The government of Uganda has procured armoured police vehicles for the 2016 General Elections.
 

For whom are the youths in UGANDA trained in Masindi at,

 08 SEPTEMBER 2014

In January, about 700 Makerere University students were trained as crime preventers at the same school. The criterion used to select these students is not elaborate and is exclusive to those who are either in the patriotic clubs or the youth league of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Several student groups have attended these courses at Kabalye. Another one of about 2,400 students from several universities and tertiary institution was passed out last week.

We are told the course content includes ideological orientation, self-defence, martial arts, and security skills, among others. I am not sure of how this programme is supposed to add value onto the lives of students, and Ugandans as a whole! Further, I don’t know whether the police budget should be diverted to this kind of exercise.

What exactly does a crime preventer do? Is he/she a security operative who gathers information on certain offenders and then confront them? Is this a voluntary exercise or it is a paid- for, job? If so, it, therefore, calls for certain regulations, obligations and responsibilities.

Is this an auxiliary group to the security organs? Are these students specifically trained to prevent crimes in universities or in the entire country? Sometimes, armed people commit crimes. So, will the crime preventer be armed in order to counter any armed attack?  It is not clear whether all the national tertiary institutions will be equipped with crime preventers. Once, the dubious Kiboko squad described itself as crime preventers.

So, should Ugandans worry that another dodgy group is being prepared, perhaps for the expected intense political activity in 2016?

What is the relationship between these crime preventers and the police, army, and other security agencies in the country? Many of these questions still remain unanswered.  Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura says the course is good because it has equipped the young people with ideological direction.

The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines ideology as a system of ideas and ideals, especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy. It further defines it as the ideas and manner of thinking characteristic of a group, social class, or individual. So, if the course is supposed to orientate the students in ideology, in whose ideology are they inculcated? Who determines the correct ideology, and anyway, what ideology was being marketed to these students?

Again, there is a trend that one cannot be a complete cadre or patriot without being equipped with military skills. Everything in Uganda is being militarised. Agriculture has to be run by the military. The police have to be steered by a military man. The immigration and national identification process has to be conducted by the military. A military man runs the highest office in the land.

Ruling party MPs have to conduct their annual retreat in a semi-military camp. Early this year, they (MPs) were all clad in attires that resembled military uniforms! Even the beauty contest is a candidate for military takeover! At their pass-out, the youths gleefully displayed their skills of dismantling and assembling guns. Others performed martial art drills.

Some of these youths are, actually, mere opportunists. They are using this training as a pedestal to clutch on better things in future. Many of them have realised that keeping closer to the party means instant wealth. They have seen how those youths who originally backed Amama Mbabazi for president, but later crossed to President Museveni’s camp, have become instant millionaires.

They know that when time comes for recruiting mobilisers for votes in 2016, priority will be given to those who trained at Kabalye.  Instant, and sometimes unexplained, wealth has become the major motivation of joining NRM programmes. I don’t know the exact ideological direction of the NRM. Even if one asked these youths what NRM’s ideology is, the likelihood is that the answer would not be given. And if it is given, the one who asks the question would remain uninformed.

This exercise in Kabalye is as inoperable as the youth representation in Parliament. The lives of the youth in Uganda have not improved as a consequence of being represented in Parliament. I have not seen bills being sponsored by youth MPs, specifically targeting issues that youths grapple with.

The irony is that the very youths who have trained in crime prevention may be the harbingers of crime. There is a temptation to look at crime as mainly a physical thing such as murder, treason, theft and rape. We forget that there is an unemployed youth likely to engage in forgery in order to access someone else’s account in the bank.

And more threatening is the fact that honesty is no longer something taken seriously, as the strength of youths. So, the economic pressures, which Kabalye never addressed, may turn these cadres of crime prevention into victims of the very mischief they intended to cure. It would be stretching the restraint of a hungry hyena to entrust it with the servicing of a loaded butchery. 


pmkatunzi@

observer.

ug

Twitter: @piuskm

 

I'm lucky to be alive - Ongwen

Publish Date: Jan 15, 2015

Dominic Ongwen 


The captured Lord's Resistance (LRA) commander, Dominic Ongwen, revealed to the African Union contingency in the Central Republic of Africa (CAR) that he is lucky to be alive, according to army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda.


Ankunda has told New Vision that Ongwen looks psychologically settled for being in safe hands now and assured of justice at the International Criminal Court (ICC).


"The man has been in the bush for most of his life fighting and eating rats but now he is in our (UPDF) custody eating chicken. He is happy that he will get justice at the ICC," said Ankunda when asked about Ongwen's situation.


"What we are waiting for now is for the CAR government to hand him over to the ICC. When they (CAR Government) ready, they will let us (UPDF) know," added Ankunda.


Ongwen was handed to the AU contingency in CAR by the US Special Forces on Wednesday and he was received by UPDF CAR contingent commander, Col .Michael Kabango, at Obo.


In the picture taken with Kabango, Ongwen is seen in a jolly mood, not reminiscent of a man who has been through thick and thin of Africa's jungles fighting for most of his life.

 

Kasibante

Member of Parliament on tension over Beti Kamya's return for the 2016 national election:

Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante.

 

By Monitor Reporter


Posted  Tuesday, January 27  2015 

 
Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA) leader Beti Kamya is plotting to return to Parliament in 2016. Political Xtra understands that Ms Kamya, who is also the former Rubaga North MP, took the decision after her supporters reportedly advised her against “chasing shadows”. 

They reportedly told her to admit that she miscalculated when she took the decision to contest for the highest office and asked her not to waste time again. Ms Kamya was a contestant in the 2011 Ugandan presidential elections.

However, Ms Kamya, who accepted to contest for Parliament next year, is said to have told her supporters that she participated in the 2011 elections not to win but to launch the federal ideology outside Buganda; she calls it ‘Ugandanisation’ of federo. 

Apparently, Ms Kamya’s return has taken current Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante by surprise since he thought the former FDC strong lady would contest for presidency again.

‘Sleepless nights’

Sources close to Mr Kasibante told Political Extra that the UFA leader is giving him sleepless nights. The MP nowadays frequents his constituency and quietly meets voters in order to galvanise his support and has reportedly vowed to give Ms Kamya “a bloody nose” in next year’s parliamentary contest. 

Following the 2011 elections, the former journalist with the help of Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and other Opposition sympathisers went to court, challenging NRM candidate Singh Katongole’s disputed win. Mr Katongole, who won the seat through a disputed re-counting process, was ejected by court, allowing Mr Kasibante to reclaim what belonged to him. But it appears what belonged to Mr Kasibante, once belonged to Ms Kamya and she is determined to have it back.

 

America advises Uganda on oil refinery deal with a Russian trade company. 

  Mr Scott De Lisi 

 

By FREDERIC MUSISI


Posted  March 1   2015 

 
KAMPALA, UGANDA:

The US Ambassador to Uganda Scott DeLisi last week expressed disapproval of the awarding of $4b (about Shs11.5 trillion) oil refinery project to the subsidiary of a Russian state conglomerate that also deals in arms and whose chief executive is under heavy US and EU sanctions. He warned that this venture is “not a done deal.”

“On the issue of the sanctions, these are issues I am sure the government will have to look at carefully. They have designated a Russian company as the first on the list, absolutely, but they still have to negotiate a variety of issues that will go to financing and the rest. I would suggest that you wait and see how that all plays out,”

DeLisi was speaking during a 45-minute interface with selected journalists at the US embassy in Nsambya, Kampala, on Wednesday. 

“They [problems] maybe because of the sanctions imposed upon the parent company.

“There may be problems in terms of financing, inability to operate but we will see how all that plays out,” he added.

Last week, the Uganda government awarded the contract for the refinery project to RT Global Resources, a consortium managed by Russia’s Rostec, a defence and technology corporation whose businesses include manufacturing and selling weapons such as the AK-47/Kalashnikov rifles.

In 2013, the government started the search process for a lead investor to undertake construction of the 60,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) oil refinery. About 75 companies picked the Request for Qualification documents and only eight made it to the last submission round. Later, four companies pulled out for diverse reasons.

The four that reached the last round included, RT Global Resources, Japan’s Maruben Corporation, China’s Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB), and the South Korean SK Group.

Mr Sergei Chemezov, Rostec’s chief executive, is a former officer in the Russian spy agency KGB and close ally of President Vladimir Putin. He has US sanctions on him, which include freezing his assets and barring US companies from dealing with him since 2014.

The sanctions are in response to Russia’s annexation and military adventures in Ukraine.

“It is not my job to tell the government of Uganda with whom they can engage but it is my job to share with the government the US policy, its concerns if there is any and to define the nature of our partnership. So that is what we focus on, but I wish them well even in other dealings but we will see how that all plays out,” said Ambassador Mr DeLisi

The refinery project manager Robert Kasande told Sunday Monitor that they are cognizant of the sanctions against Sergei Chemezov but added that these are issues he cannot comment about or are rather beyond him.

He however revealed that they finalised the issues of financing with the Russian company.

President Museveni has in the recent past scolded Western countries for what he called arrogance, and said China and Russia were available as alternatives because they do not meddle in internal politics of other countries.

musisif@

ug.nationmedia.

com

 

Abavubuka abatalina mirimu mu kibuga Kampala babona bona nokweyiya:
Kampala, Uganda
Mar 11, 2015
 
Bya MARTIN NDIJJO NEJOSEPH MAKUMBI

LABA jjaamu wa Kampala watutuusiza!

Jjaamu kye kimu ku bizibu ebikyabobbya Bannakampala omutwe.

Abantu abamu ne batuuka n’okwenyiwa ekibuga ky’eggwanga ekikulu.

Buli ku makya abantu abangi ekibuga bakiyingira balajaana olwajjaamu abaleetera okukeerewa ku mirimu ate bwe ziwera ssaawa 11:00 ez’akawungeezi emitima ne giddamu okubewaanika ng’abalina ebidduka beebuuza waakuyita okudda eka ate abalinnya takisi balowooza ku budde bwe bagenda okumala ku nguudo .

Wadde aba KCCA bagezezzako okulwanyisa omugotteko gw’ebidduka mu Kampala, bamenya n’okugaziya enguudo wamu n’okukola agamu ku makubo agabadde mu mbeera embi nga bayambibwako n’ebintongole ebirala nga poliisi ebibeera ku nguudo okulaba ng’abantu n’emmotoka zitambula bulungi.

Bano bakyalina omulimu munene olw’akalippagano k’ebidduka akalemedde ku nguudo z’omu Kampala eziyingira n’ezifuluma nga Jinja Road, Ntebe Road, Bombo Road, Nateete n’enddala. Jjaamu ono avaako ebizibu bingi eri abantu

baabulijjo olwo abakedde n’essanyu ne batuuka okudda eka nga banyiivu.

OKUKONKOMALIRA KU NGUUDO

Buli lwe ziwera ssaawa 11:00 ez’akawungezi abantu abalinnya takisi ne kosita ng’emitima gibeewanika. olwa jjaamu ku nguudo.

Baddereeva abamu basalawo okusimba mmotoka ne bawummuliramu nga bwe balinda n’omugotteko gw’ebidduka okukendeera ku nguudo.

Ate abamu batya okutuuka mu ppaaka ne mu bitundu by’ekibuga ebimu olw’abasaabaze ababa babalindiridde ne bakonkomalira ku nguudo ne mu ppaaka ssaako okulwanira ezo mmotoka entono eziriwo

Wano aba takisi abamu bagufuula mugano okwongeza ebisale okugeza emisana w’otambulira 1,000/- akawungeezi oba ku makya basaba 1,500/- oba 2,000/- embeera eno y’evaako abantu abamu okubuukira mmotoka za kabangali, loole n’abamu

okwegayirira ab’obumotoka obutono okubatwalako ssaako okulinnya ‘bodaboda oba boda ggaali. Olw’obukoowu okuva ku mirimu ssaako okuyimira okumala ebbanga nga balindiridde mmotoka kivaako abantu abamu okwetamwa ekibuga n’abamu okuggyamu obulwadde n’abalala okuzirika.


OBUBBI

Abamenyi b’amateeka naddala ababbi mu bitundu ebimu beeyambisa embeera ya jjaamu okutuukiriza ebigendererwa byabwe.

Waliwo abavubuka abamanyi okubaza mmotoka bw’oba togisibye ne bagigula naddala mu jjaamu ne bakusikako ensawo, essimu, laputoopu n’ebintu by’omugaso ebirala ne babitwala. Waliwo abeefuula abasabiriza ku nguudo kyokka nga bakola kimu kya kubaza abatudde ku madirisa oba ebintu ebiri okumpi ne ddirisa okubinyakula.

OBUBENJE BWA BODABODA

Olw’akalippagano ate ng’ abantu abamu bali mu bwangu bangi basalawo okulinnya bodaboda ezaakazibwako erya ‘boda takisi’. Zino zisiweka abasaabaze abasuukka mw’omu kyokka nga zidduka kubanga baba ku mugano ng’ayagala okutuusa amangu batwala asobole okudda atwale n’abalala era embeera eno evuddeko obubenje bwa bodaboda ng’abagoba baazo nga bawaganya n’okuyita mu bifo ebikyamu. N’emisana bangi

bettanira bodaboda olwa jjaamu.

Mmotoka zifuna ebizibu. Mu jjaamu abavuzi b’emmotoka bangi bafuniddemu ebizibu omuli okukola obubenje nga bakooye, mmotoka ezimu zigaana okusiba ate abalala amafuuta bateekamu ‘bwendo’ era olugwa mu jjaamu avugamu wano ne wali nga mmotoka esika.

POLIISI EYOGEDDE

Omwogezi wa poliisi mu Kampala n’emiriraano, Patrick Onyango agamba nti nga poliisi, egezezaako okulwanyisa ababbira mu kalippagano k’ebidduka n’okulaba ng’abantu batambula bulungi, bwe batadde abaserikale kumpi buli kafo akabeeramu akalippagano ne mu makoona mu Kampala n’emiriraano.

Onyango yagasseeko nti, kino baakikoze okulaba nga akalippagano k’ebidduka kaggwawo ku nguudo zonna

eziyingira n’okufuluma ekibuga.


Ku nsonga y’ababbira mu jjaamu, Onyango yategeezezza nti bano bamazeeko abasaabaze emirembe era bakoze ebikwekweto mu bitundu bya Kampala okuli Kibuye ne Nsambya ne bakwata abavubuka abawerako ababadde bateega abantu mu jjaamu ne bababbako obusawo, emikuufu, essimu n’ebirala.

“Tubamanyi bulungi ababba abantu mu jjaamu era ebikwekweto byaffe bikyagenda mu maaso mu kaseera katono tujja kuba tubamazeewo bonna.” Onyango bwe yagasseeko.

Abakyala nga basindika mmotoka eweddemu amafuta mu Kampala.

KCCA ereeta bbaasi ne tuleyini

OMWOGEZI wa KCCA, Peter Kaujju ategeezezza nti, pulaani yaabwe ey’okumalawo akalippagano k’ebidduka teri mu

Kampala wakati mwokka wabula mu kibuga wonna nga muno mwe muli okuleeta bbaasi ne tuleyini egenda okutandika okukola mu mwezi guno.

Agattako nti baatandika dda ku kaweefube ono era nga mu bye baasookerako mulimu okutereeza enguudo, okutereeza

entambula ey’olukale omuli bbaasi ne tuleyini egenda okuvanga e Namanve okutuuka ku kitebe ky’eggaali y’omukka mu Kampala wakati n’oluvannyuma bakwate ku luguudo lw’eggaali olugendaokudda e Kyengera ne Portbell.

“Tuleyini ne bbaasi bwe zinaaba zitandise okukola, tujja kuba tukendeezezza ku muwendo gw’emmotoka eziyingira mu

Kampala ne bodaboda nazo twaziwandiisa buli emu ne tugissa gy’erina okukolera era nga tuli mu nteekateeka okukakasa nti gye twabateeka gye bakolera.” Kaujju bwe yategeezezza.

Agattako nti, bakoze enguudo okwetooloola Kampala era mu bbanga ttono, ebyentambula bigenda kugojoolwa mu Kampala yenna.



The Electoral Commis

sion begs the media not to incite violence as the 2016 National elections approach


By Fred Muzaale

Posted  Thursday, April 2  2015

Luweero in the State of Buganda, Uganda.

The Electoral Commission (EC) chairman, Mr Badru Kiggundu, has cautioned the media to desist from reporting sensational and unbalanced stories that can instigate violence.

In a speech read for him by the EC director of finance and administration, Ms Jovita Byamugisha, during a regional media workshop on the 2016 general elections, in Luweero Town on Monday, Mr Kiggundu said the media should promote peaceful campaigns and support conflict prevention.

“You should study the road map and internalise its content so that you are able to follow the progress and report from a point of knowledge,” the EC boss said.

