmental vigilance, and environmental Sundays. To raise awareness and engage the community, the initiative will produce campaign videos, posters, and flyers. Furthermore, various events like pledge cards, essay-writing and painting competitions, workshops, and activities commemorating International Day will contribute to the campaign’s success.

To ensure effective implementation of these initiatives, the project will focus on knowledge building and capacity development. A target of planting 10,000 trees has been set, and clean-up drives will be organized in collaboration with local communities along streams, rivers, and public areas.

The LAWMLAWM initiative welcomes support and collaboration from individuals and organizations interested in contributing to the cause. For further information or any inquiries, interested parties are encouraged to reach out to the LAWMLAWM project team at RWUS.

By uniting and taking action, the community aspires to reclaim the beauty of its green spaces, ultimately creating a healthier and cleaner hometown for all residents.

RWUS thanks Women Fund Asia for supporting this programme.

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