Rainbow International School Swimathon Fundraises For Children's Climate Conference

 

Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green, a local organization that fights against Climate Change using children led initiatives, has sealed a working partnership with Rainbow International School in support of the upcoming International Children Climate Change Conference.

The conference which is in its third year will take place on Earth Day, 22 April, at Rainbow International School. To kick off their partnership, Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green and Rainbow organized the first ever charity swimming competition dubbed ‘Swimathon’ to raise money to buy fruit tree seedlings.

The two entities used the event that took place on Saturday to hold a press conference to launch the International Children Climate Change Conference. Rainbow International School also used the press conference to announce that they have joined the Go Green campaign. They also declared their unspecified sponsorship of the children’s climate change conference.

“We at Rainbow are all proud to say that today is the day when we officially go green.” A statement released by the school owned by Midland Group of companies read in part. “As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Midland Group and Rainbow have come out to strongly support environmental conservation efforts through tree planting.

We are thankful to all our students, parents and teachers that took part in the ‘Swimathon’ to raise funds that were handed over to Little Hands Go Green (Uganda) for the purchase of tree seedlings to plant all over Uganda. Let’s go Rainbow, let’s go Little Hands Go Green (Uganda), let’s go Uganda – make our country green!”  Drashna Kotecha the Director of Rainbow International School and Midland Group told journalists at the swimathon.

Joseph Masembe, the chief executive officer of Little Hands Go Green urged Ugandans to seek and create a patriotic culture of saving “our mother nature, our environment and ultimately our future” by creating a mass hysteria about tree planting by children both at school and at home.

“There is no one who is going to do it for us but ourselves. We have to tell our children it is their responsibility to protect the environment. Today we have involved them to get tree seedlings through this fun filled event of swimming. At the conference we will tell them why they should care about the environment and how they should do it.” Masembe explained.

Children To Celebrate Earth Day With Climate Conference

 

Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green will celebrate this year’s earth day, a day on which the world demonstrates its support for environmental protection, with an International Children's Climate Conference which will be held at Rainbow International School in Kampala on 22 April, 2016.

Preparation for the conference which will attract hundreds of children from different parts of Uganda are in advanced stages according to Joseph Masembe, the Chief Executive Officer Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green. The conference will discuss challenges affecting environment and solutions. There will also be an exhibition.

“We are ready to host our children at Rainbow International School. We are big and better this year. We expect presentations from high profile environmentalists and children from in and out of Uganda.  The International Children's Climate Conference has demonstrated that working with children to preserve the environment works,” Masembe explained in an interview.

This is the third International Children's Climate Conference. Last year’s conference was held at Sheraton Hotel Kampala. It attracted high profile personalities like Irish Ambassador to Uganda Dónal Cronin, Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Minister Rosemary Nankabirwa among other dignitaries.

The International Climate Change Conference for Children is being organized by Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green and My Kid is a Superstar in partnership with National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), NBS Television, Midland Group, Rainbow International School and Lato Milk.

Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green has in the past years involved children in promoting conservation of climate through planting of fruit trees. Masembe says planting fruit trees hits two birds with one stone; promoting health through eating the nutritious fruits and conservation of the environment.

Issues of global warming and climate change are becoming more critical calling for dynamic approaches and colossal attention. Planting trees is one way that has been recommended. Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green discourages human habits that contribute to damaging the now fragile climate.

Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green discourages the habits like cutting down trees and littering the environment. “We are telling these youngsters to be responsible. We also involve them in finding solutions to issues that are causing climate change. The conference is interactive.” Masembe explains.

Urbanization Must Be Ecologically Sustainable – Experts

 

One of the characteristics of sustainable urban centers is that such settlements and development must be ecologically viable, Associate Professor Sabiiti Makara of Makerere University told a public dialogue at Victoria University in Kampala, Uganda on Thursday 7 April.

This means that urban planners and leaders must address ecosystem challenges when planning to develop urban centers like cities, municipals and towns. Sabiiti, a political science lecturer at Uganda’s biggest and leading university said that cities must be clean with no littering, green with open spaces and environmentally conscience.

Sabiiti was speaking at a Public Dialogue on Promoting Good Urban Governance organized by Victoria University in partnership with the Centre for Urban Studies and Research under the theme ‘Promoting Good Urban Governance in Uganda: Challenges and Opportunities’.