Study the road map

He added that journalists should acquaint themselves with the EC’s road map for the various electoral activities so that they report from an informed point of view.

The workshop was attended by journalists from Kayunga, Mityana, Luweero, Nakaseke and Kiboga districts.

The EC senior public relations officer, Mr Paul Bukenya, said the 2016 general election will not be free and fair if it does not receive a free and fair media coverage.

fmuzaale@ug.

nationmedia.com


Health workers at Lyatonde Hospital have gone on strike protesting nonpayment of salaries for five months now.


The strike has left hundreds of patients stranded without any assistance. The most affected departments include; surgery, children's, maternity and causality wards.


The health workers are demanding for at least a package to take them through the Christmas season if their salaries of five months are to delay further.


The strike began this morning after receiving communication from Christopher Okumu the Chief Administrative Officer that their accounts would be credited after Christmas or in January 2016.

Stranded patients at Lyantonde hospital

Led by the hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Billy Ssebunya, the health workers stormed the CAO's office after receiving the communication but found it locked.


As a result, they stormed RDC Sulaiman Tiguragara Matojo's office seeking an explanation. Matojo held a closed door meeting with the aggrieved health workers but the meeting did not yielded any positive results.


The health workers stormed out in protest accusing Matojo of being incompetent in managing the affairs of the district including issues of health workers.


Dr Ssebunya says his staff has often complained about the lack of payment and have lost the morale to attend to the patients.


According to Ssebunya the CAO earlier claimed that a cheque was banked in November this year and that all their accounts were to be credited but that has not happened.


When contacted, Okumu said that his office was handling the matter and the workers would get their salary by the first week of January. He however could not explain the delay.

Lungubanguba,


o- no plur.(lu/n) strength, energy; good health.


Okuddamu olungubanguba, to regain one’s strength,


recover one’s health. Ndimu olungubanguba. I am in good health.


 


Lumya (-lumizza) v. Tr. Appl. 2 caus. Cause to bite/hurt, etc.; hurt with/by;injure; worry; disappoint. Ekyo kinumya nnyo omwoyo. This worries me a great deal. Ebigezo ebyalumya buli omu ogw’engulu, very difficult examinations, lit. Which made everyone bite the upper (lip, omumwa implied).

 

 


Kuluggusa (-kuluggusizza) v. Tr. Caus. Cause to flow away, wash away. Okukuluggusibwa kw’ettaka, erosion of the soil.

 

 

 


Lala (-laze) v.i.be in anguish, suffer Omwoyo gundaze. I am in anguish.

 


Laza (-lazizza) v,i, cause to be in anguish. Kiraza mwoyo ng’ebbwa eridda mu nkovu. (prov.) It causes anguish to the heart, like a sore recurring in a scar.

 

 

lalusa (-lalusizza) v,tr, caus.madden, craze.

 

 

Lubanga pr,n, the name of Lubaale associated with the Gray Monkey Clan and the Oribi Antelope Clan.

 

 

Guluba (-gulubye) v.i. gallop, trot; skip cavort about, frolic cf. Kannagguluba.

 

 

Gulugulu also gguluggulu ideo. Commonly used with nywera and its derivatives. Very firmly, very tightly. Eccupa nnywevu be gulugulu. The bottle is tightly sealed. Kino kyange gulugulu. This is my very own.

 

 

Gulirira (-guliridde) v.tr. appl. 2 keep buying, buy constantly; hire; bribe.

 

 

Gulaana (-gulaanye) v.i. recip. Buy from one another, barter, bargain.

 

 

Guba (-gubye) v.i be or become dirty/filthy/stained; be stunted; grow poorly; be badly cooked; become hardened/inured; be re-sistant to cleaning; become worn (e.g., of a path).

 

 

Gubira (-gubidde) v.i. & tr. Appl. Become dirty in, etc.; be hardened/inured to.

Nze emiggo nnagigubira dda. I have long since become accustomed to/ inured to beatings. Obudde bungubiridde. I am in trouble/difficulties/a trying situation.

 

 

Gubaasiira (-gubaasidde) v.i be dirty/filthy; look dirtyi. Cf.-gubaasiivu; guba.

 

 

Kikudumu, e- also ekikudumo ki/bi dregs in unstrained beer.

 

 

Kikufiri, e- (ki/bi) rare small tuft of hair.

 

 

Kikujjuko, e- (ki/bi) marvel, wonder, wonderful thing.

 

 

Kikukku adv. Alone.



The Uganda housing Slams in the city of Kampla
The chief of defence
forces, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, sent a card late last month inviting me to the 34th anniversary of the founding of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces.

 

It was a patriotic act to invite an opposition MP to a military function. In my last years in the media, I, together with Andrew Mwenda and Frank Nyakairu, had been barred from attending any military function or visit a military installation. That is how I did not cover the passing out, (or was it a graduation?) of generals Salim Saleh, Elly Tumwine, David Tinyefuza, and Noble Mayombo (RIP) from the UPDF Senior Command and Staff College, Kimaka in 2005.

 

The UPDF spokesman then, Col Shaban Bantariza, turned down my request, saying he had been instructed not to allow me even near the function. Apart from Mayombo, who died shortly after the course, don’t ask me whether the others have added any value to the institution of the UPDF.

 

Therefore, by Katumba Wamala inviting me, I think the expressed mission of turning UPDF into a national army has not been after all lost. I guess every MP was issued with this invitation. But I think there was an extra motivation to invite me because I sit on the parliamentary committee on defence and internal affairs that supervises UPDF. 

 

Unfortunately for Katumba Wamala, celebrating the 34th anniversary of founding the UPDF, the so-called Tarehe Sita, negates the very purpose for which this invitation was issued to me and all other opposition MPs. I have extensively written about this subject in an earlier article.

 

February 6, 1981, is the day Museveni, together with Tumwine, Julius Chihandae, Fred Rwigyema and others attacked Kabamba barracks to loot guns so they could begin a war to remove Milton Obote from power. This UPDF that Katumba Wamala heads is a creation of the 1995 Constitution. It is, therefore, 20 years old and not 34. What is 34 years old is the guerilla outfit called National Resistance Army (NRA) that is no longer in existence.

 

It is through questioning the marking of days like this that one will understand the mindset of our revolutionary leader. He has denied us a chance to transit from the Luweero jungle mentality to a new order. I raised this matter in parliament last week and Speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga summarily ruled me out of order. On that same day, parliament, for the first time I think in its history, refused to grant an MP a chance to introduce a private member’s bill.

 

The procedure is, you get parliament’s staff to help you print a bill, then you officially notify parliament by way of asking for what they call “leave” to prepare the bill.

 

That is what Dr Michael Lulume Bayiga did when he asked parliament to allow him prepare a bill called Presidential Transition. The NRM, led by new kid on the block Peter Ogwang, shouted a big no. Kadaga attempted to explain that this was more or less a ceremony. She noted that real work would begin when Bayiga tabled the bill to no avail.

 

That is how polarized this country has become.  I hear in Kyankwanzi, Kasule Lumumba, the new NRM secretary general, has vowed to fail the Bayiga bill because for them they have a “sole candidate.”

 

According to Lumumba, thinking or imagining another president other than Museveni is now criminal in the NRM. We are in for interesting times. Don’t blame Katumba Wamala, a former UNLA soldier, when he invites people to celebrate the formation of a guerilla outfit. The most important issue for the citizens is to continue noting incidents of looting and abuses going on under this regime.

 

I hope you have not forgotten that we officially spend Shs 8.5 billion every month on the war in South Sudan. This amount doesn’t include the wear and tear of our military equipment and the loss of soldiers deployed to keep a weak government in power. Mind you, we don’t have Shs 4 billion to repair scan and ultrasound machines in public hospitals!

 

Our army went to South Sudan in December 2013. It is now about 14 months since that deployment. This, by the way, means we have so far spent Shs 119 billion executing a war on behalf of a weak leader.

 

That is why our expenditure on the military has hit a Shs 1.1 trillion mark. Out of this, Shs 342 billion is classified expenditure. The ordinary soldier continues to languish in ramshackle structures as the bosses ride in the latest state-of-the-art Land Cruisers. The ordinary soldier continues to live in the Luweero jungle as the bosses enjoy the ‘heaven’.

 

Harnessing the collective strength of everybody suffering under this regime is what has eluded us these three decades. This is not the opposition’s sole responsibility; church leaders, Muslim leaders and civil society must all act. That is what should occupy us; but unfortunately, the media is feeding us on the Kyankwanzi menu.


semugs@yahoo.com



One

of the Govern

ment Aided Schools in Lwengo District


Uganda is moving in a reverse gear but the driver thinks he is doing great. 

On Mon, Mar 30, 2015
M, Afuwa Kasule  
This is the teacher' s toilet facility 


One of the Government Aided Schools in Lwengo District.
Iam informed the school is within 2km radius to the MP's residence!
Even with the constituency development fund one could change that image.


 

 

  

The ambitious chairperson of the Parliament of Uganda, Ms Kadaga seems disappointed with a Government that looks tired in governance after 30 years in power:

By Moses Mulondo

 

Added 23rd December 2016

 

The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has castigated the government for failing to implement national days for planting trees.

“I am disappointed by government for failing to follow-up on the national tree planting days 15 years after we passed it. Government has failed to show leadership in that area. For me I will not stop talking about it until it is implemented,” Kadaga passionately said.

The Speaker made the remarks on Friday while briefing the media on what the 10th Parliament has done.

The Kamuli woman MP attributed the dry spells and food shortage in the country to the cutting of trees not accompanied with tree planting.

“People keep calling me that they don’t have food. We need to address the issue of food production and storage. This famine comes many times. I have asked government to come up with a comprehensive plan for ending famine,” she elaborated.

 

The Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, Ms Rebecca Kadaga

 

The Speaker also faulted government for failing to present Bills to Parliament ever since the 10th Parliament started.

“In June the President read 29 Bills which they would present to Parliament but they have not brought any single Bill. Government has not given us enough business,” Kadaga lamented.

The Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanya also raised a similar concern in October before the independence recess that the executive had failed to give business to parliament.

Some of the key achievements Kadaga highlighted in her press conference today include the investigations into sand mining through the committee on natural resources, assessing the state of all the referral hospitals through the parliament health committee, and forcing the five Chinese companies to return over sh26b which they had irregularly received from UNRA in 2015.

 

 

 

The Great ancient Kingdom of Bunyoro, in Uganda is blaming the National Forestry Authority and the  Military Police of Uganda for destroying dense tropical forests on its territory:

Written by URN

 

Created: 29 October 2016

 

Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom is accused the National Forestry Authority (NFA) and police of aiding illegal logging on the Kyangwali ancestral land.

The accusations come barely two months after a court order issued by Julia Acio, the assistant registrar at Masindi High court to maintain the status quo on the ownership of the 22 square kilometer land, pending the outcome of the main application filed by NFA challenging the land title.

The title for the land, which NFA says is part of the Bugoma Central Forest Reserve in Hoima district has since been cancelled by the ministry of Lands on grounds that it was issued in error. The kingdom however maintains that the title is genuine because the ministry has never written officially about the said cancellation.

Bunyoro kingdom prime minister Norman Lukumu says that the forest reserve has become a base for illegal logging. Lukumu alleges that there is a conspiracy between NFA and the police to deplete tress from the contested land.

Part of the forest cleared by investors

“There is timber at the guardhouse. Everyday you go there, there is timber. You go there another day; the timber is gone, another day you go there, there is timber. And that logging is being done on our side not on the side of NFA.

Surprisingly. So, you ask what is the motive? The increment in the number of police [officers], I suspect is for purposes of simply guarding people who are logging illegally because, they should never tell anybody a lie that there is violence in that place. It is not there. There is no problem between Banyoro and Bakiga or the Alurs or the Barundi who are in that place”, he said. 
 
Lukumu adds that the land in contention is of great value to Bunyoro kingdom because it holds several cultural sites including King Kabalega's tactical base during the fight against the British colonialists.
 
“[Kings] Kabalega, Kamurasi…they brought many of these trees and herbs from Karangwe in Tanzania, many were brought from the forest of Ituri in Congo and particularly in Bulega areas where Kabalega was born. So, we cherish these forests and nature generally as Banyoro. Those areas were for our kingdom. You hear of Muhangaizimwe, Muhangaizimwe is a ritual site for the king. But the king is bound to go to that area of Muhangaizimwe every month and he carries out his rituals. Muhangaizimwe is in Kyangwali ancestral land. 

However, Jimmy Ouna, an environment specialist with NFA refuted claims that NFA is cutting trees for timber from a reserve under its protection. Ouna says that NFA has worked together with the police to impound timber from illegal loggers.

Julius Hakiza, the Albertine regional police public relations officer says that that at the moment, no complaints have been lodged against individual police officers who might be overstepping their mandate to log on the disputed land.

 

Nb

Well then if the Great Ancient Kingdom of Africa cannot look after the God Given Forests of this environmentally delicate planet earth how come they are working so hard to recover their vast lost Empire of Kitara(Empire by the Sword). What will they be doing with all the millions of Square miles their Great grand fathers used to control? If they entrusted their property with the Uganda Republican state and there is no security forthcoming, whose problem is that?

Nyimbwa Forest in the Luweero green belt, in the State of Buganda, Uganda, has been replaced by urban industries right under the watchful eyes of the land owners:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A depleted section of the Nyimbwa Forest Reserve along the Kampala - Gulu Highway.

 

PHOTO BY DAN WANDERA

BY DAN WANDERA & AL-MAHDI SSENKABIRWA

Posted  Wednesday, May 25   2016 

 

IN SUMMARY;

By June 2015, much of the of the 65 hectares forest reserve land, located 35kms north of Kampala, was property of investment companies and individuals after getting land titles from Luweero District Land Board under the close supervision of the district natural resources office

Abdul Habib Issa, 52, is a mixed farmer and resident of Nakatonya village in Nyimbwa Sub-county Luweero District. Two decades ago, Issa was a prominent farmer, growing cereals on his two-acre piece of land throughout the year, which he used to sell in markets around Kampala City to meet the basic needs of his family members.

However, this is no more. Issa blames this whole situation on the sudden change in weather patterns as a result of the depleted nearby Nyimbwa Forest Reserve, which has left the land bare. He is also quick to blame government for failing to reign in as Luweero District officials who parceled out the forest land to establish factories.

“As residents living near the forest, we were never consulted and sensitised about the change in land usage. We were surprised to see factories being established and to make matters worse, some of them release dark smoke emissions which is exposing residents to risks of respiratory infections and cancer,” Issa explains.

Records from the district council and the natural resources office reveal that a team from the ministry of Water and Environment in April, 2014, conducted a sensitisation meeting with district officials including councillors on how to jealously protect local forest reserves and steps which had to be taken if the district wanted to change land use at the different forest reserves under local government in line with the forestry policy.

This was after a tour of the different forest reserves where it was discovered that encroachment was a threat to Nyimbwa forest reserve land.

However, Luweero District ignored the guidelines. Although in many areas where forest reserves have been destroyed ,the culprits have always been local communities who look for extra land for farming and settlement. In the case of Nyimbwa , a section of district top officials were directly involved in the forest giveaway even before the official de-gazzetment process was initiated.

This possibly explains the fact that when district councillors tried to institute investigations into the alleged parceling out of the forest land to industrialists, several district executive members ‘remained unbothered’ and did not want to get involved in passing a resolution calling for an investigation on the alleged land giveaway of Nyimbwa forest reserve.

More than five investment companies including Royal Form, Egypt Uganda Food Security, AYA Group of companies, Umoja Veterans and Ruma Industries Ltd are already registered owners of plots of land in the forest reserve after obtaining land titles rather than user permits as per the guidelines.

By June 2015, much of the of the 65 hectares forest reserve land, located 35kms north of Kampala was property of investment companies and individuals after getting land titles from Luweero District Land Board under the close supervision of the district natural resources office.

While the district council kept records indicating that a section of the forest had been given out to private companies and individuals applying for user permits on the basis of promoting forestry and environment activities, the district land board acting contrary to the set guidelines and also outside the district council mandate had by November 2013 issued land titles to individuals and investment companies who have cleared the entire forest cover and constructed factories and several permanent structures on more than half of the forest land.

In 2009, youth in Luweero District were granted permission and allocated over seven acres for tree planting by the district council as part of a forestry rejuvenation and environment campaign.

The youth, according to one of the youth leaders, Samuel Mulwana, planted more than 2000 pine and eucalyptus trees on a section of the forest land. But the trees were cut down and land cleared for a different purpose without consulting the youth.

Efforts to seek intervention of the district council to cause an inquiry into beneficiaries who had taken over land allocated to youth were frustrated by a section of the district technical staff including some district councillors who possibly had a hand and actually knew the individuals who had cut down trees youth had planted.

