Bunyoro Media Practitioners Challenged To Consider Environmental Issues

By George Busiinge

Journalists in Bunyoro have been challenged to prioritize environmental issues in their reporting as a way of creating civic awareness

Ivan Amaniga Ruhanga, the manager extractives at World Wide Fund (WWF), speaking at a one day media training on environmental reporting at Glory Summit Hotel Hoima last week, said little space in the media is given to environmental issues in the region.

Ruhanga said there is a lot to cover about environment now that the region is about to start producing oil and gas. He said media practitioners should report responsibly to enhance good governance in the country.

Birrah Nassah the executive director mid-western region ant-coalition (MIRAC) requested the media houses to always consider environmental stories as far as oil and gas is concerned.

Michael Businge, the coordinator for Bunyoro Albertine Petroleum Network on Environment (BAPENECO) said much more environment reporting by media houses operating in the region is needed.

He said the training was aimed at building capacities for media practitioners on matters of environment which attracted journalists from Masindi, Buliisa, Kiryandongo, Kibaale, Hoima, Kagadi and other districts from Bunyoro region.

BAPENECO also trained environmental monitors from Bunyoro region in different skills. Busiinge while taking to Earthfinds said that the monitors were trained in compensation and resettlement, monitoring company compliance with environmental standards, grievance interaction mechanism in oil and gas industry and waste management.

Meanwhile Giles Agambe, the executive director, REIGN Uganda added that limited budgets at lower local government in the environmental conservation sector needs key advocacy and attention if the environmental issues are to succeed.

He says this limits the environmental officer’s efforts to monitor and implement environmental related laws.

Kenyan Land Market Surges

The 2018 East Africa Property Investment (EAPI) Summit released on Tuesday unveiled the new Hass County Land Prices Report as it launched two days of intensive sessions on the regional real estate industry's most pressing challenges, and greatest opportunities.

The summit reported that county land prices had risen by an average 7.37 per cent in 2017, compared to a 12.07 per cent rise in 2016, suffering a general slowdown on election uncertainty and Kenya's new interest rate cap.

However, the county survey delivered evidence of ongoing market strength, as well as underlying patterns pushing land prices in sometimes opposite directions.

"Countrywide, infrastructure development continued to drive strong price growth," said HassConsult Head of Development Consulting Sakina Hassanali. "For many investors, the magical key still remains 'follow the roads'."

Local economic growth also continued to drive land prices upwards.

"We see clearly from price growth of 12 to 14 per cent in Nakuru and Kisumu last year that areas enjoying an influx of business and finance, and underpinned by robust agricultural economies, were only slowed marginally by the elections and rate cap," said Kfir Rusin, EAPI Managing Director.

The county land report, which covers 10 counties and 75 towns across Kenya, also analysed the towns and suburbs that experienced the greatest growth in land prices, and those that suffered falling land prices, finding evidence of pricing cycles playing out within multiple counties.

"From the more than 20 per cent surge in land prices in Utange, which delivered the strongest growth of the year on an influx of elite residents vacating Nyali, to a similar movement to Ngata by residents from Nakuru, the data showed shifts to new residential beacons, as intensive development began to take the shine off former hot spots," said Ms Hassanali.

"Likewise, in tracking the surge in prices in Embakasi, and to a lesser extent Donholm, we see the first signs of gentrification of inner city areas as congestion and commuter lifestyles elevate the attraction of these areas' proximity to the workplace."

Commenting on these urban cycles now playing out in Kenya, Mr Rusin noted that East Africa was now running a full cycle from initial generation of new conurbations, to the regeneration of older centres.

"This latest survey and it's wealth of data show a clear picture of early waves of development driven by advantages of accessibility, location, local activity, and resources such as strong water supply. But as development intensifies, many conurbations experience an evolving character that triggers waves of buyer flight and then a new type of influx," he said.

"Investment into such cycles requires far more insight into the nature of specific areas than was previously the case, when all land prices were rising exponentially."

