Production Of Oil In The Albertine Will Disrupt The Climate

The production of oil in the Albertine region will not only bring cash to the economy but it will also disrupt the climate since burning of fossil fuels is one of the challenges facing the world today which has caused extreme weather conductions, rising oceans and record setting temperatures are wreaking havoc on hundreds of millions of lives and livelihoods around the world and Uganda has had its own share of this.

The greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from burning fossil fuels have already warmed the globe by more than 1°C since the beginning of the industrial revolution, unless we can rein in these emissions and ambitiously transition to a just, clean and renewable energy future, the planet will become unrecognizable as global temperatures soar by 4,5, or 6°C and beyond which will affect a way of living  hence causing a crisis in production of food and other services.

The vast majority of the historical global emissions that are driving the climate change have come from the excessive use of fossil fuels but it’s the poorest countries like Uganda that are having high appetite of investing in production of fossil fuels and yet we can afford to adapt to the changing climate.

The recent global climate agreement in Paris was a major step in recognizing the global urgency of the crisis but the it will take serious action from both international and national governments to meet the new goals that inspire to limit global warming however the deal fell short when the Europeans started to finance the production of oil in Uganda and Africa at large and efforts to support the most vulnerable are limited when even adaptation becomes impossible.

In order to avoid the worst of dangerous climate change, we must keep carbon in the ground. According to the best available science, to have a decent shot at limiting global warming to even 2°C, 80% of the fossil fuels we already have access to must stay in the ground, this number will be even more dramatic for the 1.5 °C limit that countries such as the U.S., have committed to. This effectively means no major new fossil fuel projects, and phasing out existing fossil fuel production and consumption by the middle of the century, replacing them with a safe, clean, just, and renewable economy that is 100% decarbonized.

Written by Mumbere Edwin Fanta

Kasese Field officer-Africa Institute for Energy Governance.

 

Borrowing For Energy Sector Has Not Benefited Ugandans

By Diana Nabiruma

On Wednesday January 8, 2019, after its 5pm news bulletin, Sanyu FM aired some of its listeners’ views on what their expectations of 2019 are.

Most of the sampled listeners expressed fears of a hard 2019. Worries over economic and political hardships were rife.

One particular listener’s views caught my attention however. In Luganda, he groaned that his two meals a day would be reduced to one in 2019.

Why?

He must have heard the alarm raised by the Auditor General (AG) and civil society organisations (CSOs) about Uganda’s rising debt.

CSOs say Uganda’s borrowing is unsustainable. The AG also expressed discomfort over the country’s debt burden, standing at Shs 41.3 trillion.

Further, in the 2018/2019 financial year, over 65% of revenues collected by government are supposed to be used on debt servicing!

Hence the above listener’s worries.

He said that in 2019, government was going to suck citizens dry to pay the mounting debt.

As such, people such as himself would have to forego basic necessities such as food!

FINANCE MINISTER REACTS

Interestingly, on the day the above listener’s views were aired, Hon. Matia Kasaija, the Finance Minister, held a press conference at the media centre to soothe the public.

He is reported to have told journalists that Ugandans should stay calm.

He said that at a debt to GDP ratio of 41.5%, Uganda’s debt is below international sustainability thresholds of a debt to GDP ratio of 50%.

To further calm Ugandans, the minister is reported to have said that if some of them are still around, there is no way the country would be led into debt stress!

He also reassured Ugandans that because money borrowed has been invested in the productive sectors of roads and energy, the debts would pay off.

HAVE ENERGY SECTOR DEBTS PAID OFF?

However, a look at available evidence and Uganda today shows that the above assertion by Hon. Kasaija’s assertion is erroneous.

Over the last ten years, (2009/2010-2018/2019), government has allocated over Shs 16. 871 trillion to the energy sector. This was 16.57% of Uganda's GDP as at June 2018.

Some of the above money has been borrowed and invested in the construction of dams with the view that electrification will address poverty among other challenges in Uganda.

Indeed, Hon. Kasaija affirmed that monies borrowed have been invested in dams such as Isimba and Karuma.

Noteworthy is the fact that the costs of Bujagali, Karuma and Isimba dams alone cover over 30.4% of Uganda's $10.7 billion debt burden. 