The 2009 tree planting campaign that was supported by the National Youth Council, was part of the celebrations to mark the 2009 International Youth Day hosted by Luweero District, according to Mulwana.

The big debate

 

The debate on the alleged sale and issuance of land titles at the forest reserve land was reawakened at a council meeting on October 28 ,2014 when Luweero Chief Administrative Officer, Mr Eustace Gakwandi confirmed receiving a letter from Uganda Revenue Authority seeking clarification about papers presented by Royal Forms, one of the companies which were allocated land at Nyimbwa.

URA, according to Mr Gakwandi was seeking clarification on the existence of the company and the activities it carries out in the area . At the meeting, the councilors passed a resolution instructing the district staff surveyor, Stephen Sserwambala to initiate a boundary demarcation and redrawing for the forest land at Nyimbwa.

The district council on October 28, 2014 passed a resolution instructing the district staff surveyor, Stephen Sserwambala to initiate a boundary demarcation and redrawing for the forestry land at Nyimbwa.

One of the reasons advanced by the district natural resources officials for the delay in initiating the boundary demarcation for the already encroached forest reserve land was the lack of funds to undertake the exercise which required a team of surveyors and extra manpower among other essential requirements.

Surprisingly, the chairperson Luweero District Land Board, Lule Kiggundu during the same month and year claimed that the district council had withdrawn powers for management of the forest reserve from the district land board through a district council resolution.

The reported user permits, land titles and land giveaway at the forest reserve were now a matter between the district natural resources officer, Hood Luyima and the district forestry officer, Deo Mijumbi. Several district councillors at the meeting claimed that the council resolution to withdraw management powers of forest land from the DLB was the work of a senior technical officer within the natural resources department who had links with the investors who wanted the land for industrial purposes.

“Issues regarding the forest land were very complex and tactfully hidden from some members of the district council,” Erasto Kibirango, a district councillor, representing Bamunanika Sub-county said during a recent interview.

Nadduli says

 

The Outgoing Luweero NRM District chairperson Hajji Abdul Nadduli.

The allegation by Luweero District councillors was later proved right by outgoing Luweero District chairperson Hajji Abdul Nadduli during a council meeting held on July 23, 2015.
Nadduli told council that the Presidents’ Office (State House) had requested Luweero District to ‘work closely’ with a group of investors who had interest in establishing some industries in Nyimbwa Sub-county were the district was to help them access land at the forest reserve.

 

“We had already initiated negotiations and allowed these investors to take part of the forest reserve land for the benefit of our youth who were likely to get employed,” Nadduli told the councillors.

Already more than half of the forest reserve land had been cleared by the time Nadduli informed council.
“All the transactions were done behind our back which lends credence to allegations that particular officials were beneficiaries in a deal to parcel out the forest reserve land. We were betrayed by some members of the district council executive. You cannot rule out the allegation that they too (some top district officials) got some share of the land,” councilor Namuyanja revealed during an interview recently.

 

Activists’ take:

 

Mr John Sseguja, a civil society activist and executive director Community Development Initiative (CODI) says giving away Nyimbwa forest was in bad taste and a clear manifestation that leaders in Luweero, Nakaseke and Nakasongola districts are partly responsible for the disappearing forest cover in what is widely known as Greater Luweero area .

 

“If the explanations fronted by Luweero District officials are genuine that they plan to buy land to plant there a new forest, then they could have equally used that money to buy land for industries. We pray that the district gets that land as claim, but I highly doubt that ,” Sseguja says.

On April 28, 2016, during a district council meeting, councillors were briefed that the Minister for Water and Environment had instructed Luweero District to purchase alternative land where to plant a new forest before seeking permission for degazzettment of the forest which is already given away. Luweero District Council through the office of the chief administrative officer had a month before written to the Minister of Environment seeking permission to have the forest land degazzeted to pave way for an industrial park.

Luweero District officials according to environmentalists and concerned residents want to legalize a mistake made earlier when they acted against the advice given by the Ministry of Water and Environment including the commandant of the Environment Police in April 2014. “ One wonders which approval they want now when they have already parceled the forest land .It doesn’t make sense at all.” Sseguja adds

In April 2014, a team from the ministry of Water and Environment led by Charles Byaruhanga visited Luweero District and held a consultative meeting and later sensitisation of district officials regarding policy, laws and management of local government forest reserves. Aware of the encroachment on the 160 hectare forest land at Nyimbwa under the direct watch of Luweero District officials, the ministry team outlined guidelines for which the district could change land use for forest.

This included seeking approval of National Environment Management Authority for environment impact assessment, possession of an alternative land with a land title for tree planting, council minute resolution from the district, consultation and sensitisation of the local communities surrounding the forest reserve about the new programme, seeking approval from Parliament, legal advice from the Solicitor General after which Parliament debates whether to degazzete the forest or not. According to Sarah Namuyanja, a district female councilor representing Butumtumula Sub-county, the visiting Ministry team recommended for survey and boundary demarcation of the forest .

 

A section of the Nyimbwa Forest Reserve along the Kampala - Gulu Highway which has been given to NRM individuals and companies.
PHOTO BY DAN WANDERA

 

The visit and sensitisation meeting by Ministry of Water and Environment team was part of a follow up on the recommendations made by an investigation team led by the Commandant of the Environment Protection Police, Taire Idwege.

According to the terms of reference, the team was to investigate the alleged encroachment on the forest reserve land located at Nyimbwa Sub-county and later release a report. The Minister for Water and Environment sanctioned the investigation after receiving reports about land giveaway at the forest reserve by Luweero district authorities.

 

OTHER INTERVENTIONS

 

In March this year, the issue of destroying Nyimbwa forest was brought on the floor of Parliament by Kitgum Woman MP, Beatrice Anywar ,who indicated that local authorities in Luweero had signed off the deal in total disregard of the Paris Declaration on Environment. Although speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga tasked government to explain how the forest was given away , the latter is yet to give Parliament a report .

 

NFA manages 506 forest reserves across the country, but many of them have been destroyed and converted into plantations. According to a recent report by Food and Agricultural Organisation, 200,000 hectares are destroyed every year down from 92,000 hectares two decades ago. The report says the rate at which forests are disappearing outstrips the rate of tree planting, which is estimated at only 7,000 hectares annually .

Other statistics show that from 1971 to 1987, Uganda lost 50 per cent of our forests, including virtually all primary forests. Between 1990 and 2010, an average of 88,150 hectares were lost or 1.86 per cent per year. So in total, between 1990 and 2010, the country lost 37.1 per cent of its forest cover. This means Uganda is left with only 13 per cent of the forest cover it had in 1970.

 

 

 

Beatiful Earth as seen from 240 miles above:

The World of West Africa as seen by the ISS( NASA)

The country of Peru as seen by ISS (NASA)

 

In Uganda, as the Uganda Army gives up guarding the forests illegal pit-sawyers turn violent against the National Forestry Authority officials:

By  EPHRAIM KASOZI

Posted  Tuesday, October 20  2015

 

KABAMBA, UGANDA:

A forest supervisor under the National Forest Authority (NFA) last week survived lynching by residents of Kabamba Sub-county in Kibaale District.

An eye witness narrates how a group of people armed with pangas, sticks and spears stormed a Wednesday meeting and beat up the members leaving about five of them injured.

The meeting convened at Kiryanjagi village adjacent to Ruzaire Central Forest Reserve, was to discuss strategies of how to set up a community forest management group.

The witness said an area leader, Mr John Baringoha was critically injured and has since been admitted to hospital in Kagadi.

“We were seated in a meeting at a primary school when a group of people stormed us and began beating us. I had been called to brief the community on the procedure of starting up a community group,” Mr Uziah Ndyanabo, a forest official, said in a telephone interview.

The attack comes hardly a week after the withdrawal of UPDF soldiers by the law enforcement office at the headquarters without explanation.

Mr Ndyanabo said the soldiers were taken without replacement leaving their lives at a risk.

He said a senior politician told communities to gang against NFA staff and beat them up.

The attack has prompted them to halt their routine patrols for fear of their lives.

In 2009, government deployed the army and the police to protect forest officials from being attacked or killed by illegal pit-sawyers.

With the involvement of army officers, government said they have arms and power to control criminals while the police would be involved because they are responsible for charging the culprits in court.

The incident resulted from the killing of a forest supervisor and a guard while another one escaped with injuries.

ekasozi@ug.nationmedia.com

 


The revival of passenger Concorde flying is on:

 

                         Passenger Concorde takes off to fly supersonic

 

 

When asked about the possibility of Concorde flying again, a British Airways spokesperson is emphatic: “There is absolutely no chance.”

That is, at least, as far as BA is concerned. While the airline has no plans to revive services, a group of enthusiasts have released plans to not only put one of the planes on permanent display in central London but to commence flights aboard the supersonic airliner once more.

Operated by BA and Air France, Concorde’s last flight took place on October 24 2003, and its demise has been heavily, enduringly, lamented by members of Club Concorde . The organisation comprises former Concorde pilots, charterers and frequent fliers, among others, and the group has now secured what it believes to be adequate financial backing to return Concorde to service.

They have two aims: firstly, to place one of the aircraft on a purpose-built platform positioned by the London Eye and above the Thames; secondly, to return another to use as part of a Return to Flight project.

Drawing from a £40 million investment, the club is aiming to purchase a Concorde currently stationed near Orly Airport in Paris and to place it as the main draw in a £16-a-head London tourist attraction that would include a restaurant offering dishes that were originally served on Concorde flights . Club president Paul James hopes the plane could be on display by 2017.

Getting Concorde back in the air would be rather more complex. The club has access to an additional reserve fund worth £120 million and plans to use this revenue to purchase a Concorde currently on display at Le Bourget airport in Paris. When restored (and dressed in an entirely new, neutral livery) and deemed safe to again take to the skies, the plane would be deployed for use in fly-pasts at air shows and made available for corporate and special events, as well as for private charter.

James will be well placed to cater to that demographic. During the aircraft’s heyday, he worked as a tour operator and chartered Concorde 19 times for luxury trips. A particularly extravagant excursion was a one-day visit to the pyramids in Cairo in 1982; priced at £780, it was marketed as the most expensive day trip in the world. He suggests that this future incarnation of the plane could be used, for example, to take groups from London to Monaco for the Grand Prix.

Club Concorde is aiming to recommence flights by 2019, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the inaugural Concorde flight, and should the initiative prove a success the organisation may subsequently aim to make flightworthy another Concorde at a later stage.

Jonathan Glancey, author of Concorde: the Rise and Fall of the Supersonic Airliner(published October 1 by Atlantic Books), believes the group could well succeed in their efforts. “So many people miss Concorde [and it] could certainly fly again given both financial and technical wings, while from a technical point of view there is nothing a team of expert and motivated engineers can’t tackle. For the moment, we should support it. ”

He points to a successful precedent. Used by the RAF from 1960-92, the Avro Vulcan V-bomber XH558 “The Spirit of Great Britain” was later returned to service and has flown for eight further years thanks to the Sky Trust and Lottery funding. It is set to make its final flight next month.

While efforts to revitalise Concorde continue, a number of other companies are also seeking to launch commercial supersonic flights.   Boston-based Spike Aerospace claims its proposed Spike S-512 supersonic jet will reach speeds of Mach 1.6 (1,100mph) and could be airborne in the early 2020s. NASA, meanwhile, recently provided funding to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California and other bodies to support their research into how to improve existing supersonic flight technologies .

Its passengers could expect to fly from New York to London within three hours but would need to adjust to one peculiar new feature: in order to reduce weight, minimise drag and maintain speed, the jet is expected to be built without windows in the main cabin . Instead, the jet’s interior walls would be covered in curved electronic screens that could display films or transmit footage of outside.

It seems the prospect of a return to commercial supersonic flights has had another burst of momentum.

 

 

Future Travel from London to Sydney in eight hours is soon on its way by supersonic planes:

World's fastest plane revealed
18 November, 2016
It is rare indeed for something to exist as a notable, celebrated slice of the past, and as an almost inevitable, glittering part of the future – but be absent in the present.

 

Supersonic flight is just such a shape-shifter. It floats in the general consciousness as a chic ghost of journeys of yesteryear, its glamour wrapped up in Concorde ’s broad wingspan – and gleams tantalisingly on the horizon as a symbol of a tomorrow where we will all zoom across the planet at enormous speeds. But for today, at least, and for the rest of the decade certainly, it is something you can only do in your memories or your dreams.

This week, though, has seen the second era of travel at greater than the speed of sound come a little closer – via the news that Sir Richard Branson has thrown in his lot (or, more importantly, his money) with a new American company which plans to redefine the way we cross the globe. Boom is an ambitious start-up, under the ownership of one Blake Scholl – a man who has worked as both a pilot and an executive for Amazon – which has just unleashed a prototype supersonic jet. Perhaps it is the fact that the plane looks the part – it is a mini-Concorde, all pointed nose and sleek sides. Perhaps it is the fact that Scholl has based his firm in Denver, the hard-working capital of Colorado, rather than amid the technology swell of Silicon Valley, suggesting a determination to crack on with the masterplan rather than endlessly swirling around in the hub of all things social media – but Branson has been impressed enough to place an order for 10 Boom planes.

Both men have been talking the talk.

“I have long been passionate about aerospace innovation and the development of high-speed commercial flights,” Mr Branson commented earlier this week. “We’re excited to have an option on Boom’s first 10 airframes.”

“Concorde’s designers didn’t have the technology for affordable supersonic travel. But we do,” Scholl said at the prototype’s unveiling on Tuesday – outlining a coming epoch where supersonic air fares will be “about the same as tickets in business class” and travellers will “be able to get anywhere in the world in five hours for $100 [£80].”

“Step-by-step supersonic air travel will become available for everyone,” he continued. “It won’t be a bucket-list purchase any more. There is a huge market and the margins are enormous.”

Grand ambitions. Mr Branson has said that his Virgin Group will lend the expertise it has garnered in its attempts to create a commercial space craft to the Boom project. Scholl says that his prototype is a jump towards accessible flights between London and New York in 3.5 hours, and London and Sydney in as little as eight. And within the next 10 years. Boom’s baby will commence test flights in southern California early next year, and there is hopeful chatter about the first commercial jets being in service by 2023.

So is this the beginning of something special? Possibly. Supersonic travel has been the big travel question mark ever since Concorde touched down for the final time in 2003 – taking with it a pace and style of aviation that had become too expensive to sustain. Fuel costs, a fading safety record, an ageing fleet and a price tag which had left an icon of the heavens beyond the reach of the average passenger all combined to consign British Airways and Air France’s most recognisable planes into the 'where are they now?'

 

 

GettySpike Aerospace is another rider in this most forward-thinking of races. This Boston-based company is currently developing the S-512 Supersonic Jet, and has claimed that it could be flying by the end of the decade. This will be a 12-18 seat commercial plane that will reportedly be able to reach Mach 1.6 (about 1,100mph) – although will largely be a luxury steed aimed at the private jet market.Boom is the latest company to raise its hand and suggest that it has the answer – but it is not a lone example. Even as you read this, teams of scientists and engineers are labouring over laptops and in closed workshops, seeking the holy grail of the plane which can go to Mach 1 (the speed of sound; 768mph) and far beyond – but do so without operational costs leaping to levels that only billionaires can contemplate without wincing.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the USA’s stargazing behemoth NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has declared that it is working with aviation company Lockheed Martin to continue the development of its revolutionary range of “X-planes”.

Airbus, meanwhile, has set up a partnership with the Nevada-based Aerion Corporation – in the hope that a marriage of the latter’s technological nous and the former’s business clout and economic muscle may yet give birth to the new Concorde. Elsewhere, the European giant’s key American rival Boeing is also looking to craft a supersonic solution.

It is not as if the technology does not exist. The X-15, developed for the US Air Force in the Sixties, is thought to be the fastest aircraft ever to leave terra firma – its rocket-powered design propelling it to a documented Mach 6.72 (4,520 mph), and the verge of space, in October 1967. NASA’s experimental X-43 was even faster, ratcheting the dial to Mach 9.6 (7,310mph) – but “only” as an unmanned rocket-boosted shard of improbability that had to be launched from atop an airborne B-52. Only three were built (circa 2004), with one of them exploding at altitude, and the other two being (deliberately) allowed to  plunge into the ocean. The Mach 9.6 passenger plane is a long way off.

The challenge will be making the extraordinary work in the ordinary.

“Supersonic passenger air travel is back on the agenda of key market players who are determined to make it commercially viable for a wide consumer base,” says Nadejda Popova of travel commentators Euromonitor.

“The return of supersonic jet travel would be transformative, opening up far-flung destinations to new source markets such as Australia, the US and Latin America.

“While the first flights are likely to be on the busy transatlantic routes, there are over 500 future global routes open to supersonic travel, with trans-Pacific flights being key.