The county land survey also identified several spots where land prices appear to have overheated, only to sink thereafter, among them Thika, where land prices rose by more than 30 per cent in 2016, only to fall by more than 4 per cent last year, in the biggest price fall of the year.

"Investors need to be wary of surges that fly over and above any development norm, as spots that will very often suffer subsequent price corrections, or, at the very least, subdued and even depressed pricing for some years to follow, as is the case of Ridgeways in Kiambu," said Ms Hassanali.

However, as analysts moved to review the drivers in the multiple local real estate markets, the strength of the overall land price growth - in an election year that saw many commitments stalled and finance constrained on policy interventions - was "a clear testimony to the ongoing potential and needs in Kenyan real estate," said Mr Rusin.

Environment Minister Blames Lower Local Governments

By George Busiinge

The State Minister for Environment Mary Goretti Kitutu has blamed environmental protection agencies in lower local governments for failing to utilize their mandate to protect forests, wetlands and other ecological sensitive areas from destruction.

Addressing a regional dialogue on the assessment of the underlying issues affecting environment at the Hoima district headquarters in Kasingo Thursday afternoon, Kitutu said the environment act empowers local government officials to protect forests and wetlands but this is not being done.

She directed the district environment officers to work with district leaders and environmental police to evict forest and wetland encroachers in the region. She warned leader’s against settling immigrants in forests and wetlands saying Bunyoro risks turning into a semi-arid area in the near future if trees are not protected.

Meanwhile, the executive director of NEMA Dr. Tom Okurut appealed to the district leaders to take special interest in administering express penalties to those carrying out illegal activities in wetlands and forests. He said the authority is working with the ministry to enact a revised environmental act which will address the weak penalties in the current law.

Joseline Nyangoma, the Hoima district senior environment officer said limited funding, uncoordinated operations and limited political will was to blame for forest and wetland destruction. The leaders resolved to embrace their roles in management of wetlands, noise pollution, waste and fragile ecosystem.

 

 

Little Hands Go Green Ambassadors Selected Ahead Of Kids’ Climate Conference

The build up to this year’s International Children’s Climate Change Conference to be held on Friday 20th April 2018 at Ntinda School for the Deaf is taking shape and getting the needed momentum.

Little Hands Go Green, the organizers of the climate change conference targeting children in Uganda and East Africa, on March 26th, joined their partner Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) at the Environmental Champions Award Ceremony which was held at Kitante Primary School.

At the ceremony, outstanding children were selected and crowned as Little Hands Go Green Ambassadors in their Schools. And 10 of the best school exhibitions highlighting this year's conference theme of End Plastic Pollution, Restore Wetlands and Protect Nature will be showcased at this year's conference.

The Director Education Services at KCCA commended Little Hands Go Green for their continued partnership with KCCA ‘in greening up’ schools and fostering sound environmental practice in schools.

The CEO of Little Hands Go Green Joseph Masembe thanked the environmental patrons of the schools for ‘continuously helping to drive and support the children in environmental conservation education even when it is not part of the formal education curriculum.’

This year's International Children's Climate change conference in April will be   Uganda's main celebration of World Earth Day and is organized in proud partnership with NEMA the Earth Day Network, KCCA, NFA and the ministry of water and environment.

This year’s International Children’s Climate Change Conference will look at curbing pollution of the environment using plastic wastes, restoring of wetland and planning for and protection of the environment for future use.

Masembe says the theme and the conference are timely and comes at a time when stakeholders are trying to enforce some of the country’s laws to safeguard the environment.

IRENA to Help Deliver Low-Carbon 2022 Winter Olympics In Zhangjiakou, China

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has today signed a co-operation agreement with the People’s Government of Hebei Province, China to provide the city of Zhangjiakou with a renewable energy roadmap that will support its ambition to deliver a low-carbon Winter Olympics in 2022.

