Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Hoima International Airport Construction Works Now Stands At 56%

By George Busiinge

Construction works for Hoima International Airport in Kabaale sub-county, Hoima district stands at 56 percent and the airport is expected to be completed by February 2023.

Based in a remote region close to Lake Albert, some four hours from Uganda's capital Kampala, the creation of Hoima International Airport is crucial to the development of a sustainable oil industry in Uganda.

The construction works kicked off in April 2018 after government acquired a loan of US $309 million (about Shillings 1.1 trillion) from Standard Chartered Bank and UK Export Finance for the first phase of the project.

The construction works currently stand at 45%

The project is being executed by SBC Uganda Limited-a joint venture company between UK’s Colas limited and Shikun and Binui namely SBI International Holdings AG.

Amos Muriisa the project Public Relations Officer says the project progress would be at 59% but they were interrupted by COVID-19 Pandemic.

He says that so far 3.5 kilometers runway is almost complete with 90% works complete and they expect by the end of this year air cargo will be landing on the airport to deliver oil refinery materials.

Muriisa adds that they are currently constructing accommodation for airport operators, Cargo terminal building and rescue firefighting system.

In a bid to promote information technology learning among learners, SBC Uganda, a company contracted to construct Hoima international Airport refurbished a computer library and installed there 12 computers at Kigaga primary school, in Buseruka sub-county Hoima district

The donation is worth over Sh50m.

Speaking during the handover, Amos Murisa the SBC spokesperson says the donation was made after a needs assessment by the stakeholders.

He noted that the donation was part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) aimed at promoting education and strengthening of their relationship with the locals in their area of operations.

The Hoima district education officer Godfrey Sserwajja commended the company for the donation adding he is optimistic that it will improve on the performance of the school.

He challenged the school’s management to properly use the computer and provide security to savage them from being stolen .

JosamTumwebaze, the Hoima RDC commended SBC for complementing government efforts in promoting education standards and called on the public to own government oil related projects being implemented in the area because they are the main beneficiaries.

Some of the children of Kigaga primary appreciated who were at school especially the candidates appreciated to SBC saying that ,they have never seen the computers but they are happy .

Personal Sacrifice, Commitment, The Traits You Need To Achieve Saving Goals

By Michael Kanaabi Dollar

The Covid 19 lockdown experience and the untold suffering that came with it as basic needs became out of reach for most hand to mouth or daily income earners in urban areas that became jobless was a life-changing experience.

“ It is as a result of this that we the founders of Nazzikuno Charity Foundation decided to start a micro-savings project dubbed Afford to prevent another crisis among low-income earners like was the case in the lockdown when they had no money to buy, sugar, salt, soap and other necessities having been rendered jobless and incomeless by the lockdown,”  Tonny Ssenfuma Chairman and Founder Nazzikuno Charity Foundation said.

Speaking during the launch of this savings scheme at Busega Community, Lindon Natukwasa an Entrepreneur, Speaker and ICT trainer advised community members to record and watch carefully all their income and expenditure. He said, “Many times when you make proper records and analysis of these figures, you will realise you are spending more than you should on at times unnecessary items minus doing any savings.”

As a result after spending on the basic necessities daily, it is also important for one to put aside some money in savings however small it may be daily.

All this Natukwasa said starts with a personal decision to take a step against all odds which will involve personal sacrifice as you go along the way but the results will be worth it especially when it comes to savings.

“For example, something as simple as choosing between buying more stock in your retail shop instead of taking out your family to a funky dinner may help you grow your business and afford the luxuries you want later. The same is the case with for example postponing a decision to buy a car and acquiring a plot instead which accumulates in value.”

Take decisions that will help you save and invest while keeping a good record of your finances, he emphasized.

Chartered Accountant and Entrepreneur Dorcus Nakiganda Bateefu another keynote speaker at the event advised all those in attendance to indulge in businesses they are passionate about as this makes it easy when it comes to perseverance in the hard times and also keeps one learning continuously and improving because of that genuine interest.

Bateefu said the same principle should be applied to starting a saving culture and sticking to it at an individual level. “You will need to sacrifice a lot to save daily and consistently and this will include cutting down on personal costs and luxuries. With an objective you intend to achieve like expand your business, acquire a plot of land or expand your current project well laid out, the burden will be a little easier she noted.

On top of that, separating personal cash from business finances is key to achieving savings goals and sustainability, reinvestment of profits especially in the early stages of a business will help it grow faster and achieve one's desired goals she added.

Clement Kizza a prominent local Leader in the Busega Kibumbiro Community urged his subjects present not to despise humble beginnings and small jobs because it is from these that one can realise an income to build their savings and get capital for bigger projects.

When it comes to savings, one should follow up on the money they are going to save besides endeavouring to diversify their sources of income and staying focused on their savings goal to achieve their original objective.

Samuel Katamba Nazzikuno Charity Foundation's Head of Programs said they intend to build on Afford’s savings program to encourage more savings in the community and create creditworthy members that can not only access loans from the program but outside it as well given the good savings track record they will have.