“Boom is the first supersonic company to have had orders placed, but NASA and BAE Aerospace are also working on supersonic prototypes that could fly even faster.”

Mention of Mach 9.6 – or indeed, a mere Mach 5 (3,300mph, which the Boeing X-51, another mould-breaker still in the testing stage, managed on its first – unmanned – flight in May 2010) – makes Concorde, which had a maximum speed just over twice the speed of sound, at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph), seem even more buried in history than it already is.

© GettyThis great trailblazer was not the only passenger jet of the first supersonic era. The Soviet Union, ever keen to keep pace with – or out-pace – the West, concocted the Tupolev TU-144, which was similar to Concorde in appearance, but not in success. It first flew on December 31 1968, from Moscow, two months before its rival achieved lift-off – but struggled with financial and mechanical issues. It never really recovered from a crash at the Paris Air Show in 1973 which damaged its image (and killed its six crew), and managed only 55 flights in its brief window of commercial service (November 1977-March 1978).

By contrast, Concorde swooped and shimmered in the liveries of British Airways and Air France between 1976 and 2003. Like the Tupolev TU-144, it was ultimately grounded by tragedy. The terrible crash of Air France Flight 4590, in Paris, in July 2000, which raised worries about the jet’s ongoing reliability, was a trauma that was always likely to be fatal.

But when it worked, Concorde truly soared. Anyone who was alive in Britain, France or east-coast America in the Eighties and Nineties will surely have enjoyed that startling moment when one of these jets passed overhead, almost causing the sky to ripple in a roar of noise. If you were quick, you could look up and catch a glimpse. If you tarried, it was gone, away through the clouds, leaving just its ragged vapour trail tapering behind it.

Of course, you can still see Concorde. It enjoys its retirement at several museums around the planet – such as the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy wing of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC ( airandspace.si.edu/udvar-hazy-center ), the Auto & Technik Museum ( sinsheim.technik-museum.de ) in Sinsheim, Germany (where an Air France model sits alongside a Tupolev TU-144 – the only case of the two planes being exhibited on the same site) – and at the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace at Le Bourget airport in Paris ( museeairespace.fr ).

A British Airways Concorde, meanwhile, snoozes in the Seattle drizzle at the Museum of Flight ( museumofflight.org ) in Washington State – while one of its colleagues enjoys the sunshine at the Barbados Concorde Experience ( barbadosconcorde.com ), at Grantley Adams International Airport, to which it was a regular visitor. Another is at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum ( intrepidmuseum.org ) in New York – the city which was Concorde’s halcyon destination.

Take a trip to see one of these old statesmen of the stratosphere, and you place one foot back into the 20th century. We await supersonic flight’s reemergence in the 21st .

 

 

 

The scene at Bukasa police station on Monday last week painted a vivid picture of the extent of forest land grabbing in Uganda.

Located on Kirinya road in Wakiso district, just behind Bweyogerere, the police station was playing host to a heated negotiation between trespassers on government land and government officials. In another place and another time, the encroachers would be hiding from the police; but here was a group of ‘illegal’ occupants arguing with victims of their actions.

They were engaging officials from NEK Consults Ltd, a company commissioned by Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL) to establish a 132kV power transmission line to serve Mukono, Iganga and Luzira industrial parks.

The transmission line is meant to pass through a fairly extensive swamp neighbouring a contentious piece of land belonging to the National Forestry Authority (NFA), which the locals have forcefully occupied.

Bricks and sand

“We are not yet into the swamp, but some of us are planning to use it for making bricks and extracting sand. So, how are you planning to compensate us,” one of the residents asked in Luganda.

Now, under normal circumstances, a wetland is supposed to belong to the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) or, since it is part of a forest reserve, NFA should have been in charge. But instead, a government project was negotiating with trespassers over a wetland. These encroachers, according Panos Eastern Africa’s technical advisor on natural resources, Hassan Muloopa, first trickled in in a simple way –by engaging in stone quarrying. They were ignored, seen as poor people honestly trying to eke out a living.

However, after they sold the stones and got money, they began putting up permanent structures. And today, they are fully entrenched as owners of land that was formerly part of Namanve central forest reserve.

The encroachers have organised themselves into associations to defend ‘their’ land. According to Sowedi Ssemakadde, the speaker of Bukasa People’s Development Association, their group alone has 417 people occupying 73 acres of the forest reserve land.

“We are the people who were chased from Naguru estates,” Ssemakadde told The Observer, adding: “We were given this land by Minister Maria Mutagamba in 2010.”

Interestingly, Ssemakadde acknowledges that this land is for NFA, but hastens to add: “It is no longer theirs because it was given to us by government.”

“NFA land is too big. It stretches from Kito to Namataba, Kirinya, Bukasa up to Namanve. For Kito, Namataba and Kirinya, the president gave it out to the veterans. Ours in Bukasa was given to us by the minister,” he says.

Asked for documentation to that effect, Ssemakadde is quick to say: “They are safely kept at home”.

The only documentation that he moved with that day is an interim order from Justice Wilson Masalu Musene of Nakawa court, prohibiting NFA from evicting the encroachers, in a case where his association sued NFA.

With the court backing, the encroachers have quickly put up more permanent structures everywhere. They are now slowly moving into the swamp, with activities such as sand excavation already underway.

Agriculture

Forest land grabbing is on the rise in Uganda – because of the exploding human population and activities such as agricultural development, where vast lands are cleared without conservation considerations, large-scale peri-urban housing projects development, fuel wood generation, uncontrolled forest harvesting including poaching for logs and poles, and urbanisation.

The destruction of Namanve forest reserve started with the de-gazetting of part of the forest for the establishment of Namanve industrial park. This, according to Panos’s Hassan Muloopa, was against the purpose for this forest reserve was established, as a strategic resource for Kampala city.

“This forest reserve came as a result of a survey... that found out that we would continue using wood for a long time,” Muloopa says.

Official records show that Namanve Central forest reserve was gazetted in 1932, covering 2,300 hectares. It was recommended that Namanve forest reserve be established to cater for Kampala’s demand for fuel. But with death of this forest reserve, Kampala continues to grapple with overwhelming demand for fuel for cooking.

The 2009/10 national household survey shows that 95 per cent of the households  still use firewood and charcoal as the main source of energy for cooking. Even in Kampala, where the majority have access to hydropower, 75 per cent of households mainly use charcoal for cooking. This has created a booming charcoal business, which is devouring Uganda’s forest cover.

According to a World Forestry day report released by Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment  (Acode) recently, Uganda loses 90,000 hectares of its forest cover every year due to activities such as charcoal burning and forest land giveaways. If this continues, it is feared that Uganda could lose all its forests by 2050.

Muloopa says that previously, each town had land gazetted for a peri-urban wood plantation in anticipation of future growing demand for fuel. However, most – if not all – of these peri-urban forests have been given away.

Mbarara central reserve, for example, lost 168 hectares that was degazetted in 2007 for urban development. Today, Ankole sub-region is one of the highly-deforested sub-regions, with almost all the rolling hills cleared of their forests and water bodies such as River Rwizi carrying dirty water.

Tooro sub-region is also gradually following in the same footsteps. Fort Portal central forest reserve, meant to serve this green and quiet town, was given away to a private developer who instead changed its use to a dairy farm.

The 2001 Uganda Forestry Policy provides for establishment of urban forests because of their significance not only in reducing energy costs, but acting as windbreakers, and reducing air pollution by actively removing pollutants.

Rejuvination

“In future, people may demand rejuvenation of these forest reserves. Presently, there is one man who thinks for us; he doesn’t listen to anyone including his wife, not even the technical staff. Once that powerful person goes, city mayors and people will demand peri-urban wood plantations,” Muloopa says.

“It is a very bad precedent that whoever changes the land use of a forest reserve should be left. It is fueling encroachment.”

According to fuelling on forest reserves is happening at two levels: first, is where politically-connected groups, for example veterans, illegally enter a forest –like what happened in Namanve and what is happening in Bugoma central forest reserve. The other is where government deliberately uses its powers to allocate forest land to private developers.

A 2012 study on land grabbing in Uganda carried out by the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (Nape), says that the government, keen to attract investment, has allowed foreign companies to move onto large areas of land for a range of projects, including the development of a large-scale oil palm plantations, carbon offset tree plantations and, following the recent discovery of oil, for drilling.

“Forests have been cleared to make way for the plantations and wetlands have been drained, damaging the rich natural biodiversity…Governments and private companies are both keen to gain access to fertile land at a low cost,” the report reads.

Oil palm growing on Bugala island in Kalangala district, for example, claimed 10,000 hectares of natural forest. Because large areas of forest have been cleared to make way for oil palm plantations, there is pressure on the remaining forest resources, which traditionally provide wood for building materials, boat-making, food and importantly, fuel for the local population.

An environmental impact study had earlier indicated that the project would not have significant climate or hydrological impacts on the island, but that it was likely to reduce forest cover, resulting in a loss of endemic species, and that it would reduce windbreaks, increase siltation in Lake Victoria, increase logging, and reduce the potential for ecotourism.

Previously, government gave out Butamira to Madhvani family’s Kakira sugar works, and recently, it attempted to degazette part of Mabira forest for use by Mehta’s Lugazi sugar factory.

“The issue of government consultation and consensus building is still wanting,” says Care Uganda’s Technical Manager Annet Kandole Balewa.

“For all the forest land that has been given away, has there been consensus with the different players in the sector?”

At the answer to that question lies the heart of the problem.

 

smusasizi@observer.ug

This Observer feature was sourced with support from Panos Eastern Africa

 

Yumbe Town in Uganda is waking up and trying to stop the  sale of lots of charcoal made from cutting forest trees.

A truck transports charcoal in Arua Town recently. Leaders in West Nile

sub-region say charcoal business has degraded the environment.

 

 

By ROBERT ELEMA & FELIX WAROM OKELLO

Posted  Wednesday, May 13  2015 
 

Yumbe. In UGANDA. EAST AFRICA:

Yumbe District council has passed a by-law banning the sale and transportation of charcoal in bulk in the district.
The by-law was passed last Friday following public outcry over rampant cutting down of trees. More than 10 trucks leave the district daily, carrying sacks of charcoal. 
However, the district council resolved that charcoal will only be used locally and transported on bicycles.
“This ban will not affect district revenue. We are not pleased with the way revenue on charcoal is collected because the 35 per cent is not remitted to the district by sub-county authorities. The monies end up being diverted by sub-county leaders,” said Ms Jane Alejo, the district secretary for finance.
Mr Swaib Andama, the district forestry officer, said the ban was necessary because levying high taxes on charcoal as earlier suggested did not have any impact.
“We are going to partner with police to implement the resolution but the office of the CAO is yet to write a letter formalising the ban,” Mr Andama said.

Ban welcomed
Kululu Sub-county councillor Mubaraka Tibo said the resolution was a good move. 
“Charcoal burning and trade make people poor. They should instead use the available rains for farming,” he said.
A sack of charcoal costs Shs13,000 in Yumbe and a vehicle that transports charcoal in bulk pays tax of between Shs120,000 and Shs140,000 per trip.

The resolution
Any person who violates the resolution will pay a fine while vehicles carrying charcoal will be impounded. A licence will be given only to those who transport charcoal on bicycles. The charcoal produced will be used within Yumbe. Tree-planting campaigns will also be intensified.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

 

Bill Gates Financial Foundation's $1.4bn

in fossil fuel investments:


By Damian Carrington and Karl Mathiesen
  
Toxic waste in a tailing pond at the Syncrude open pit oil excavation mine in Fort McMurray,Alberta, Canada, on 21 Jul 2009. The top soil is removed to give access to the controversial tar sands. The sand goes through a processing plant to extract usable oil.: A Guardian campaign backed by 95,000 people so far is asking the gates to sell their fossil fuel investments.
Corbis A Guardian campaign backed by 95,000 people so far is asking the Gates to sell their fossil fuel investments.

 

The charity run by Bill and Melinda Gates, who say the threat of climate change is so serious that immediate action is needed, held at least $1.4bn (£1bn) of investments in the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies, according to a Guardian analysis of the charity’s most recent tax filing in 2013.

The companies include BP, responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Anadarko Petroleum, which was recently forced to pay a $5bn environmental clean-up charge and Brazilian mining company Vale, voted the corporation with most “contempt for the environment and human rights” in the world clocking over 25,000 votes in the Public Eye annual awards.

Climate change campaign

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Asset Trust is the world’s largest charitable foundation, with an endowment of over $43bn, and has already given out $33bn in grants to health programmes around the world, including one that helped rid India of polio in 2014.

Guardian campaign, launched on Monday and already backed by over 95,000 people is asking the Gates to sell their fossil fuel investments. It argues: “Your organisation has made a huge contribution to human progress ... yet your investments in fossil fuels are putting this progress at great risk. It is morally and financially misguided to invest in companies dedicated to finding and burning more oil, gas and coal.”

Existing fossil fuel reserves are several times greater than can be burned if the world’s governments are to fulfil their pledge to keep global warming below the danger limit of 2C, but fossil fuel companies continue to spend billions on exploration. In addition to the climate risk, the Bank of England and others argue that fossil fuel assets may pose a “huge risk” to pension funds and other investors as they could be rendered worthless by action to slash carbon emissions.

landmark report citing climate change published by the Lancet medical journal and University College London concluded that climate change is “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century”.

In their annual letter in January, Bill and Melinda Gates wrote: “The long-term threat [of climate change] is so serious that the world needs to move much more aggressively – right now – to develop energy sources that are cheaper, can deliver on demand, and emit zero carbon dioxide.”

The Guardian analysis of the Gates endowment revealed investments in 35 of the top 200 companies as ranked by the carbon held in their reserves. These included coal giants Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Glencore Xstrata and Peabody Energy, the oil majors Shell, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Total and Brazilian oil company Petrobras, currently embroiled in a corruption scandal.

“This is very shocking. I never knew that they had so much of this kind of investment,” said Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigerian activist who received the Right Livelihood Award in 2010 for “revealing the full ecological and human horrors of oil production” in the Niger delta where many oil majors operate. “If this is a charity that really care about the health of the people, they ought not to be investing in fossil fuel industries. They should pull back their resources from this sector completely.”

Bill McKibben, who leads the fast-growing Go Fossil Free campaign, said: “The Gates Foundation has worked so hard to grapple with global poverty. But at the same time they’re investing in the same companies that drive climate change, which endless studies now show is one of the key factors behind ... global poverty. The developing world deserves better than this kind of tunnel vision.”

He said: “The great industrial fortune of the 20th century, the Rockefeller oil legacy, has begun aggressively divesting from fossil fuel, arguing explicitly that climate change undermines its philanthropy for a better world. It’s time for the great technological fortune of the 21st century to do likewise.”

Prof Hugh Montgomery, a medical doctor at University College London and one of the authors of the UCL/Lancet study said: “I am backing the Guardian divestment campaign because I support the Gates Foundation and am a great fan of their work. I just want to help them to do more good.”

A spokesman for Bill Gates’s private office said: “We respect the passion of advocates for action on climate change, and recognise that there are many views on how best to address it. Bill is privately investing considerable time and resources in the effort [to develop clean energy].”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation declined to comment on fossil fuel divestment and said all investment decisions were taken by a separate entity, the Asset Trust, which manages the endowment but never makes public comments.

However, the Gates’s charity has a track record of divestment from other sectors, having sold companies linked to the conflict in Sudan and banned tobacco investments. It alsosold its stake in a security company G4S, following controversy over its prison contracts in Israel.

The Gates charity investment policy states: “When instructing the investment managers, Bill and Melinda consider issues beyond corporate profits, including the values that drive the foundation’s work. They have defined areas in which the endowment will not invest, such as companies whose profit model is centrally tied to corporate activity that they find egregious. Bill and Melinda regularly re-assess the endowment’s holdings.”

In recent months, the Gates charity sold off its huge stake in ExxonMobil for $766m, which has in the past funded climate change deniers and now argues it is “highly unlikely” that international action on global warming will stop it selling oil and gas “far into the future”. No reason was given and it is unknown whether new fossil fuel investments have been bought.

“At this critical moment in time, if you own fossil fuels, you own climate change,” said Ellen Dorsey, executive director of the $168m Wallace Global Fund, which has fully divested from fossil fuels and now invests in renewables and energy efficiency.

She has worked with many of the 75 other philanthropic organisations that have followed suit. “At a minimum, our investments should not be driving the problems we ask our grantees to solve. And those who acted early avoided the collapse of coal and oil prices. They were rewarded with strong financial returns: doing well while doing good.”

Dorsey said fossil fuel divestment by the Gates charity would be a huge boost for the fight against climate change: “For a foundation with such global prominence to lend its full weight – with grants and investments combined – would be game changing.”