The agreement will also help the city become China’s first energy transition pilot city. As co-host of the Winter Olympics with Beijing, Zhangjiakou aims to generate 50 per cent of its power from renewable sources by 2020.

The agreement, signed by IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin and the Governor of Hebei Province, Xu Qin, will support the establishment of a ‘low-carbon Olympic zone’ in Zhangjiakou, with plans for both the Olympic centre and Olympic stadiums to be powered by renewable energy. IRENA will also provide strategic advice in the context of the development of an International Center for Renewable Energy Industry Innovation in Zhangjiakou City.

“China has made remarkable progress in the pursuit of renewable energy and in the transition towards a modern energy system,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin at the signing of the Memoradum of Understanding. “From renewable energy adoption to technological innovation – China is emerging as a leader of the new energy economy and a key actor in energy transformation.

“The pursuit of a low-carbon Winter Olympics in 2022 will not only support China’s ambition to lower harmful emissions, but it will also see them pioneer a movement towards the cost-effective decarbonisation of the world’s greatest spectacles,” continued Mr. Amin. “This agreement reflects the Agency’s deepening cooperation with China and will facilitate a positive, two-way exchange of expertise and knowledge.”

Governor of Hebei Province, Mr. Xu Qin said:”President Xi Jinping’s strategic vision for an ecological civilization has significantly advanced environmental protection in China, greatly benefiting Chinese people whilst representing China’s contribution to global green development.

Hebei Province will realise the vision proposed by President Xi, by prioritising ecological protection and exercising green development, as we expedite the speed at which we build a beautiful Hebei.

“With abundant renewable energy resources - particularly the area of Zhangjiakou City – the potential of this cooperation with IRENA is broad and bright,” Mr Xu continued. “As both sides work to advance R&D, technology innovation and the broader development of the renewable energy industry, this will support our planning for a low-carbon Winter Olympic Games.”

The Games will be the first major global sporting event held in China since the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Co-host Zhangjiakou, located approximately 200 kilometers from Beijing, has been identified as having a strong renewable energy resource endowment, with abundant wind, solar and biomass potential in the region.

Between 2012 and 2016 China witnessed a 10-fold increase in solar energy adoption, and in 2017 alone, it added 53 GW of PV. China announced an intention to invest USD 361 billion in renewable power generation by 2020. China chaired IRENA’s 14thand 15thCouncil Meetings and is President of the Agency’s 9thMeeting of the Assembly in January next year.

Environment Friendly Sheraton Celebrates Earth Hour

Sheraton Kampala Hotel went dark for one hour on March 24 to shine a light on climate action in support of Earth Hour 2018.

The hotel joined millions around the world in turning off its lights at 8:30 p.m. local time to illuminate a powerful message about environmental awareness and action.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) created the annual global environmental awareness event 11 years ago to emphasize the threat of climate change.

Sheraton Kampala Hotel participated by turning off exterior signage lighting, turning off non-essential interior lighting, using candlelight in appropriate public areas such as restaurants and bars, and using in-room voicemail messages and in-room television messages to inform guests about Earth Hour observances. The Hotel also participates in Marriott International’s drive to raise funds for WWF.

“It’s a privilege for us to support Earth Hour because it echoes Marriott International’s global focus on the environment” said Jean Philippe Bittencourt the General Manager Sheraton Kampala Hotel.

“Today, business plays a critical role in taking on our world’s most pressing social and environmental issues, including climate change. Earth Hour reflects a philosophy we aim to practice year-round through our sustainability & social impact platform, Serve 360.” Bittencourt added.

Children’s Climate Conference To Discuss Plastic Pollution, Restoration Of Wetlands

This year’s International Children’s Climate Change Conference will look at curbing pollution of the environment using plastic wastes, restoring of wetland and planning for and protection of the environment for future use.

Joseph Masembe, the chief executive office of the Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green, the NGO organizing the meeting says the theme ‘End Plastic pollution, Restore Nature – protect the future’ is timely and comes at a time when stakeholders are trying to enforce some of the country’s laws to safeguard the environment.

