5 speakers 15 minutes each

Constance Okollet

Climate Wise Women

Constance Okollet is the Chairperson of the Osukuru United Women Network and one of the founding members of Climate Wise Women. She is a peasant farmer from the Tororo district in Eastern Uganda and a mother of seven. The Osukuru United Women Network includes 42 regional groups representing over 1200 women in Uganda's Osukuru Subcounty. In 2007, heavy rains destroyed the homes and food supply of Constance's village displacing all of its residents. Unprecedented drought followed, igniting a cycle of hunger and thirst.

Through a regional meeting with Oxfam in 2009, Constance and her community learned that climate change, caused by the carbon emissions of the developed world, was responsible for the catastrophic changes in their normal growing seasons. Rather than succumb to despair, Constance used her new-found knowledge to organize local communities to build climate change resilience. She has also become a powerful international advocate for climate justice and has addressed the UN General Assembly and numerous global forums, speaking on behalf of grassroots communities.

In 2017, Sierra Magazine noted, “Constance Okollet exemplifies the Sierra Club's ideal of citizen advocacy.” Constance is featured in former Irish president Mary Robinson’s new book Climate Justice and was the sole grassroots leader interviewed for a recent international New York Times feature on local communities’ climate change adaptation strategies.