With members allowed to save a minimum of 500 shillings daily, the program is open to all, you simply need consistency to be able to save whatever amount you commit to doing consistently so as to achieve your goals besides being assured of accessing basic necessities from member shops on credit when the need arises Katamba concluded.

Believe In The Power Of Technology - Says Huawei Vice-President Catherine Chen ’

Technology holds significant benefits for humanity, and digital technology can be an indispensable tool for helping the United Nations achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

This was the view of Huawei senior vice president and board member Catherine Chen, in her keynote speech at the recent Connected for Shared Prosperity Forum in Shanghai. 

Chen said technology could be an engine for human progress, and called on individuals and businesses to “think big and act small”, while reiterating her support of the SDGs and building a green, innovative and inclusive world. 

Chen said it was essential that people reach agreement around technology, which held significant potential for achieving development goals. 

“Large social changes tend to happen in lockstep with breakthroughs in science and technology. But today, technological advancements are hyped and politicised – as has sometimes been the case with 5G.” 

Chen pointed out that 5G was in fact a standardised technology defined by its high bandwidth, low latency, and broad connectivity, which could transform traditional industries and benefit all. 

“Every day, consumers are benefiting from 5G experiences, while industrial use in seaports, mines, and the transportation sector is increasing operational efficiency. Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so.” 

Chen said that while there was always the danger that a new technology could be abused, rules could be established to manage technological risks. 

“Many people are already hard at work creating governance rules for cyber security, privacy protection, and trusted AI that will keep us safe. For the rest of us, it’s time to be confident and open to technological development.” 

Chen said technology was most effective when it created value for all, and that consensus could be built gradually so that technological advancement could continue. 

“By focusing on the limited common understanding we have right now and what resources are actually available, we can drive progress step by step,” she said. “Huawei has always supported technological advancement. We believe digital tech benefits humanity, and can help the UN achieve its SDGs.” 

Chen described how Huawei was already deploying digital solutions to empower people and meet UN development goals – especially the goals of innovation, reduced inequality and quality education. 

In South Africa, for instance, Huawei, non-profit organization Click Foundation and network provider rain teamed up to connect more than 100 urban and rural primary schools to the Internet. The goal is to boost reading comprehension skills and close the digital gap through technology. 

In Kenya, Huawei partnered to build Digitrucks, mobile, solar-powered classrooms that bring digital skills to remote, underserved communities. Equipped with 20 laptops, 20 VR headsets, and built in Wi-Fi, each DigiTruck is a temporary digital school that provides free classes, resources, and materials. 

Chen also described how Huawei Smart PV solution being used in more than 60 countries was already helping to achieve SDGs, and had reduced carbon emissions by 148 million tons. 

“This is the equivalent of planting more than 200 million trees. In Ethiopia alone, we have helped our customers deploy more than 400 solar power stations, reducing carbon emissions by 2 850 tons. In China, we have also helped build the world's largest solar stations, dedicated to agriculture and fishing in Ningxia and Shandong provinces.” 

Huawei and UNESCO have also partnered to launch the Open Schools programme to help schools in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Ghana improve their digital skills through online education. 

“In all these examples every single connection, every gram of emissions reduced, every watt of electricity saved, could not have been achieved without small advances in tech,” said Chen.

 

“This is the value that tech brings to the world.”

Conserve Environment To Absorb Gas Emissions During Oil Mining

By Paul Kato

Since 2016, most of the biggest wetlands like Bugoma Central Forest Reserve, Kafu and Nguse among others in the Bunyoro Sub-region have been encroached on by the likes of Hoima Sugar Limited and out-growers to pave away for sugarcane growing.

Charcoal and timber dealers are cutting down trees while oil activities especially East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project are expected to pass through wetlands like Kafu, Wambabya and others.

There is enough evidence to show that wetlands continue to be threatened by oil activities and human activities. Putting these critical ecosystems under threat is likely to contribute to gas emissions. This will result in human health problems.

Recently, Hoima Municipality became an (oil) city meaning that more wetlands are going to be cleared in favour of expanding the city and the development of the oil industries in the area. All these are likely to cause more air pollution and more destruction of wetlands in the area.

Uganda should know that currently, air pollution is exceeding the World Health Organization Limit before even the production of the first oil and the development of industries in the newly created cities.

These emissions are likely not to reduce because of the massive developments expected from the oil industry and the newly created cities in the country.

A lot of oil emissions during oil mining and air pollution resulting from oil industries, motorized transport among others are likely to increase therefore we need to conserve critical ecosystems in the Albertine region which will help in absorbing of the oil emission and air pollution from the industries hence reducing on the health problem.

Therefore, I call upon the government institutions like the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA), National Forestry Authority (NFA), newly elected leaders, environmental police among others to lay out the strategies that are going to reduce the oil emissions during oil mining, air pollution from industries and protection of the sensitive ecosystems from oil activities and human activities.

Paul Kato is a Research Associate at Africa Institute for energy governance (AFIEGO)

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