The annual climate conference which brings together hundreds of pupils from different schools in Uganda, Rwanda and beyond will take place on Friday 20th April, 2018 at Ntinda School of the Deaf. Masembe said the move to go to the school of the deaf is to inspire them to reach their full potential.

“Being deaf does not mean one is defeated. These children from Ntinda School of the Deaf are some of the brightest conservation soldiers I have ever met. It is therefore my duty as an able bodied human being to inspire all including the deaf and hard of hearing children to reach their full potential,”

“Environmental Conservation is a job for all of us. We will therefore join our hosts from the Ntinda School of the Deaf as we seek for solutions to End Plastic pollution, Restore Nature and provide hope for a Greener future.”

Ntinda School Of The Deaf To Host Children’s Climate Conference

The annual International Children’s Climate Change Conference returns next month on Friday 20th April, 2018, Joseph Masembe, the chief executive office of the Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green, the NGO organizing the meeting has revealed.

This year’s conference will be hosted by Ntinda School of the Deaf under the theme ‘End Plastic pollution, Restore Nature – protect the future’. The conference will attempt to seek for solutions to provide hope for a Greener future.

Asked why this year they have chosen to work with Ntinda School of the Deaf, Masembe they environmental conservation is ‘a job for all of us’. “Being deaf does not mean one is defeated, he explained.

“These children from Ntinda School of the Deaf are some of the brightest conservation soldiers I have ever met. It is therefore my duty as an able bodied human being to inspire all.” He added.

The daylong conference is being supported National Environment Management Authority, Kampala Capital City Authority, National Forestry Authority, Kenya’s Little Hands Go Green and Rwanda’s Little Hands Go Green.

A Clean School Environment Will Support Healthy Of Your Child

The well-being of any school going child largely depends on the hygienic conditions of the learning environment, educationists at Kampala Parents School have said, explaining that a clean school environment guarantees the safety of their learners while a dirty and unhygienic school puts the learners in harm’s way.

“At Kampala Parents School, we take every step to ensure that our staff is fully vetted and suitable for working in a school environment. Our school cleaning services are designed to ensure that students and teachers alike are afforded a safe and clean place to work and study,”

Schools need to have kempt compounds, clean toilets, kitchen, dining area, clear all nearby bushes and a clean source of water among other hygienic necessities. All these should be supported by existence of a well facilitated sick bay with qualified health personnel.

“We have assembled professional and multi-disciplined teachers to serve and educate your children in the best possible way. They are well facilitated to share their knowledge and skills providing pupils with positive experiences that will help them to become well-rounded individuals who are ready for the world.

The expansive Kampala Parents School continues to set the example of what child-friendly school should look like. The school has put in place state of the art facilities that have made studying adorable to the pupils hence improving its performance.

Kampala Parents School, which is currently accepting new pupils, emerged second best in Kampala district.

Paid Residents To Manage Bugoma Central Forest Reserve

By George Busiinge

Residents neighboring Bugoma Central Forest Reserve are to be paid to help in the management of the reserve from illegal activities.

This was disclosed by Joshua Rukundo, the executive director Chimpanzee Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Trust at Kijungu Hill Hotel recently.

Rukundo said the two year Watershed Payment project funded by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund will first benefit 70 families from four villages of Kisindi, Kikonda 2, Ndongo and Nyanseke in Kabwoya sub-county Hoima.

Under the pilot project, each family will receive sh133000 annually as an incentive to take part in the promotion, protection and conservation of water catchment areas around Buigome forest such as Rutoha River among others.

Rukundo says the residents will also be supported with water harvesting tools like tanks, offer solar energy to villagechairpersons and also support modern farming methods.

Jozelyne Nyagoma, the Hoima district senior environmental officer challenged the residents to embrace the project adding that project is going to address the challenge of deforestation and waters source depletion.

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