 

Spring water that is bottled is frighteningly faecal polluted in Uganda:

People queue to fetch water from one of the protected

People queue to fetch water from one of the protected water springs

in Kigongi cell, Kigogi ward, Kabale Town.

Such springs are said to be contaminated.

 

PHOTO BY ROBERT MUHEREZA

 

By Emmanuel Ainebyoona 

 

Posted  Friday, May 1   2015 

IN SUMMARY

A report found that some water sources were contaminated with faecal matter and lacked water-purifying substance.

 

KAMPALA, UGANDA 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cleared National Water and Corporation free from contamination but raised the red flag over high levels of faecal contamination in springs and some brands of bottled water.

A preliminary report prepared by Dr Jennifer Murphy and Amy Kahler, both scientists in the waterborne prevention branch of CDC, indicates that springs or wells exhibited high frequency of faecal contamination and none of them contained chlorine, a water purifying substance.

“One of 13 presumably treated manufacturer-packaged bottled water samples exhibited low-risk faecal contamination. None of these sources contained detectable chlorine,” the report reads in part.

According to Mr Asuman Lukwago, the ministry of Health permanent secretary, the investigations were prompted by the typhoid outbreak in Kampala and some neighbouring districts in February.

“I attended a forum where a group of people raised concerns to a senior government official over water contamination in Kampala,” Dr Lukwago said.

He added: “We cannot ignore results prepared by experts at CDC. We are going to study the report and see how we can use this information,” he added.

Dr Lukwago said the earlier results had also found wells and springs to be 90 per cent contaminated with faecal material.

He, however, noted that NWSC and manufactured bottled water sources were found to be safe.

The CDC report further reveals that vendor-sold kaveera and refilled water bottles were contaminated with high levels of E.coli, a bacteria that causes most diseases of the digestive tract, and urinary tract infections.

Also at high risk of waterborne diseases, are individuals who consume jerrycan water after they were found to be containing faecal material.

The report advised the public to boil water got from the various water sources before consuming it.

eainebyoona@ug.nationmedia.com

Nb:

One should  try to move about the city of Kampala and its surroundings and appreciate the problems of the National Water and  Sewerage Corporation. The serving pipes for clean water are situated only about 7 to 15 ins deep in the soil. The damage to these pipes causes thousands of water pipe leakages. One cannot even try to talk about the water problems of the SEWERAGE PIPES OF THIS CITY FOR NOW. This water company even if it works 24 hours to repair these many good quality water outlets there are many more that open up. For sure, the historical great natural Lake Nalubaale is not going to last another 30 years at this rate of water loss. The experts at CDC just checking the quality of water and giving the go ahead to NWSC to continue to pump lots of nice water to the healthier people of Kampala is very unfortunate indeed.

Some of these water leakages have been going on for months and have picked up so much contaminants that are floating about in the NWSC pipe systems. Every year CDC is silent on such environmental problems and keeps giving a very good report to this water company. And the good guys on the board of this government corporation are some of the richest in town.

 

Omudumu gwa kazambi gwabise mu Kisenyi abatuuze ne beekalakaasa:
Kampala | Jun 19, 2015
Bigirwenkya ng’akutte omu ku beekalakaasi olwembeera zo budde mu kibuga
Kampala, Uganda.
 

Bya JOSEPH MAKUMBI


OMUDUMU gwa kazambi gwabise mu Kisenyi abatuuze ne beekalakaasa nga baagala KCCA ne n’abekitongole ky’amazzi ekya, National Water babannyonnyole lwaki tebaddaabiriza myala na midumu gitambuza kazambi.

Byabaddewo ku Lwokusatu mu Muzaana Zooni okuliraana Ovino abakuba obuwunga we bakolera, omudumu gwa kazambi we gwayabikidde kazambi n’atandika okukulukutira mu maduuka g’abantu.

Amaduuka gonna baagaggadde ne bakung’aanya ebiti n’ebibaawo ne babisuula mu kkubo ne balemesa ebidduka okuyitawo ne basibawo n’omuguwa.

Poliisi ya Muzaana yazze ng’ekulembeddwamu, Henry Bigirwenkya kyokka abantu tebaamuwulirizza ne basigala nga bagenda mu maaso n’okwekalakaasa ekyawalirizza poliisi okukuba amasasi mu bbanga okubagumbulula.

Oluvannyuma poliisi ya Kampalamukadde yatuuse ng’ekulembeddwa atwala poliisi eno, Phillimon Ameru ne bayimirizaamu okwekalakaasa. Mu kavuvungano, poliisi yakutte omusajja ng’asuula emisanvu mu kkubo wabula n’abeegayirira n’ateebwa.

Abatuuze baategeezezza nti omudumu gwayabika wiiki nnamba emabega ne bakubira KCCA n’abamazzi essimu ne batafaayo.

Bigirwenkya yategeezezza nti, baakubidde ab’amazzi ne KCCA era nga baabadde mu nteekateeka okuziba omudumu guno wabula n’asaba abasuubuzi okukkakkana.

 

 

 

 

Kenya could become a dictatorship in the near future — blame it on water - An Opinion by:

 

BY CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBO 

 

So, the Kenya Tea Development Agency says factories in key tea-growing areas in southwestern Kenya are scaling down operations as the hot, dry, weather cuts deliveries by more than half.

The amount of tea sold at the world’s largest auction of the leaves in Mombasa dropped 27 per cent from a year earlier in a sale held this week.

Currency analysts are saying that reduced tea exports will put further pressure on the Kenyan shilling.

In short, the reduction in tea volumes and part of the depreciation of the shilling are to be blamed on water!

Though I do not export tea or any other crop, like other Nairobians, I too have taken a hit. For weeks, water to our part of the city has been rationed.

To get a bowser to top up the tanks for a week costs about Sh7,000 ($77). That is about a three-month water bill from Nairobi Water.

I am not alone. Thousands of people in Nairobi suffer a similar fate. So we are all the poorer because of water.

We hear stories that because of the dry weather, water levels in reservoirs have dropped sharply. The reservoirs are dependent on rain water because other water sources such as streams and rivers that would have fed them are gone.

People encroached and built on the banks, dumped in city garbage, and choked them to death. And wetlands too were taken ages ago.

This is an environmental crisis, yes, but the problems with water will cause a totally different problem in Africa in general — it could kill democracy.

These days, all those who occupy wetlands, encroach on forests, and take over river banks have something politicians need — the vote.

In some countries, Kenya included, politicians actually support them in grabbing forests in exchange for votes.

So, when the environmental or forest authorities move to evict them, there are protests and the encroacher-backed MP takes the matter to Parliament.

If not, they will go to court and a judge will grant them an injunction.

And so, we are getting to a dangerous point. In many of the countries in Africa where there has been environmental recovery, the governments did not go and kneel and appeal to the nationalism of the encroachers to leave wetlands and forests.

They sent in armed troops with bulldozers, guns, and trucks and carted off the peasants or encroachers forcibly.

Unless democratic interventions succeed, I fear that cities like Nairobi or Uganda’s capital, Kampala, to name just two, could, in 10 years, reach a point where a strongman tells the city residents:

“Choose, we either shoot people out of wetlands and violently break down homes that are blocking streams or you and your city die.”

You will be surprised how many starched white shirt and tie-wearing and church-going people will support the Draconian alternative.

It will not stop there. Any time an attempt is made to bring order to the roads, especially to the matatu industry or regulate boda bodas, there is chaos. The city MP who is dependent on their votes will raise a ruckus, and they will also go to court, and a judge will rule in their favour.

One can see here too that the mess on our roads will, in the years to come, play into the hands of a disciplinarian autocrat. Writing in the Daily Nation last week, Kwame Owino of the Institute of Economic Affairs, argued that one civilised way to deal with traffic congestion would be to impose a congestion charge.

It is possible to make a congestion charge work in London, for example, in part because Londoners know that city officials will not use it to marry second wives.

A congestion charge in Nairobi would cause a civil war, and elected officials would oppose it. So, again, we can see that in the long-term, there is no way Nairobi can be fixed in a democratic context.

However, a tyrant who does not have to worry about the next election, and who is not a thief, would get support to use extreme measures to clean things up.

Of course, as we have seen with the environmental nightmare in China, even unelected illiberal regimes pollute and mess the earth.

But you will not be able to tell a Nairobian who is dying of thirst in 10 years that it is wrong to shoot on sight anyone throwing his trash into the river.

The author is editor of Mail & Guardian Africa. Twitter@cobbo3

                            

 

 

 

 

The sea ice cap of the Arctic appeared to reach its annual maximum winter extent on Feb. 25, according to data from the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. At 5.61 million square miles, this year’s maximum extent was the smallest on the satellite record and also one of the earliest. The past decades have seen a downward trend in Arctic sea ice extent during both the growing and melting season, though the decline is steeper in the latter.

 

California drought goes from bad to worse as this modern state grapples with heat wave big time.

Experts say fix requires global effort going into an era of climate change in which ‘the temperature is essentially always conducive to drought’

 
california drought lake mcclure la grange
A concrete block that was used to moor a boat sits in dry cracked earth that
used to be at the bottom of Lake McClure in La Grange, California.
Photograph:
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images in Los Angeles

Experts say the scorching spring days are part of a long-term warming pattern – driven largely by human activity – that is increasing the chances that future droughts will be as bad as this one. The warm and dry weather exacerbates already dire conditions as soil dries, snow melts and water usage is driven up.

“It’s like a one-two punch,” said Jeanine Jones, deputy drought manager for the state Department of Water Resources (DWR). “Not having enough water to fill our reservoirs and having the hot weather evaporate the little that we do have.”

According to the most recent USA drought report, moderately below-average precipitation, coupled with extremely above-average temperatures, has maintained or worsened drought conditions in California. The consequences have been devastating, from shriveling reservoirs to vanishing groundwater, dying crops, thinning herds and raging wildfires.

California relies on a series of massive storms during the winter months to drop snow on the Cascades and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. During the spring and summer months the snowpack, acting like a natural reservoir, melts as water demand rises.

But the recent extremely warm weather has caused precipitation to fall as rain rather than snow. The effect is dramatically less snowpack melt from the state’s mountain ranges, which can provide as much as a third of California’s water supply.

This year, the mountain runoff will likely be just a trickle. Snow on the mountains has fallen to 12% of average levels, from 28% last year. In March, data collected from parts of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountains indicated that some sites were for the first time snow-free by the first of the month. Jones said the 1 April snowpack measurements, which will be reported next week, are expected to be the lowest on record.

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“That does not at all bode well for our depleted reservoirs,” Jones said.

Hotter temperatures are predicted to be the new norm in California, the result of rising temperatures under climate change. This month, for the first time since record keeping began in the late 1880s, the temperature in Los Angeles peaked in the 90s fahrenheit for six consecutive days, according to the LosAngeles Times.

Based on the current warming trajectory, the likelihood that low rain years will coincide with high heat years is almost a certainty.

“California is in a climate regime where are much more likely to get this kind of drought event again because of the role of temperature rise,” said Stanford University professor Noah Diffenbaugh, who led a study examining the role of warm temperatures in California’s droughts.

That study, published earlier this month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that historically, California’s worst droughts occurred when conditions were both dry and warm, and that those conditions had occurred more frequently in the past two decades than in the last century.

Diffenbaugh said global warming was increasing the risk that dry and warm years would coincide to almost ensure a drought similar to the present one. The researchers also found that in the early and mid-20th century, the warm and dry conditions occurred more or less independently.

“We’re heading into a regime where the temperature is essentially always conducive to drought,” he said.

With no foreseeable end to the drought in sight, policy makers at every level are scrambling to conserve the little water the state does have and avert dire predictions that the state could run out of water soon, possibly in one year.

“This is a struggle,” California governor Jerry Brown said at a press conference earlier this month. “Something we’re going to have to live with. For how long, we’re not sure.”

On Friday, Brown signed into law a more-than-$1bn plan to fast-track emergency relief to drought-stricken cities and communities, including food aid and drinking water. The proposal also includes hundreds of millions of dollars to fund long-term projects, involving water recycling, conservation awareness and flood control projects. At the signing, Brown said the plan was part of a wider effort to prepare California for an “uncertain future”.

The legislation followed action by the State Water Resources Control Board(SWRCB) this month to pass what has been described as the most restrictive water conservation measures in state history. The plan limits the number of days residents can water their yards, and requires bars and restaurants to ask customers if they would like a glass of water before serving it.

“We are not seeing the level of stepping up and ringing the alarm bells that the situation warrants,” Felicia Marcus, the chairwoman of the SWRCB, said during the meeting this month. She said the measure was a first step, and that the board may consider even more stringent measures this spring.

 

But he warned that there is still a lot scientists don’t know about droughts.

“We still don’t know a lot about how droughts develop, how they form, why they form,” AghaKouchak said. “If California wants to stay at the front of this, we have to consider science, and the best science. But it requires support.”

AghaKouchak said investing in “basic research” around water technology, water management and water harvesting could in the long-run improve strategies for responding to extreme weather. He also called for funding research to create better risk-assessment models to improve the predictability of droughts.

While there are conservation and planning policies that lawmakers can take now to conserve water and prepare the state for the next extreme weather event, California’s best hope lies ultimately in the willingness of the global community to confront climate change.

“This drought is not a local California issue,” AghaKouchak said. “This is a global issue. A single policymaker, or even all policymakers in California, alone cannot really do much about global temperature. This requires unprecedented international efforts and a truly global will to address these issues.”

 

Typhoon Maysak threatens Philippines as seen by current modern advanced Technology:

Luka can no longer move due to effects she says she got from drinking contaminated water

 

Annah Luka speaks with so much pain and anger. The 75-year-old’s life has never been the same ever since she slid over a wooden bridge and fell into a stream a year ago.

It started with her legs itching like she had been burnt with acid. Later, it began affecting her bones. Today, Luka can’t move on her own without being supported. The resident of Kityedo village in Bwijanga sub county in Masindi district, believes her illness was caused by the stream’s polluted water, a topic that has raised a storm in the area.

The Mugeye-Kaborogota-Nyamasoro-Ntooma stream, as it is popularly known, is allegedly polluted by Smart Start Industries, a factory located upstream in Bikonzi in Bwijanga sub county that distills local brew popularly known as waragi.

The factory discharges its waste into the stream, something that has changed its colour to a foul black stream with a strong stench oozing out of it and covering the villages of Kityedo, Bihanga, Ikoba and Katuugo in Bwijanga sub-county, through which the stream runs.

However, according to Julius Kahiira, the district councilor for Bwijanga sub county, the affected villages could be more because the stream pours into Ntooma valley in Hoima district. Ntooma is one of the tributaries of River Kafu, which pours its water in Lake Kyoga, one of the lakes on River Nile.

“We need a chemist to come and test this water because our people are complaining about so many complications,” Kahiira said.

When The Observer visited Kityedo village, there was a public outcry with several people complaining that the disease rates in their area had risen, and they suspect that pollution is the cause. Jackie Kusiima, one of the residents in the area, said she almost got a miscarriage when she drunk contaminated water and fell sick.

“I almost lost my baby after taking contaminated water. I didn’t know that the pollution has affected all our water sources,” she said.

The stream supports several protected spring wells that provide water to more than 30,000 people.  Among these spring wells is Kyakajumba, which Observer visited.

While the water flowing from the spring looks clean, that coming from the surrounding ground had molasses, confirming that the molasses has accumulated in the surrounding soil in that even if government moved and closed the factory now, the community has to pay the price for years to come.

“Health officers have advised our people to stop using this water [Kyakajumba] but where else can they run to?” Kahiira asked.

The other affected springs include Kabakazi and Mugeye. According to Kahiira, Ikoba health centre III, which has been using Kyakajumba spring, stopped operations. Apart from human health, locals also report that the contamination has affected agriculture in the area due to failed crops and loss of livestock.

“Our goats, pigs and cows are all dying because of that smelly water,” said Norah Driciru, a farmer.

Many local farmers confessed living in fear of eating the crops they grow, especially near the stream. They know that they are planted in polluted soil.

“Our soil is polluted. The yams are all rotten. We are even scared that we may contract cancer. Some people are even complaining of their eyes itching,” said Sam Kabagambe, a local resident, who also alsked government to revoke the company’s license.

For youthful Grace Mugisa, it is how the pollution has killed his childhood memories of the stream that makes him sad.

“As children, we used to fetch water from that stream because it was the only source of water. Now, our parents live in fear that our young siblings may stray into the stream,” Mugisa said.

Public outcry had successfully managed to have the factory temporarily closed in 2013, after they complained that there was no Environment Impact Assessment done. However, the factory reopened last year when it secured a Nema certificate dated June 18, 2014.

The certificate, which is valid for a period of five years, a period presumed to cover both the construction and operational phases of the factory, is granted on condition that the factory complies with a number of conditions.