Have Ugandans however benefitted from monies borrowed and invested in the electricity and roads sector? 

Well, in 2015, the World Bank reported that that for every dollar invested in infrastructural projects, less than a dollar is recouped.

In addition, despite all the money that has been invested in the electricity sector, a dismal 22% of Uganda’s population had access to electricity as at June 2018.

Further, a look at the World Bank’s access to electricity data shows that in some instances, development of dams has had a negative impact on electricity access.

For instance, before commissioning of Bujagali dam in 2012, urban electricity access stood at 55.4%. This was in 2011.

In 2012 when Bujagali was commissioned, urban electricity access dropped to 51.2%. By 2015, Ugandan urbanites were in yet to recover with only 51.9% having access to electricity. Our rural counterparts fared worse. 

Even more indicting is the fact that according to 2016/2017 survey results released by Uganda Bureau of Statistics in 2018, poverty levels in Uganda increased from 19.7% in 2012/2013 to 21.4% in 2016/2017. Rural poverty rose to 22.5% and urban poverty to 9.4%! 

How then, are Uganda’s debts expected to pay off as the minister reassured Ugandans if increased borrowing is followed by increasing poverty?

Moreover, with the corruption, high costs of and procurement scandals that rocked the Karuma and Isimba dam deals, power from the two dams is unlikely to be as cheap as government promises it will be.

This means that the envisaged socio-economic transformation arising from completion of the two dams is unlikely to happen!

The author is the Senior Communications Officer of Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO).

 

Victoria University Commends DRC Support

Victory University Kampala which is part of the large education portfolio of Ruparelia Group, a conglomerate owned by businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia has expressed their gratitude towards the DR Congo community in Uganda.

A sizeable number of foreign students at the Jinja Road University come from Democratic Republic of Congo and during a courtesy visit to the premises of ambassador of DR Congo H.E Jean Pierre Massala in Kampala, the Vice Chancellor Dr. Krishna N Sharma passed on their thankfulness to the Congolese.

The Vice Chancellor Dr. Sharma also congratulated the ambassador on the just concluded elections which saw a new leader, DRC opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, elected to replace long serving Joseph Kabila as President of giant mineral rich nation.

Victoria University is increasing becoming a home for international students from across the great lakes region. Students from DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Ghana, and Nigeria and outside Africa have been to feel comfortable at the University because of the University’s policies.

The University assists all International students in obtaining student visa as per the standing rate at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Its location, in the middle of Kampala City, also provides convenience and accessibility to foreign students.

Government To Enact Tough Laws On Coffee Growing

By George Busiinge

The Managing Director (ED) of Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) Dr Emmanuel Iyamulemye has revealed that the government plans to pass laws which will see farmers neglecting coffee growing being penalized.

Iyamulemye revealed this while speaking at a one-day workshop on commercial coffee production for Masindi coffee sub-region at Masindi Country Inn. He said the current law governing coffee was enacted in 1990 for regulating only coffee export but not seedlings or coffee plants.

The ED is optimistic that the National Coffee Bill will be passed by the end of this financial year. Iyamulemye added that if the coffee bill is passed into law, it will see farmers who are neglecting coffee plantation prosecuted in courts of law. The law will also see UCDA staff penalized for not properly managing the sector.

He added that neglecting coffee plantation is like being an enemy to your country since coffee is the main Uganda’s export. Remember Uganda is the eighth in exporting coffee in the world and the second in Africa. Uganda exports between 4 and 5 million bags of coffee per year and its

vision is to export at least 20 million bags of coffee by 2025. The ED’s revelation followed a concern raised by the Masindi District LC 5 chairman, Cosmas Byaruhanga. The chairman said farmers need to put concerted efforts on coffee growing. He discouraged farmers from

turning to growing every crop that they hear is fetching more income. Byaruhanga said a lot of coffee seedlings were being put to waste citing thousands of coffee seedlings which are drying up at Kitonozi primary school in Bwijanga sub-county.

He also called upon Uganda coffee development authority to ensure that they encourage the youth to embrace coffee growing noting that most of the youth associate coffee with the elderly saying that this is because they are the ones who know its value.

