United Kingdom

Uganda Network

The Environment


"Children have the right to grow up in a healthy environment which provides facilities for them to grow and develop"

This is a serious problem in both countries. In the United Kingdom there are problems with litter, chemical fumes in the air from car exhausts and factory chimneys, rubbish in rivers and many other problems.

In Uganda dirty water is a big problem and can be very dangerous. Babies and young children especially need clean drinking water because the germs from polluted water will make them ill. Illnesses caused by dirty water are diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, typhoid, jaundice, worms and bilharzia. Water can be contaminated by animals bathing and using rivers as a toilet, people washing clothes in the river and throwing rubbish into it and also by taking water out of rivers in dirty containers.

Activity - Make a water filter

The picture shows a system of two glass jars or demijohns, the top one with holes in the bottom. Layers (from top to bottom)
  • 21cm fine sand
  • 10cm course gravel
  • 10cm broken bricks to prevent the gravel and sand washing though
Beaver Scouts could filter some water using plant pots with holes in the bottom, some stones, coarse gravel and some fine sand or you could use plastic bottles.


Cut the bottom off one bottle, place the wire over the neck, then put in larger pebbles, coarse sand and then fine sand in layers. Pour the muddy water into the cut off bottom and at the other end clean water will drip into a dish or a plate. Remember although the water has been filtered it still contains bacterial. You could boil the water for 20 minutes to purify it.

Activity - rubbish

What pollution do people produce in your neighbourhood? For example, dropping litter, dumping rubbish. The Beaver Scouts can make anti-pollution posters and display them in public places such as shop windows, school halls and supermarkets (with permission).

Activity - Water Collections

You will need lots of clear glass jars

Ask the Beaver Scouts where they could find water. This might include water from the taps, bottles, rivers, wells, ponds and puddles. Go out and collect water from some of these sources. You might do this as a Colony, or it might be easier if the Leaders collect the water and bring it to the following meeting.

Compare the water:

  • What colour is it?
  • Which ones look fit to drink?
  • Are they fit to drink?
  • What kinds of animals and plants rely on this water?
  • What would it be like if your water supply came from a river?
Grow some plants, these might be just weeds, and water them with the different types of water over a period of time. What happens to them? Which ones grow the best?

At the beginning of a meeting stand some fresh, light coloured flowers in a vase with water. Add some food colouring to the water and see if the flowers change colour during the course of the evening. Talk with the Beaver Scouts about what this would mean if the flowers were vegetables and the food colouring was actually poisonous chemicals.

Animals and Birds - Endangered Species

In Uganda there are 11 game reserves and four National Parks. They are now trying to save the animals from the hunters and poachers.

Ask the Beaver Scouts to bring to the Colony pictures of wild animals. Let them talk about these and then encourage each Beaver Scout to contribute their picture to a Colony frieze.

Visit a local zoo and see if you can identify animals that would be found in Uganda. Make a frieze of what you have seen. Draw tree trunks and cut hand prints for the leaves. The animals can be hiding in the undergrowth.

Perhaps the Beaver Scouts are too big to play with the toy zoo animals they were given when they were small. You can still have some fun with them, though. If you can find an old soup plate - the kind that has a deep area in the centre with a rim all round it then the Beaver Scouts can make their own miniature jungle!

A Picture Plate Garden

Collect leaves, moss, grasses and arrange them on the plate. Small twigs will stand upright if they are put in plasticine or blu-tac. Small mirrors can be used to represent water-holes.

Try to encourage the Beaver Scouts to collect a variety of habitats for the animals but in doing so remember not to destroy your local plant life. Using the diagrams and templates which you can download try out some of these activities with your Beaver Scouts.

  • Elephant - finger puppets, masks, thank you cards.
  • Giraffe - giraffe model
  • Lions - puppets/masks
  • Animal masks
  • Join the dots







Game - Let's go hunting

Give all Beaver Scouts the names of wild animals and sit them on chairs around the room. One Beaver Scout is picked to be a hunter and a chair is removed. The Leader calls out names of animals and they have to get up and follow the Leader round the hall when 'Hunter's Coming' is called, Beaver Scouts run and find a chair. The Beaver Scout left without a chair becomes the hunter.

Game - What time is it?

this is a game using animal masks

  1. A Beaver Scout or the Leader is chosen to be an animal (and wears the appropriate mask). The remaining Beaver Scouts (who are also wearing masks) are also animals.
  2. The one chosen Beaver Scout or Leader sits in the den or lair at one end of the room while the remaining group are at the other end.
  3. The large group ask 'what time is it Mr Monkey' (name depending on the mask).
  4. If the monkey says 'four o'clock' the group take four steps forward, if he says two o'clock they take two steps forward and so on, they continue asking the question getting closer and closer.
  5. But if the monkey calls out 'It's dinner time' he jumps up and tries to catch some of the other animals who can run to the safety of their own home at far end of the room.


In Uganda people often have two or three jobs. The country is very poor and people are very badly paid so they have to look for other ways to earn money to keep their families fed and clothed. For example a qualified teacher in Uganda earns only 5.00 per month. Sometimes men have to leave their families during the week and go to work in the towns. The women are left to look after the shambas, (small family farms), and often sell surplus food in the markets.

Activity - Jobs People Do

Ask the Beaver Scouts to think of all the jobs that keep our lives going on everyday, milkman, postman, refuse collector, teacher, bus driver, farmer and shopkeeper. Perhaps each one could be represented by a symbol for instance a piece of chalk for a teacher, stamp for a postman, milk bottle top for a milkman and so on.

Game - Kim's Game

Play a Kim's game by hiding each symbol under a paper cup. Then the Beaver Scouts are to be the postman and see if the correct symbol can be found. Ask the Beaver Scouts what jobs they would like to do. If they had to do another job, which one would they choose? Children in Uganda have to work too, helping their mothers collect firewood and carry water from the pump or well. Do the Beaver Scouts help mum and dad at home?

Visit - Farming

Farming in Uganda mostly consists of small family farms or shambas. There are no farm vehicles and the land has to be ploughed and seeds sown by hand.

Take the Beaver Scouts to visit an allotment, a market garden or someone's garden, if it is big enough and they are brave enough to let the Beaver Scouts near their fruit and vegetables! Look to see how they grow. Do they grow above the soil? Or below the soil?

What part of the fruit or vegetable do we eat? Can it be eaten raw or do we have to cook it? It may be a surprise to some of the Beaver Scouts that fruit and vegetables don't come in boxes from shops or prepacked in plastic bags.

At harvest time try to get some examples of barley, wheat and oats. Invite a farmer to come along and tell the Beaver Scouts how he grows and harvests the grain, which parts are used and what they become. In the United Kingdom most farming is mechanised. In Uganda it is all done by hand so there are lots more farmers.


Do the Beaver Scouts know that these grains are from the same family of crops as the cereals they put into a bowl in the morning and eat with milk? You could look at the cereals we eat for breakfast and find out what they are - you may have some surprises too!

Have a vote to see which is the most popular breakfast cereal in each Lodge or in the Colony. Each Lodge can then make up an advert for their favourite cereal.

Contact the Uganda Network Copyright © The UK Uganda Network - 2002
Last modified 29 December 2003


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