Among them is the requirement to construct a modern waste-water treatment plant to treat all the waste water/effluent discharged from the distilling plant, and undertake regular analyses to ensure compliance with the recommended national standards.

In fact, the certificate emphasizes that before commencement of the operation phase, the factory should ensure that the waste-water/effluent plant is installed. That has not been done, according to William Nsimira, the district environment officer.

“There is direct open discharge without treatment of the factory waste into the stream,” he said.

Nsimira, who recommends an environment audit to gauge the impact the factory on the environment, says the environmental impact assessment was rushed.

“It has many loopholes because first of all where the factory is located is a residential area,” Nsimira noted.

PETITION

Rising public concern about the impacts of pollution forced Kahiira to move a motion in the district council on May 29 on environment degradation in Bwijanga sub-county.

“Mr Speaker, I want to register a public outcry on behalf of the community living in Bikonzi, Kityedo and Ikoba villages and more so, to people living along Mugeye-Nyamasoro-Ntooma stream,” reads his motion.

“The management of the waragi factory has continued to dump their factory (molasses) refuse into the said stream for long. Efforts to stop them in writing were made by the district environment officer Masindi but didn’t yield results. Officials from NEMA office in Kampala visited the site and promised to avail us an impact assessment report but to-date we have never seen it.”

FACTORY RESPONDS

When contacted, the factory proprietor David Byensi narrowed the entire issue to witch-hunt.

“The person bringing up all this is Fox Kayebwa [the sub county NRM chairperson]. He is using

Kahiira to fight me because I sunk a water pump in [a piece of] land that he was interested in,” Byensi said.

“All they are doing is to fight but they won’t succeed. My waste is treated as recommended by Nema. Yes, it smells and has that colour but it is ok. It happens with all factories. It is the same with Kinyara [sugar factory]. Why aren’t people complaining about Kinyara?”

When The Observer stealthily visited the factory in Bikozi, there was heavy spillage and massive leakages, with the residue spilling into the road. Charles Wamala, the programme manager Masindi District NGO Forum, says Byensi has been previously advised by one of his workers that they could ask for permission from Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to pour the molasses waste on the murrum roads. The molasses is sticky and can help to reduce the dust.

However, Byensi told The Observer that it is an expensive venture that would require trucks to transport the molasses. Byensi, instead, proposes that if he gets funds, he would rather buy a digestor to turn the waste into fertilizers. Edward Mbiheebwa, the executive director of Masindi District NGO Forum, says enough is enough.
“This has really reached a climax,” Mbiheebwa said.
“We are going to mobilize the locals to decide a way forward.”

Yose Ombedra, the coordinator for natural resources for Community Development and Conservation Agency, said the impact of the factory’s disposal had the papyrus around Kitama giving way, creating a sort of a lake.

“The community believes the roots of the papyrus had been weakened by the molasses because it has never happened before that the papyrus would give way,” he said.

Ombedra further noted that Smart Start Industries’ case is a tip of an iceberg. There are so many other small scale distillers polluting wetlands in Bunyoro sub-region.  He gave the example of Kiha-Kachukura wetland, which has been heavily degraded by these distillers that it is starting to dry up.

“These breweries are compromising the quality of water, but also they are cutting down trees for brewing firewood,” he noted.

The major driver for breweries setting up base is Kinyara sugar limited, which has also had a great impact on forests and wetland degradation in the sub region. The local breweries buy molasses from Kinyara sugar limited.

As people look for arable land for sugarcane growing, it’s fragile areas such as wetlands and forests that are sacrificed.

“This [August] used to be a rainy season but it is like January and February [it is dry]. Most of this evidence is real and affecting the local people,” Nsimira, the district environment officer, said.

According to Nema’s publicist Naome Karekaho, nothing has come to the attention of the authority.

“Environment management is decentralized. At every local government, there is an environment officer. If it was debated at the district level, we expect them to have taken action, or reported, which they haven’t done,” Karekaho said.

“No report has come to us, but now that it has come to our attention, we will take it up.” 

smusasizi@observer.ug

Story sourced with support from PANOS Eastern Africa

 

In Uganda, Kampala international city service pipes are being laid under roads to avoid expensive resident compesation:

                                      NWSC staff lay a pipe on Kaya Road in Bunga, a Kampala suburb

 

 

PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE

By Stephen Otage

Posted  Tuesday, August 4  2015

 

Kampala, UGANDA

The National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has resorted to digging up public roads in Makindye Division to lay huge water pipes connecting to the new reservoir at Namasuba hill to avoid a huge compensation bill.
Mr Johnson Amayo, the NWSC deputy managing director in charge of technical services, told journalists last Friday that encroachers on road reserves where the pipes are supposed to be laid, had demanded a lot of money that would make the project more expensive.
“The money they are asking for is more than the cost of the pipes. With proper physical planning, utility services are provided on road reserves but people have built high end properties and after doing an economic analysis, we found that we cannot afford,” Mr Amayo told journalists during the tour of the Namasuba transmission and storage works.
When contacted, Mr Peter Kauju, the KCCA publicist, said the city authority encourages people who dig up road sections to use modern technology so that they don’t destroy the road.
“We encourage them to create ducts so that all cables and pipes to be laid underground, pass through this duct,” he said.
The Namasuba reservoir will supply water to the greater Kampala Metropolitan area.

sotage@ug.nationmedia.com

 

One understands that this mountain is the closest place to space on planet Earth:

                                       Provided by Webedia SAS: Emerging from the clouds Ecuador's

                                      Chimborazo peak.

 

Depending on how you look at it, this highest mountain on Earth when one thinks of it in terms of sea level, at 6,268m it doesn't come close to Everest's gargantuan 8,848m.

Rather than being a perfect sphere, our planet is in fact squashed. This means that those mountains closest to the equator can gain as much as several kilometres when measuring their height. Using these calculations, Chimborazo becomes the world's highest peak and even Kilimanjaro - normally found well outside the top 150 tallest mountains - comes in seventh. Everest and the rest of the Himalayas are nowhere to be seen.

The other great advantage to Chimborazo is its accessability. Both in terms of difficulty and expense, climbing this mountain is well within the dreams of amateurs. At 6,286m, the biggest problem climbers face is altitude. Most spend time acclimatising in Quito before making the ascent, often climbing the 5,750m to neighbouring Cayambe to see whether they are up to the challenge.

 

By Wilson Manishimwe

 

12 June, 2018 

 

Sylvia Nagginda says the Buganda cultural values forbid hunting of some particular animals and cutting down some tree species.

Thennabagerekanaggindaplantsatreeforrememberanceatmestilhotelinnsambya 703x422

 PIC: Nnabagereka plants a tree at Mestil Hotel in Nsambya. (Credit: Wilson Manishimwe)

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

 

KAMPALA- The Nnabagereka of Buganda Sylvia Nagginda has called for more women to participate in environmental conservation, saying this will avert the occurrence of climate change effects such as flooding, drought among others.

“Today should be a time of reflection about the type of legacy we are going to leave for the next generation in terms of natural environment. As parents and guardians, we habour hopes and dreams of what we would like our children to achieve, but we must ask ourselves what it takes to make a good world to live in,” she said.

She added: “We strive to nurture our children under our care with the best environment that will allow them to be their best and this includes leaving them with a planet that is worth living on.”

During the women in conservation breakfast meeting and symposium at Mestil Hotel in Nsambya, Nagginda said many people draw a natural link between women and environmental conservation because of the different activities they are involved in such as tiling the land.

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PIC: Maria Kiwanuka, Dr. Jane Goodall,Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda and Princess Joan Nasolo at the breakfast meeting. (Credit: Wilson Manishimwe) 


Uganda’s natural environment has been deteriorating for years and many people have attributed the issue to increased human encroachment on them. For instance, the forest cover in the country has reduced to about 8% from over 24% in the 1990s. 

Recently, the Government launched the programme aimed at restoring at least 16% of the forest cover that has been lost with in the last two decades.

Nagginda said traditional societies have also a role to play in conserving the natural environment, citing an example of Buganda, where she said the founder- Kintu, assigned different clans certain roles to ensure a peaceful co-existence between humans, animals and forests.

She said the Buganda cultural values forbid hunting of some particular animals and cutting down some tree species. 

She highlighted some projects in Buganda Kingdom such as “Obuntu bulamu” and the Nnabagereka Foundation that promotes conservation.

 Nnabagereka receiving flowers from a child upon arrival


Meanwhile, during the same event, several high-profile women personalities who have contributed to society development were honored. They included the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) executive director Allen Kagina, Barbara Kaija, the Vision Group editor-in-chief, Yogi Birigwa, the chief executive officer South African Airways and Beatrice Anywar, the MP Kitgum Municipality MP among others.

Dr. Jane Goodall, the UN Ambassador of peace, philanthropist and conservationist, said it is everyone’s concern to take charge of environmental conservation irrespective of their age or sex.

Goodal, who is also the founder of Jane Goodall Institute based in Virginia; United States, revealed that she was lured into conservation because of forest deterioration and decreasing numbers of chimpanzees. 

“I thought that I could come up and do something to conserve them so that the future is not compromised,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa's first online rhino horn auction sparks anger

By AFP

 

Added 23rd August 2017

 

 

Aaaaaaabigjpg 703x422

 The rhino in the African bush looks out in anger and fear of humans

South Africa's first online auction of rhino horn opened Wednesday, despite conservation groups protesting that the legal, domestic sale would encourage poachers.

The three-day selloff, organised by the owner of the world's largest rhino farm, kicked off after a last-minute legal tussle pushed it back two days.

"It has started," a representative of Pretoria-based Van's Auctioneers who declined to be named, told AFP after the auction website went live.

John Hume, who owns 1,500 rhinos on his farm north of Johannesburg, has stockpiled six tonnes of rhino horns and wants to sell 264 pieces weighing a total of 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds).

He harvests the horns by tranquilising the animals and cutting them off -- a technique he says is humane and wards off poachers.

Activists opposed to the sale fear it will fuel trafficking and undermine a 40-year global ban on the rhino trade.

"There is a strong likelihood that rhino horns sold domestically could be laundered into the black market and smuggled out of the country," TRAFFIC's wildlife trade specialist, Julian Rademeyer, told AFP.

He also said government agencies "simply don't have the capacity to regulate domestic trade" while police resources tracking poaching and smuggling networks are already over-stretched.

"It's hard to understand why anyone would buy rhino horn within South Africa when there are limited numbers of local consumers and it's still illegal to export rhino horn," said Jo Shaw of the WWF.

There was no comment from government following the opening of the auction, which comes after a South Africa's top court lifted an eight-year moratorium on the domestic trade of rhino horns in April.

A legal challenge delayed the auction for two days, but Hume was given a permit for the sale on Monday.

The auctioneers did not set an opening price for bids, but potential bidders need to pay 100,000 ($7,570) just to register and only registered bidders have access to the bidding process.

Environment Minister Edna Molewa had on Monday said the government was closing "any possible loopholes that could pave the way for a circumvention of (international) regulations".

An audit of existing rhino horn stockpiles was underway to "prevent the smuggling of illegally-obtained horns out of the country", she said.

No 'blood horns'

Private rhino owners say so-called "blood horns" from poaching will not enter the market, as each horn is micro-chipped and their origins can be DNA-traced.

Breeders believe open trade is the only way to stop poachers from slaughtering the endangered animals.

They argue that the auction helps to promote "sustainable" use of resources and raise funds for protecting and conserving the rhino.

South Africa is home to around 20,000 rhinos, about 80 percent of the worldwide population, but in recent years the country has suffered record slaughter by poachers.

More than 7,100 rhinos have been killed by poachers in Africa over the past decade.

Rhino horns are highly prized in Asia, where they are estimated to fetch up to $60,000 (50,000 euros) per kilo ($27,250. 22,700 euros a pound) on the black market, exceeding the price of gold or cocaine.

The horns consist mainly of keratin, the same component as in human nails, and are sold in powdered form as a supposed cure for cancer and other diseases -- as well as a purported aphrodisiac -- in Vietnam and China.

Commodity speculators would be able to buy "but may not export the horns," Pelham Jones, chairman of the Private Rhino Owners Association, told AFP.

Any registered buyer will not collect the horns until they obtain special government permits, none of which have yet been issued.

In Uganda, Giraffe translocation is  going on along the River Nile banks:

By Titus Kakembo

Added 20th August 2017

 

These animals are presently enlisted as  endangered species.

 

Giraffe 703x422

 The giraffes in transit on a lorry for their first time. (Credit: Titus Kakembo)




In 2010, the estimated number of the Rothschild’s giraffe was less than 670 individuals left in the wild. And Murchison Falls National Park had 250 of them.

The animal was enlisted as an endangered species, prompting Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to partner with Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) to react.

“Good enough the numbers have shot up to 1,200 giraffes in Murchison Falls National Park,” said UWA director of planning Edgar Buhanga.

“The on-going translocation of more of more than 20 of them from the northern bank to the southern bank is part of the effort undertaken to boost their multiplication and reduce the isolation.”

 

The slow and challenging translocation is in progress and two of them are destined to Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) in Entebbe. There is an army of rangers, veterinary staff, university students and GCF in the capture and transporting. 


Two people have sustained minor joint dislocation.

The transportation is both on road and on water. 

In Uganda giraffes are found in Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and Murchison Falls National Park. Translocating them is for ecological purposes and to widen their rangeland in the wilderness.

Giraffes ferried from the northern bank to the southern bank of River Nile in Murchison Falls National Park. (Credit: Titus Kakembo)


A tourist on a safari drive said he was there to see the giraffe in its natural habitat.

 “The Nubian giraffe (Rothschild) represents a unique genetic lineage that should be afforded the highest priority for conservation of giraffe biodiversity,” said Mariam Kyomugisha, a vet at Murchison Park.

“You will find the animals fascinating with their long tongues besides dropping their babies two meters down when giving birth.”

Their staple food is acacia tree leaves of which they eat more than 30kg daily.

Unless poaching, human population growth and construction are controlled, giraffes are under threat by habitat loss, fragmentation and disease. All these threats can ultimately be linked to human population growth. 

The Uganda Wild Authority boss grilled over foreign travel allowance

By Mary Karugaba

 

Added 16th March 2017 

 

 PIC: UWA executive director Dr. Andrew Seguya explains a point as director of conservation John Makombo looks on while appearing before the parliamentary committee on trade. (Credit: Maria Wamala)


KAMPALA - In addition to his official per diem, the Uganda Wildlife Authority executive director and members of the board are given $1000 (sh3.5m) for entertainment, MPs heard on Wednesday.

The money is reportedly part of the officials’ entitlement for foreign trips.

Meeting officials from UWA led by the executive director Dr. Andrew Sseguya, some of the MPs complained about Sseguya’s frequent foreign trips, saying they had become too many and need to be limited.

MP Geoffrey Macho (Busia Municipality) criticized Sseguya and some of the board members especially the chairman of travelling more than the technical teams on grounds of marketing Uganda.

“Mr. ED, could you clarify on the frequent foreign travels by the Board chairman and yourself? Why are you paid $1000 in addition to the official per diem. How is this money accounted for?,” he asked.

Other members raised a number of questions on the ivory scam, procurements, and gate collection fees, measures put in place to enhance the relationship between the wildlife and the communities and the Authority’ budget.

Sseguya however was not given opportunity to answer the questions after committee members disagreed on whether the officials should respond verbally or in writing.

The disagreement lasted over two hours until the meeting was adjourned.

Prior to the meeting, the committee chaired by Kenneth Mbogo had sent guiding questions to the officials but later changed, arguing that the responses were too general and do not answer their concerns.

They instead decided to raise individual questions.

But before Sseguya and the team could respond, MP Alex Ruhunda proposed that the meeting be adjourned and the officials submit a written response. 

Some members accused Mbogo of over protecting Sseguya.

After the committee meeting, Sseguya told journalists that he uses the money for buying drinks and eats for his guests.

“When we go for conferences, it is about marketing Uganda and when you invite people for a side meeting, you cannot ask them to pick the bill. You have to buy them drinks, eats and sometimes hire a room for the meeting. Actually this is very little money,” he said.

On board members’ travels, Sseguya said they also travel to market Uganda.

“Marketing Uganda is not a responsibility of one person. They also travel to market the country. Some of these MPs recently travelled with us in Germany, what were they doing? We all went to market our country."

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Government on the spot over stalled Serere fishing project - Daily Monitor ');}

The Government of Uganda for many years now has failed the fishing industry:

 

Serere District local leaders inspecting the stalled fishing project. 

 

 

BY JOSEPH EIGU ONYANGO
14 February, 2017

SERERE. Government is on the spot for allegedly abandoning a World Bank funded fishing project worth Shs2b in Serere District.
The project if completed would pave way for processing and exporting of silver fish (Mukene) to international markets. District officials say the project has stalled for the last five years.
It is alleged that in the 2012/ 2013 financial year, government through the Agriculture ministry awarded the contract to Pama Construction Company to construct and upgrade Kagwara Landing Site. However, an impromptu tour of the site by Daily Monitor indicates the construction stalled and one is greeted by dilapidated structures.