Five Christmas Day Menu Deals You Can Consider

To many people, Christmas is all about eating good food with family and friends. And true to this tradition hotels around the world cater to their customer needs and come up with special Christmas menus.

It is not any different in Uganda. And for people who will not be cooking in their homes. We have looked out for the five top menus offers from hotels around Kampala that are juicy and enticing. These are:-

Around The World Lunch At Speke Resort

Speke Resort Munyonyo and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort will treat its esteemed customers to a themed ‘Around The World Christmas Lunch Buffet’ on Christmas Day, 25th December, 2018. The hotel has been treating its customers to this lunch buffet for the last two decades.

The hotel will start serving customers midday until late evening. The cost of the sumptuous lunch is Shs175, 000 for adults and Shs75, 000 for children below the age of fourteen. Accommodation rooms will also be available at $139 only.

La Cabana Christmas Fest

La Cabana Restaurant, Kampala’s premium and ritzy churrasco grill restaurant, has planned christmas fest on christmas day with a rich and expansive menu which every lover of fine food will find fascinating.

At the christmas fest, customers will be treated to a hot buffet of zanzibar fish curry, big in blanket, brussel sprouts, onion rice, potato wedges, gonja, sweet potato fries, assorted indian breads, matooke, gnut sauce, cranberry sauce and gravy.

The bread counter will have bread rolls and cheesy bread rolls while the carvery will have roast turkey, leg of lamb, beef sirlionsteak and bbq chicken drumsticks.

The dressings and dips will have garlic mayo, homemade barbeque, balsamic, olive oil and dijon mustard. The desserts have been well thought of and will have grilled pineaple, variety of pastries and cakes.

For the lovers of salads, the salad bar has been well stocked with grilled green beans, grilled carrots, grilled courgette, mixed vegetables, honey glazed onion, creamy broccoli, potato salad, tomato and pineapple salad, pasta salad, coleslow salad, roasted corn salad and red cabbage.

All these finese will come at an affordable cost of Shs125, 000 for adults whil kids will get a 50 percent discount. Also customers will get free access to the swimming pool.

Forest Cottages For BBQ Christmas 

Make this christmas a unique one by coming with your friends and family to Forest Cotagges in Bukoto to be part of an exquisite Christmas BBQ Lunch on 25th December – christmas day.

The christmas bbq lunch which will only cost Shs50, 000 for adults and Shs40, 000 for kids is part of the many festive offer the hotel is offering to its new and old customers. The lunch comes with a a complimentary glass of wine.

Customers will be treated to numerous discounts on accommodation, food and beverages. Dhaval Macchar, the General Manager of Forest Cottages, in an interview said customers will get a 15 % discount on accommodation. This offer comes with breakfast served in the morning until 15th January 2019.

Pizza Christmas At Speke Hotel

For the lovers of pizza, Speke Hotel, Plot 7-9, Nile Avenue, Kampala, is the place to on Christmas Day. It will be a nice experience for the not so fun of pizza people to have a change of their christmas day meal by trying out a pizza.

And on Christmas Day, revelers will have tomato mozzarella or fresh clear garden peas soup as a starter ahead of the heavy meal consisting of either grilled highland fillet mignon or skewed grilled chicken or christmas pizzeria pizza. You can wash down this saucy meal with something sweet, a banana fritter garnished with strawberry sauce or christmas roll topped with custard cream.

Indian Christmas Menu At Khyber Pass

Khyber Pass Restaurant at Speke Hotel, Plot 7-9 Nile Avenue, Kampala, in the heart of Uganda’s capital, has a specially made Indian menu made for their clients this Christmas season.

Khyber Pass Christmas Menu available on 24th to 25th December, 2018 consists of the fruit punch, which is designed to welcome you to the exotic restaurant. The meal menu has Kalami Kebab, Tawa Chicken, Pulao Rice, Butter Naan and Banana Toffee with choice of ice cream at only Shs35000.

UBTEB Boss Commends Ruparelia Group Education Services

The executive secretary Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board [UBTEB] Oyesigye Onesmus has commended the proprietors of Kampala Parents School and entire The Ruparelia Group for being at the front line of helping offer high quality education services to thousands of Ugandan children saying his ministry appreciates such efforts and urged the rest to emulate them.

‘’We envy the infrastructure of this great school because once a parent brings her kid here for education, no regrets because everything that is required to run a  first world school are located on this vast  compound’’ noted Oyesigye adding that parents should send their kids to such schools that have value for money.

Oyesigye made the remarks recently while presiding over the graduation ceremony were over 235 former p7 candidates of Kampala Parents School are set to join the Post primary education sector 2019.

The managing director of the Kampala Parents’ School Rajiv Ruparelia thanked parents community and all well-wishers for their continued  support and for placing  KPS as  their best school  saying they are doing all it takes to keep on improving the pupil learning environment for effective results.

Principal Daphine Kato noted that the school continues to grow in sums and lumps with pupil population shooting through 3,000 saying it is the efforts of the parents who send in kids and the teachers doing the knowledge dissemination job that has led to positive impact year in year out.

She challenged parents to ensure they engage their children I household chores during this long holiday season and also urging them  to avoid exposure to  Television sets as this may morally corrupt their minds.

Oyesigye used the occasion to say that ministry of education and sports take harsh action against proprietors of private  schools that do not meet the officially required standards by not  allowing them to open for the next academic calendar year 2019.

“We would like to stand here at KPS today to inform all proprietors of privately owned schools at all levels across the country that effective the next education calendar year of 2019, government shall not allow schools that do not have the requisite infrastructure to open because they are responsible for messing up the entire education system’’ fumed Oyesigye.

Torture, Longer Detention Of Suspects Top Human Rights Violation

By George Busiinge

Torture and detention of suspects for more than 48 hours remain the leading cases of human rights violations in Bunyoro region. Cases of torture and detention of suspects for more than 48 hours remain the leading cases of human rights violations reported in all the eight districts of Bunyoro and Kyankwazi.

This was revealed today afternoon at the commemoration of the World Human Rights Day, at Hoima Uganda Human Rights Commission’s regional office in Hoima municipality. However, Rebecca Tino, the regional Manager for Uganda Human Rights Commission noted that there is some light given the reduction in the number of cases registered in 2018 compared to 2017.

She says cases of people detained beyond 48 hours reduced from 59 to 32, torture reduced from 41 to 24. Rebecca noted that there remains a big work to raise community awareness on human rights observance and promotion.

Kato Joseph the Deputy Mid-ester Regional Police Commander said, as police leadershi,they are determined to cooperate with all stakeholders to ensure that human rights are upheld and promoted.

In a separate interview with Spice fm Simon Sam Oyuku, the In-charge of Legal and Human Rights Desk Albertine Regional Police said, he has been creating partnerships with all human rights stakeholders to ensure that every single case if reported and handled accordingly.

Cases related to right to property reported in 2018 were 13, while child maintenance cases stand at 4.

 

Dubai Based Company Writes To Premier Recruitment Demanding For These Workers

White Star Repackaging & Refilling Services LLC, a Dubai based company in United Arab Emirates, has written to Premier Recruitment Limited searching for people who will work as parking helpers and supervisors.

In a demand notice to Premier Recruitment, a Ruparelia Group subsidiary licensed to export labour, White Star is looking to recruit 30 packaging helpers, 15 labour supervisors and 5 warehouse supervisors from Uganda.

They will be earning a salary of Arab Emirates Dirham (AED) 1800, 2500 and 3500 respectively. This is an equivalent of Ushs1.8m, Ushs2.5m and Ushs3.5m. Successful candidates will be given two year contracts and will be expected to work for nine hours per day including one hour for lunch break.

The workers White Star is looking for must be not less than 22 years and not more than 35 years. Their bodies must be well proportioned and fit and must be free of any defects. Also, they must pass the test set by a competent authority.

White Star will provide accommodation, transport to and from work place, uniform and protective gears, and food. Medical insurance if provided as according to UAE labour law. A fully paid probation of six months is mandatory.

White Star will provide employment visas to the lucky ones who will make the trip to Dubai.