The chairperson of Serere District, Mr Joseph Opit, says the project was abandoned after the implementers allegedly defrauded government.
He added that in 2014, Serere District leaders and then minister of State for Fisheries, Ms Ruth Nankabirwa, boycotted commissioning the site citing shoddy work.
When contacted yesterday, Ms Nankabirwa who is now government Chief Whip said: “l went and assessed the project and made recommendations but shortly after, there was a Cabinet reshuffle, so I left and now I don’t know about any further developments.”

Issues
Government allegedly abandoned a World Bank funded fishing project worth Shs2b in Serere District.
Purpose.
The project aimed at processing and exporting silver fish (Mukene) to international markets.
Cause. The chairperson of Serere District, Mr Joseph Opit, says the project was abandoned after the implementers allegedly defrauded government.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

 

The African countries of Namibia and Zimbabwe are failing to trade in the African Elephant Ivory that is constantly destroyed by burning on the vast continent:

 

A Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officer stacks elephant tusks into pyres at in Nairobi National Park burning site on April 20, 2016. About 105 tonnes of ivory and other endangered animal products were burned on April 30, 2016. Namibia and Zimbabwe lost a bid to be allowed to sell their ivory internationally.

 

PHOTO BY EVANS HABIL OF THE NATION MEDIA GROUP

Posted by AFP on  Monday, October 3   2016

 

IN SUMMARY

  • International trade in ivory has been banned since 1989, but legal domestic markets have continued in some countries around the world.
  • Delegates at the weekend adopted a recommendation aimed at clamping down on domestic ivory markets "contributing to poaching or illegal trade".
The global conference that governs wildlife trade voted Monday against proposals by Namibia and Zimbabwe to be allowed to sell their ivory internationally, in a move welcomed by many conservationists.

Namibia and Zimbabwe — which boast healthy elephant populations — had lobbied for the right to sell off stockpiles accrued from natural deaths and poaching seizures to fund projects in communities close to elephants.

"(The meeting) votes in committee against proposals of Namibia and Zimbabwe to allow international commercial trade in their elephants," the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) said in a statement at its conference in Johannesburg.

International trade in ivory has been banned since 1989, but legal domestic markets have continued in some countries around the world, and CITES has twice allowed sales of African ivory stockpiles to Japan and China, in 1999 and 2008.

In the two secret ballots, the proposals by Namibia and Zimbabwe were heavily defeated.

"African elephants are in steep decline across much of the continent due to poaching for their ivory, and opening up any legal trade in ivory would complicate efforts to conserve them," said Ginette Hemley, head of the WWF delegation at CITES.

"It could offer criminal syndicates new avenues to launder poached ivory, undermining law enforcement, and would undercut efforts to reduce the consumer demand that is driving the mass poaching."

Ivory markets
She welcomed the votes on Monday, and urged nations to concentrate on closing domestic ivory markets and combating the illegal international trade.

A recent census showed a 30-per cent decline in the savannah elephant population over seven years, and new data released by wildlife monitor traffic showed a "rising trend in large raw ivory shipments" last year.

A coalition of 29 African countries is pressing for all African elephants to be given an Annex 1 CITES listing, which bans all international trade, but other delegates believe this would fuel the booming illegal market.

The conference in Johannesburg, which ends on Wednesday, is sifting through 62 proposals to tighten or loosen trade restrictions on around 500 species.

Delegates at the weekend adopted a recommendation aimed at clamping down on domestic ivory markets "contributing to poaching or illegal trade".

Illegal trade in wildlife is valued at around $20 billion (18 billion euros) a year, according to CITES.

Vietnam, a key consumer of rhino horn, has faced severe criticism at the conference, which is held every three years.

The CITES treaty, signed by 182 countries and the European Union, protects about 5,600 animal and 30,000 plant species from over-exploitation through commercial trade.

 

 

 

UGANDA'S ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHE

IS THIS COUNTRY'S PERIL

The evicted families claim the disputed 3,000 hectares are their ancestral land, but UWA says the land is part of Kibaale national park.

Recently, lawyers of both sides made an on-the-ground tour of the disputed land. The victims’ lawyers, led by Nagaruye Ruhindi, and UWA lawyers led by Chemonges

Sabilla, inspected the demarcation stones that evictees claim had been planted by the British government in 1952. But there was no sign of agreement.

 

These African 5-foot lizards are eating USA

Florida's cats

Ah, Florida: the home of sun, sand, and cat-eating lizards.

State wildlife officials are increasing the hunt for Nile monitor lizards, which can grow more than five feet long. Officials believe thousands of Nile monitor lizards are loose in Florida, and they've recently begun terrorizing Palm Beach County. Since July 2014, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has caught 20 Nile monitor lizards, but they've got plenty more to go.

Nile monitor lizards aren't native to Florida — they're actually found in Africa, but the lizards have made their way to Florida through the exotic pet trade. Unfortunately, Florida's warm climate has been a natural fit for the lizards, and they've been eating local wildlife, including owls and reptiles, as well as cats, The Sun-Sentinel reports. If you needed another reason not to release an exotic pet into the wild, it doesn't get much more terrifying than this.

 

 

 

Two Wild life hunters have been arrested with 10 reptile skins
 
Publish Date: Jul 30, 2015
 
Killing of wild animals including snakes contravenes the Wildlife Act. in Uganda.
 

 

Killing of wild animals including snakes contravenes the Wild Act.

                   in Uganda

 

 

By Gerald Tenywa 

 

POLICE has arrested two men at Mpambire along Masaka Road in Mpigi and also recovered seven python skins and three monitor lizards from them.

 

The two suspects named Fred Seguya and Willy Senyonga appeared in Court on Thursday where they were charged with illegal possession of the items. The prosecutor wants them to pay shs1.5m for each python and monitor lizard skin or go to prison for five years.

 

According to Vincent Opyene, the head of Natural Resources Conservation Network who attended court, the suspects were on Wednesday sent to Prison until August 12. The suspects claimed that they were not guilty but failed to produce sh1m for bail.

 

The anti-poaching operation that led to the arrest of the duo, the Natural Resources Conservation Network, which is an NGO worked with the Police and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

 

The team said they were mounting a crackdown on the dealers in wildlife trophies that are highly demanded for making of drums at Mpambire.

 

In a separate interview, Laban Muhindo, the media officer at the Natural Resources Conservation Network said the trophies recovered from Seguya and Senyonga were obtained from Kalangala, which is an Island district in Uganda.

 

This, he said raises a concern given that pythons are solitary animals pointing out that an expansive swamp could have only one or two pythons. He also pointed out that python skins recovered from Seguya and Senyonga were coming from Kalangala suggesting that the central parts of Uganda could be running out of pythons.

 

“The crafts industry should opt for artificial products or rear domestic animals to generate their raw materials,” said Muhindo.

 

Aggrey Rwetsiba, the research coordinator at UWA said killing of wild animals contravenes the Wildlife Act and that persons should report to UWA in case they have any unfriendly encounter with wild animals.

 

The pythons often stay in rocky areas and ant-hills that are close to swampy areas where they easily hunt for prey. The pythons feed on small mammals and without them rodents such as rats could increase in population and overwhelm the farming population.

 

The monitor lizards, which produce skins for making of long drums also known as “engalabi” also reside in ant-hills and feed on termites.

 

This is about 4.5 tonnes of ivory that has been seized in a huge Interpol operation:

Publish Date: Dec 23, 2015
 
The African Ivory confisicated and most likely the lot will be incenerated (destroyed)
as was done with the owners(African wild Elephants) of these tusks.
 

 

LYON - A huge international police operation has seized 4.5 tonnes of elephant and rhino tusks, leading to 376 arrests, Interpol said Tuesday.

Operation Worthy II mobilised police forces in 11 countries from January until October: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, the international police organisation said in a statement.

The operation saw 25 trafficking groups disbanded, while thousands of illegal wildlife products were seized including more than 2,000 pangolin scales and 173 live tortoises.

Several weapons were also confiscated during the operation, which led police to Thailand and Singapore, where several tonnes of ivory were discovered.

Tusks are prized for decoration as talismans and for use in traditional medicine across parts of Asia, with China a major market for such products.

 

A Rare white giraffe has been photographed in the African bush:

22nd April 2016

Provided by The Telegraph
The Rothschild giraffe is one of the most rare types of giraffe in the world, with only a few hundred left living in the wild, predominantly in two wildlife refuges in Kenya.

A white Rothschild giraffe is rarer still - and photographer Jamie Manuel of Kenya's Northern Rangelands Trust was fortunate enough to spot one last week.

He said: "The white giraffe has been little more than a rumour for the NRT team until some time ago it was spotted from the NRT aircraft.

"A few weeks ago I decided to see if I and the Ishaqbini Community Rangers could find the giraffe on the ground."

 Provided by The TelegraphWord was sent out that the team was trying to find the animal, and herders began to report back when they'd caught sight of the animal.

Last week they set off to track the creature down - and succeeded on their second day of searching.

The animal was found among a 20-strong herd in a clearing in the forest. Manuel said: "The rangers were thrilled to get a closer look, and were pleased to see that the animal looked healthy and was feeding well.

Provided by The Telegraph"I finally managed to photograph the giraffe at close quarters and immediately wondered if it was albino or leucistic."

The giraffe is now thought to have leucism, a genetic condition which means many of her body surface cells are incapable of making pigment.

Despite being very rare, the animal is the second leucistic giraffe to make headlines this year. The first, named "Omo",  was photographed in January  at a national park in Tanzania by ecologist Dr Derek Lee, who said: “Her chances of surviving to adulthood are good but adult giraffes are regularly poached for bush meat, and her colouration might make her a target.

“We and our partners are working on giraffe conservation and anti-poaching to help give Omo and her relatives a better chance of survival.

“We hope that she lives a long life and that someday she has calves of her own.”

 

After 500 million years of working the African lands, the continental soils must be undergoing key changes:

This is the opinion of a soil scientist:

A farmer in Amuru district, Uganda, uses a tractor to till his garden. PHOTO BY TOBBIAS JOLLY OWINY

13 July, 2018

 By Ismail Musa Ladu

 

Do you test your soil before planting?

Is the crop you’re planting perfectly suited to the quality of soils in your field?

And did you know that it is important to understand the nature and quality of the soils before planting?   

If your responses to the aforementioned questions are in affirmative then you are doing the right thing.

But if your answers are in negatives then you need to change and you need to do it quickly.

This is because good soils make fine gardens and the quality of soil determines the yields a farmer gets, as long as all other factors remain constant.

Importantly perhaps, after more than 500 million years of working the land, a cross-section of scientists now believe that Uganda’s fields have already entered the final stages of weathering.

This means that the soils fertility of the land is not the same anymore. The situation has been worsened by bad farming practices, swamp degradation and over working the land among other factors.

And this calls for proper and professional way of farming before things gets any worse or out of control.

But first, the farmers and those involved in agricultural value chain must undergo a mindset shift. And this must begin now.     

“… to adopt profit oriented farming fundamentally takes a shift in mind set, behaviour change, adoption of  new technologies, market structures, business skills that can promote  sustainable soil fertility, business growth, trade and investment, the Country Coordinator, AgriProFocus Uganda, Ms Lucy Asiimwe Twinamasiko said in a statement issued ahead of a consultative meeting that happened last week at Bugolobi in Kampala.

More than 500 years of working the soil

The statement further quoted her as saying: “Although In Uganda, farmers continue to boast of rich soils, farmers could be headed for hard times if they don’t adopt good soil management practices,” Ms Twinamasiko said in a statement issued late last week by Ms Gloria Kyomugisha, the AgriProFocus Uganda communications officer.

It is for this reason (alarming soil fertility degradation) that the  AgriProFocus Uganda Network in Collaboration with SoilCares are having a consultative meeting in Kampala tomorrow to explore the possibility of establishing a soil care community  practice.

The invitational consultative meeting on a Soil Care community of practice 2018 focuses on sharing expert knowledge, experiences and technological solutions related to soil fertility management in Uganda.

Importantly perhaps, stakeholders involved such as the farmers, including the government must realize that after working the land for over five centuries, it is time proper methods of farming is observed to the letter and the illusion that the soils are still as virgin as it were centuries ago should be discarded.  

“Uganda is blessed with a wide diversity of natural resources: soil, climate, water and vegetation, enabling it to grow a large number of adapted crops. However, most soils in Uganda are older than 500 million years and are in their final stage of weathering,” Dr Christy van Beek, Director SoilCares Foundation, Chief Agronomist SoilCares said in the statement.

Worth knowing…

The predominant minerals in the soils are quartz and kaolinite that don’t directly supply nutrients to soils. The soils are acidic and infertile with low cation exchange capacity (CEC).

Over the years, food production has been characterised by subsistence farming. A subsistence production system usually focuses on a maximizing short-term profit, consuming natural stocks of plant nutrients. Such a farming system has resulted in soil fertility degradation through nutrient mining.

The community of practice to be established, would further look into what is needed to tackle the soil challenges efficiently and effectively.

The consultations that will happen tomorrow will therefore provide an overview of the soil fertility situation in Uganda from National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO).

With the meeting aimed at raising awareness about soil fertility, SoilCares, a major stakeholder, will offer highlights on their latest technology used in soil testing.

The technology emphasizes how crucial soil testing is for increasing agricultural production, getting farmers to know how best to treat their soil, so that in turn it can give the maximum yield they need.

Target audience:

The consultative meeting that happened last week brought together development partners, farmer representatives, knowledge institutes, Cooperatives, Government officials and individual farmers and organisations to build a long term soil care community.

 

 

 

 

 

 The Government of Uganda after allowing  human settlement on the famous Mabira forests, is to use tax payer's money to buy off these settlements: 

 

Driving. Motorists drive through Mabira forest

Driving. Motorists drive through Mabira forest in Buikwe District at the weekend. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 

By Derrick Wandera and Paul Tajuba

Kampala. The National Forestry Authority (NFA) is in advanced stages of buying off 16 villages within Mabira Rain Forest, Buikwe District, to manage encroachment on the largest natural forest in the country.
The NFA director of natural forests management, Mr Levi Etwodu, said acquiring the 2,700 hectares of land currently occupied by the residents will make forestry management easier. There are 16 villages in Mabira forest whose residents legally own land in the more than 300 square kilometre piece since it was gazetted in the 1930s.

“We are already budgeting to make sure we restore part of Mabira forest, which is currently being occupied by a number of villagers. Most of these villages are experiencing population increase and this means when they outgrow their current space, they will soon start encroaching on the forest land,” Mr Etwodu said at a public dialogue last week.
A 2017 Ministry of Water and Environment sector review report indicates that “4,755 hectares of Mabira were mapped as degraded or understocked and 1,500 hectares of these are under restoration.”

The development comes after NTV and Daily Monitor featured a story highlighting encroachment on the forest that acts as home to several bird, animal, and tree species and also catchment for Lake Victoria and River Nile. Despite such uses, there have been reports of people cutting down trees in the forest for charcoal burning, firewood and agriculture.
In 2007, government attempted to parcel out part of the forest to the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL), sparking off protests which claimed three lives across the country, forcing the government to abandon the move.

In a recent tour of Mabira forest, one of the 506 central reserves managed by the NFA, State minister for Environment Mary Gorretti Kitutu, said: “We have a proposal that we compensate these people and they surrender this land such that we manage a closed forest.”
Mr Livingstone Ddumba, a herbalist who depends on the forest, said: “If we leave the forest, who will protect it? It is us who have protected this forest; we actually fought to stop Mehta from being given this forest to grow to sugarcane.”

Mr Denis Kavuma, the general manager of Uganda Timber Growers’ Association (UTGA), said people have the advantage of the grants given by the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation to continue with the growing of trees.
“There is a role that can be played by everyone including the media in conserving forests in the country. So far a number of farmers have benefited from the grants of FAO to farmers to grow trees, let us take advantage of this as we continue with the sensitisation,” he said.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt still wants revision of the Nile Treaty to safeguard its interest on the East African water source:

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi (Right)

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi (Right) and Rwandan President Paul Kagame inspect a guard of honour after Al-Sisi’s arrival at Kigali International Airport on August 15, for a two-day visit. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | AFP

 

 

21August, 2017

 

By The EastAfrican

 

Egypt is trying to convince countries to adopt its renegotiated position on the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) ahead of this month’s Council of Waters Ministers’ meeting of the riparian states.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi visited Tanzania and Rwanda last week, as part of a four-state-tour that also took him to Chad and Gabon, in a diplomatic move to convince them to adopt its position and proposed agreement.