Trade Minister Commends Rosebud, Premier Roses

The state minister for trade and cooperatives Michael Werikhe has commended Rosebud and Premier Roses for the work they doing in floriculture industry.

The two firms owned by Ruparelia Group have continued to be the leading exporter of rose flowers to inthe international market. Because of their resilience, they have earned Uganda billions of shillings in foreign exchange.

"We  commend  both  Rosebud and Premier Roses for continuing to remain the biggest exporters of high quality Rose stems to the international market and do encourage their colleagues  to double their efforts in terms of improved products to attract better export returns" the minister said in an interview with Xpress Times, a local online news publisher.

He said that Rosebud did the country proud when they exported close to 16m high quality Rose stems to the World market during this year’s International Mothers day which falls every  May 13th, a season where the world flowers demand shoots up especially in  the Americas, Europe and the Scandinavian countries.

"Statistics emerging from the sector indicates that Rosebud being the biggest exporter of Rose flowers did our country proud by way of increasing their export capacity down from the normal 13m stems per month to over 16m respectively  just within that one month of International Mother’s day festive," he revealed.

"My ministry which is strategically charged with responsibility of observing  figures of all types of exports from Uganda shall continue to work with these investors to ensure that all necessary technical and logistical support is extended to them because of their pivotal role of empowering our people in fighting household poverty by way of creating thousands  of jobs for them not only in the flower sub sector but other key areas of the economy such as education, Real Estate, hospitality industry, Insurance among others” noted Werikhe.

The farm manager Ravi Kumar exclusively told Xpress Times recently that they have stepped up their corporate social responsibilities [CSR] efforts by way of helping the community of  Namulanda which surrounds both  their two farms to  benefit from a special pack  of free social services like access to clean water, healthcare, education and sports among others.

"We  sincerely appreciate the close cordial relationship we enjoy with the community of Namulanda at large as we closely ensure that they access free social services like access to water, financial services, education, healthcare and sports respectively as these are part of our official company corporate social responsibility work of giving back to the immediate communities’’ noted Kumar.

Rajiv Ruparelia the managing director  of Ruparelia Group said Rosebud is now well placed and has capacity to export more high quality Rose flowers to the World market because they have increased on their acreage output, fighting pests on farm and the deliberate introduction of new high quality flower species.

"Rosebud assures the country that they have developed full capacity that enables them to export more volumes of flowers to the world  and promised to continue creating more jobs especially  empowering the women who are vulnerable to poverty as they carry the biggest burden of nurturing their families" Rajiv observed.

Bududa 2010 Landslide Victims Demand Kiryandongo Land Titles

By George Businge

Victims of the 2010 landslide that devastated Bududa District have tasked the government to process land titles for the land allocated to them in Kiryandongo district.

They say that they are living under threat from Bunyoro Kitara Reparations Agency- a pressure group that is fighting to rectify historical injustices committed against the Banyoro.

More than 600 households were relocated from the landslide prone area in eastern Uganda and taken to start a new life in Kiryandongo, after the March 2010 disaster which claimed 300 lives, destroyed crops, and buried several houses in Bududa.  Each family was allocated 2.5 acres of land, agriculture in-puts and equipment.

However, the group has noted that they have been discouraged from developing the land in the absence of proof of ownership, due to warnings from the pressure group.

Julius Werekha, the Chairperson of the Bududa mudslide victims in the Panyadoli settlement area says the threat imposed on them by (Bunyoro Kitara Reparations Agency)  BUKITAREPA is making life unbearable. He says they need full control over their land.

Deo Wambalya, another resettled victim from Nametsi in Bududa says the mudslide victims feel marginalized and wonders how an organization can force them out of the land that government lawfully acquired.

State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru says his office will provide letters of allocation to each household in the Settlement Area so that they gain direct control over the land as they wait for the titles.

He downplays threats by BUKITAREPA saying that the government of Uganda legally acquired the land in liaison with the Kingdom of Bunyoro.

But Doviko Batwale, the Coordinator of Bunyoro Kitara Reparations Agency challenged the government to prove that it legally acquired the land from Bunyoro Kingdom and that the Kingdom consented to the relocation of Mudslide victims from Bududa.

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