Tanzania and Rwanda recently ratified the Nile Basin Common Framework Agreement that Egypt opposes, as it lobbies for its own renegotiated and updated CFA that, it says, addresses its concerns.

While in Tanzania, President John Magufuli expressed his country’s understanding of the importance of the River Nile to Egypt as its main source of fresh water, but failed to make a commitment in support of Egypt’s position.

“I believe that the Nile Basin countries will reach an agreement that all parties would accept. We have agreed to continue negotiations over this issue,” President Magufuli said during a joint press conference with President Al-Sisi.

The Egyptian leader admitted that they could not reach an agreement during the meeting, but both agreed on further negotiations over how best to handle the Nile Basin issue.

“We will offer our support to the Nile Basin countries so that all parties achieve the maximum benefit from the Nile without harming Egypt’s water interests, and taking into consideration Egyptian concerns in this regard as a matter of life or death,” President Al-Sisi said in a statement.

 

Egypt’s position

 

In Rwanda, where President Al-Sisi held talks with President Paul Kagame, one diplomat confirmed that the Egyptian leader’s visit was aimed at cementing Egypt’s position on the sharing of Nile resources.

The two presidents did not take questions from journalists in Kigali but read out statements.

A statement released by Egypt’s Presidency indicated that Al-Sisi pledged support for Nile Basin countries in return for favourable sharing terms of the Nile waters, which he said are a matter of life and death for his people.

“The President asserted Egypt’s support for the Nile Basin countries with Egyptian technical experts to achieve development in these countries, stressing Egypt’s keenness to achieving the maximum benefit from the Nile for all Nile Basin countries without harming Egypt’s water interests, and taking into consideration Egyptian concerns in this regard as a death and life matter,” the statement read.

President Kagame said Rwanda was happy to co-operate with Egypt on matters concerning the Nile and trade.

“Egypt and Rwanda do not share a border but we have many common interests on which our friendship is based. This includes our shared responsibility to care for the River Nile which sustains life for tens of millions of Africans as it makes its way to the Mediterranean,” he said.

“We are happy to cooperate with you and all the countries in the region in pursuit of this crucial objective that we share,” President Kagame said during a state banquet held in honour of Mr Al-Sisi.

 

No common ground

 

In an interview with The EastAfrican, Innocent Ntabana, the executive director of the Nile Basin Initiative, said a Council of Water Ministers’ meeting, where the Egyptian proposals will be discussed in detail, is planned for later this month.

At the June summit in Kampala, Egypt pushed for the regional countries to replace the Entebbe Agreement with a new CFA, but most members were reluctant to accept it.

During the meeting, the heads of states, who include President Al-Sisi, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, failed to strike common ground on the matter.

Egypt has objected to the CFA, which was adopted in 2010 and has been signed by six upstream countries — Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, and Burundi — though they are yet to fully ratify it.

Instead, the North African country has proposed its own terms to ensure maximum utilisation of Nile resources, while maintaining a colonial agreement that gives it a lion’s share of the Nile.

Cairo had the backing of Khartoum but the recent fallout between Sudan and Egypt over alleged political interference and territorial disputes have left it on its own.

Egypt is seeking to have an alternative agreement signed by the heads of states, which will accommodate a number of principles governing the management of the Nile water.

This new agreement, which it failed to push through at the Entebbe talks in June will also set up the main lines of co-operation and decision-making mechanisms in relation to any project on the river.

Cairo’s main drive is that, as much as the 2010 Entebbe agreement was binding, it is yet to be final, as not all signatory countries have ratified it.

The Nile Basin countries dispute Egypt’s historic share of the Nile water. There are plans to set up the Nile Basin Commission to enforce demands of equitable utilisation of the Nile waters.

 

Nile Basin Initiative

 

Born almost two decades ago in Dar es Salaam, following the signing of the minutes of the meeting by nine of the Nile ministers of water resources in attendance, the NBI sought to foster co-operation and sustainable development of the Nile for the benefit of all the inhabitants of those countries.

However in 2010, major differences occurred amongst countries over water security, championed by Egypt and Sudan. This created an impasse.

In 2010, it was Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda that signed the Co-operative Framework Agreement (CFA) and were a year later to be joined by Kenya and Burundi.

The CFA has since been ratified by Rwanda, Ethiopia and Tanzania but it requires a total of six instruments of ratification to enter into force. To date, Sudan and Egypt continue to reject the CFA.

Kampala is the current chair of the Nile Council of Ministers of Water Affairs of the NBI, which has Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, South Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia with Eritrea having an observer status.

 

Nb

Unless this Egyptian leader recommends these African dictators to keep their countries as green as possible, the cropping desert of the Sahara will soon be all over the continent of Africa in 50 or 100 years. Unfortunately, for Egypt by then, not a drop of water will be coming to this ancient country.

 

How the United States of America spends its tax payer's money in Uganda:

 

Vaccination. A health worker gives an oral Polio vaccine to a child in Masaka District during a recent Mass immunisation exercise. Uganda’s health sector is the biggest beneficiary of US aid.

 

PHOTO BY MARTINS E. SSEKWEYAMA

The United States of America has between October last year and September this year availed $840.4 million (Shs2.9 trillion) for health, justice, education, stability and ensuring the prosperity of Ugandans. This is contained in the 55-page “Report to the Ugandan people”, that the US Embassy in Kampala released this week.

Uganda’s health sector is the biggest beneficiary of US aid spend, with approximately $488.3 million or Shs1.7 trillion pumped in between October last year and September this year. This support makes the US the largest single provider of health assistance to Uganda.

By dedicating much of their support to the health sector, the US government says their aim is to reduce the threats of infectious diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria, to improve the health of mothers and newborn children.

The report notes that US funded programmes in the sector are providing life-saving medicines, empowering girls, saving mothers, and allowing Ugandans to live longer, more productive lives.

The US classifies Uganda’s stability as very important to its work in the country and this perhaps explains why it is the second largest funded priority. In the last financial year, the US government spent $279.6 million or Shs951.2 billion in assistance to guarantee a stable Uganda.

Some of the resources were, according to the report, spent on efforts to professionalise Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF). For example, the US provided training in human rights and peacekeeping methods to more than 5,000 UPDF soldiers.

Other areas “to ensure stability” that the US invested in over the year included programmes that promote peaceful dialogue as a means of avoiding conflict and violence. Through legal aid programmes, the US has, for example, helped families to peacefully resolve land disputes and other conflicts, especially in northern Uganda which was ravaged by more than two decades of civil war.

The number of refugees entering to Uganda increases every year. During the period under review, the US government contributed $126.5 million or 453.8 billion to assist refugees in Uganda and vulnerable populations in Karamoja sub-region. That figure is likely to increase in the next financial year.

In fostering the Global Health Security Agenda, the US says it has supported Uganda to develop world-class capabilities to detect and control infectious disease outbreaks such as ebola, yellow fever, and cholera. This too, is part of US support for a stable Uganda.

Health officials are supported with tools and equipped with skills to respond in the case of a health emergency.

With assistance from CDC, USAID, and other US government partners, the US government says it is helping to improve Uganda’s preparedness and emergency management capacity by establishing Uganda’s Public Health Emergency Operation Center and training workers to detect diseases before they spread.

The US government, according to report, invests in activities aimed at making Ugandans wealthier. The US spent $47.5m (Shs 161.7b) in support of such activities. In the report, the US government says $68.8 million worth of coffee was sold by farmers associated with one of its flagship economic programmes, the Feed the Future programme in the financial year 2015/2016.

The assistance, the report notes, seeks to generate a stronger economic climate, reduce poverty, and expand trade and investment opportunities. The activities include efforts to add value to the production chains of maize, coffee, and beans, as well as training programmes and microfinance projects for entrepreneurs.

“We encourage increased trade between Uganda and the United States through the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which helps domestic exporters take advantage of trade preferences and provide greater access to US markets,” the report notes.

The US also funds conservation activities which are helping to combat illegal trafficking and environmental destruction, in an effort to protect Uganda’s abundant natural biodiversity.

With one of the youngest populations in the world, the US is supporting efforts in the country to build what it terms as an inclusive, educated, and empowered Uganda through funding of $14.7million (Shs50 billion).

“US-funded programmes in Uganda aim to ensure all voices, especially those of women and youth, are fully represented in all aspects of life and development. The activities we support seek to ensure that every Ugandan benefits from the country’s economic growth, receives a quality education, and has the opportunity to contribute to society,” the report further notes.

Efforts by the US government to promote a more just and democratic Uganda receive the least funding of the five priority areas the US government funds. It is, however, significant given that some of the development partners find this sector unappealing. The US government, according to the report dedicates $10.3 million (Shs 35 billion).

The programmes facilitated aim at building “the capacity of civil society actors to advocate on behalf of their fellow Ugandans, especially those who traditionally face neglect or discrimination – such as women, LGBT individuals, ethnic and religious minorities, and persons with disabilities.”

By training judges and others activists to protect human rights, the US government says it aims at supporting efforts to increase government transparency, and combat corruption.

 

US versus CHINA:

 

US ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac

 

 

In her foreword to the report, Deborah Malac says: “The objective of our (aid) programmes is simple: we want to help Ugandans create a healthy, prosperous and stable country with just and democratic governance, which will in turn produce an inclusive, educated, and empowered population,” she says.

From Ms Malac’s statement, one can quickly decipher the key difference between the approaches of the US and China, the country that is pushing the US hardest in the race to dominate and influence the world, as far as their aid priorities are concerned.

China has on the other hand mostly invested in brick and mortar, with the Asian giant bankrolling giant projects like Isimba and Karuma dams, roads, and the planned construction of the Standard Gauge Railway. China is also funding the expansion of Entebbe airport, and has built the President’s Office building and a hospital in Naguru, among other projects.

The European Union, the other giant donor to Uganda, has on the other hand focused on transport infrastructure, food security and agriculture, value chains and green economy, and good governance.

To understand the differences in approaches to aid between the US, EU and China, one may need to look deeper into those donor countries. The US and the EU countries are democracies for which human rights and governance issues matter more than they do to China, a monolithic state that has been controlled by the Communist party for almost 80 years.

China, therefore, is primarily keen to create and maintain good relations with developing countries like Uganda, with which they may then trade in their quest to access raw materials and eventually markets.

The US and EU, even when they too have over the centuries, since the ages of slavery and colonial rule, sought to control the poorer countries to access raw materials and eventually get markets, now find themselves pressured by pro-democracy lobbies within their backyards to push the dictates of human rights and good governances in other countries.

The absence of such lobbies in China allows the Chinese government the lee-way that its rivals don’t have – to remain unconcerned with the internal politics of its client states like Uganda. The Americans and Europeans, even when their governments have had interests to pursue within poor countries like Uganda that may run counter to pursuing human rights and good governance, will always at least pay lip to the cause.

Ms Malac says her government believes by channelling America’s aid to Ugandans in the five areas identified above, Ugandans will “live up to their full potential” and “this is the future that all Ugandans – regardless of age, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or political beliefs – deserve.”

The mantra of America’s aid, as captured in the report, is to invest in human development as opposed to investing in physical things as China favours.

Uganda, however, gets a lot more aid from China, its biggest bilateral donor which, according to the ministry of Finance, had lent to Uganda $1.099 billion (Shs3.8 trillion) as of June 2017, while the US does not feature in the top 15 countries that Uganda owes money.

The pressure to stay young and fit in Africa is forcing the ruling elites in Uganda to change their Date of Birth as a legitimate procedure:

 

Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma during a recent court session. Last year, The Observer reported that deputy chief justice Steven Kavuma had sworn an affidavit to amend his age reflecting that he is four years younger than his current officially known age. File photo

KAMPALA.

The government through the Public Service ministry has warned public servants applying to change their age to stop it, insisting that such applications will not be accepted. The warning follows an influx of public officials applying to change their dates of birth for unknown reasons.

The Public Service ministry permanent secretary, Ms Catherine Musingwire, in a letter dated February 6, revealed that her ministry had received numerous requests from public servants who want to change their dates of birth.

The letter was addressed to all permanent secretaries, chief administrative officers, town clerks and copied to the Office of the President, Cabinet secretary and head of Public Service, Mr John Mitala.

“The ministry of Public Service has of recent received many requests from public officers for change of their dates of birth. The requests follow the biometric verification of public officers and matching of their data with the national identification registrar,” the letter reads in part.

“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to inform you that the ministry will uphold the dates of birth declared upon appointment,” the letter warns.

In 2013, Parliament rejected a plan mooted by a section of MPs who wanted to raise the retirement age for public officers to 75 years.

The plan prompted fears from the Opposition that its architects led by former Bufumbira East MP, Mr Eddie Kwizera harbour a “sinister” agenda to perpetuate President Museveni’s grip on power.

The plan also came under attack from civil society activists who, at the time, accused its backers of contemplating treason. Mr Kwizera, a former State House employee wanted to table a private member’s Bill or a motion to amend the 1995 Constitution to raise the retirement age from 60 years.

Last year, The Observer reported that deputy chief justice Steven Kavuma had sworn an affidavit to amend his age reflecting that he is four years younger than his current officially known age.

Kavuma’s case

Justice Kavuma was born on September 29, 1948, meaning he is supposed to retire September 29 this year after turning 70, the mandatory retirement age. The judiciary later insisted that Justice Kavuma’s name was in December last year forwarded to the JSC in preparation for his successor.

Ethics minister Fr Simon Lokodo said attempts by public officers to change their age in order to stay in public service longer defeats logic and asked them to drop the idea.

“It is irresponsible for a public servant to turn around trying to amend age to stay in service longer,” Fr Lokodo said.

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It looks like the President of Uganda is the one leading his African civil servants to play games with their employment terms of  references. Sounds absurd for an African employee to set the terms of employment other than the African employer.

 

 

 

The Environmental Aspects on the Continent of Africa

 

 

 

Environmentally damaged wetlands right in the middle of Africa

on Lake Victoria, Uganda

 

The timber industry in Uganda is very much involved in illegal lumbering: 

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 10 2016

Impounded timber being loaded on a National Forestry Authority truck in Kagombe Central Forest Reserve recently. Both political and technical leaders in Bunyoro sub-region say illegal lumbering denies them prospective revenue.

PHOTO BY EPHRAIM KASOZI

By Ephraim Kasozi & Jalira Namyalo:

UGANDA, MUBENDE. District local government leaders in Bunyoro sub-region have decried the illegal cutting down of forests saying the move has caused them loss of revenue.

Both political and technical leaders say that despite having forests in their areas, illegal lumbering and charcoal burning have denied them prospective revenue through taxation and issuing of licenses to the dealers.

Mr Francis Kibuuka Amooti, the chairperson Mubende District, described lumbering as one of the major economic activities in the area which would be generating up to 70 per cent of their revenue to support local government works but they get less than 10 per cent.

“We used to earn from timber dealing and charcoal burning but the fight against illegal harvesters has weakened. We have now registered a big revenue shortfall in the rather lucrative business,” he said.

“We used to earn more than Shs40 million from forest products per month but currently it is less than Shs10 million,” Mr Kibuuka said; adding the district now relies on petty collections such as sale of agricultural produce and markets to facilitate day to day operations and meeting payments for the councilors’ allowances.

Mr Swaibu Balekye, the chairman of Kasule Sub-county in Kyegegwa District, attributed the loss of revenue to technical people in the district whom he accused of abuse of their offices leading to financial loss to their employers.

He said: “My district is not gaining from timber trade because we are not taxing timber in Kyegegwa. They said that timber harvested with power saws is illegal and dealing in it amounts to smuggling which has made the local governments to lose millions in revenue which would in turn support community growth and development.”

The leaders from Mubende, Kyegegwa, Kabarole, Kagadi and Kibaale were speaking at the orientation workshop for local government leaders hosted by the Joint Effort to Save the Environment (JESE) on their roles in forest governance.

A report by the National Forestry Authority indicates that the country’s forest cover reduced from 4,933,271 hectares in 1990 to 1,835,147 in 2015.

“Forest degradation has far-reaching cost implications to the economy.

For instance when kerosene is substituted for charcoal in urban households, it would result in an increase in the national import bill by $180m (Shs622 billion) annually,” reads the report, in part.

Mr Sam Nyakoojo, the JESE coordinator, said the forum was started to coordinate the flow and share of information about timber and charcoal trade in Bunyoro to stop illegal trade in forest products.

“We have mobilised local leaders, technocrats and other stake holders to discuss and come up with a joint plan and strengthen good information flow to stop depletion of natural resources specifically forests in the region. And to create revenue collection points which will increase districts’ income that would support their development,” Mr Nyakoojo explained.

Contribution

Statistics. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics for 2009, the forestry sector contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by current economic activity prices was estimated at Shs1,038 billion, of which Shs418 billion was monetary and Shs 619 billion was non-monetary. Based on those statistics, the percentage share of GDP to the forest sector was 3.5 per cent.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com