A panel of experts discussed challenges and solutions to ensure good governance in urban centers.  Sabiiti revealed that at 5.1 percent annually, Uganda is one of the countries experiencing the world’s fastest urbanization trends.

The professor added in order for good governance to prevail, urban centers like cities must be economically productive, socially just, politically vibrant, culturally diverse and have own development capacity. He warned by that lack of political order causes problems and stalls urban development.

In Uganda urban centers due to poor planning and lack of good governance surfers every time it rains because of poorly built drainage systems. Due to pollution of the environment by unregulated industrialization, many people are getting deadly diseases.

Often times environmental issues are raised when for example city projects including infrastructure developments are being undertaken. The drive to save swamps and wetlands in Kampala has been ongoing but with less success as rich people and government erect structures in swamps. This destroys the ecosystem.

Leaders blamed

In a similar manner, Dr Kiggundu Amin Tamale working with Center for Urban Studies and Research advised that urban center managers should perform because they are hired and paid to think for what is good for towns. “As city managers, you need to think for your people but they are failing.” Tamale noted.

David Kasimbazi, the programs coordinator at Center for Urban Studies and Research said there is a disconnection between policies and what is on ground. Kasimbazi’s opinion is also reflected by calls to bring law and policy reforms to improve service delivery in urban centers across the country.

Fr. Pascal Kabura from the Human Rights and Peace Centre (HURIPEC) explained that disagreements between political leaders and technical people hamper implementation of development projects.

“Take an example of Kampala Capital City, the fighting between Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and the Executive Director, Jennifer Musisi has cost us good service delivery for over four years. It is time we separate politics from City planning; development of towns and cities has been frustrated by politicians who claim to know it all,” Fr Kabura said.

Hima Cement Gets Environmental ISO Certification

 

Cement makers Hima Cement, is a subsidiary of Bamburi Cement Ltd. which is a member of the LafargeHolcim group, has received ISO certification for Environment Management System.

The Environment Management System ISO: 14001 is awarded to companies working towards prevention of pollution, eliminating, reducing and disposing of waste in a responsible manner and having integrated environmental monitoring procedures. 

“We remain committed to the integration of environmental and sustainability issues into our business activities,” says Jimmy Onen, Hima Cement’s Health and Safety and Environment Engineer. The cement manufacturer has been pursuing various projects to ensure the minimum possible harm to the environment as outlined in its environmental sustainability ambitions. 

For instance, the company has significantly reduced the use of Fossil fuel and now mostly uses natural clean fuels in its production operations thus reducing carbon emissions. Hima uses biomass fuels generated from coffee husks, rice husks, palm kernels, G-nuts husks and baggase which also supports Ugandan farmers. 

In 2013, Hima Cement completed installation of a new bag filter technology at its Kasese plant to stop dust Emissions. The company also continues with rehabilitation of all used up quarries to their former productive state.

Emirates Environmental Report Points To Reduced Aircraft Noise Emissions

 

The Emirates Group, comprising Emirates airline and dnata, has released its fifth annual environmental report for 2014-15 audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The report presents environmental performance data across a range of activities including airline operations, dnata’s cargo and ground handling businesses and a wide range of commercial activities on the ground – from engineering to catering.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said Emirates and dnata continue to invest in business growth in tandem with customer demand and global opportunities. 

“As the scale of our operations expands, we are ever more conscious of our responsibility towards the environment and communities we serve.  We are aware that our efforts to reduce resource use will not only reduce our environmental impact, but will also help build our business resilience.

“When it comes to our environmental stewardship, the Emirates Group has core areas of focus where we believe we can make the biggest impact, but we also know that every little effort counts especially when amplified at global scale. Our annual environmental report is a report card, and also a commitment to continuously improve our environmental performance.”

Airline operations constitute the main environmental impact of the Emirates Group. In 2014-15, Emirates continued to add new aircraft to its fleet, retire older aircraft, and prioritise fuel-saving operational techniques.

Emirates’ flight operations specialists worked with agencies in countries as far afield as the USA, Austria, France, Malta, the Seychelles, Ethiopia, Kenya and Pakistan – as well as Dubai’s neighbouring emirate of Sharjah – to introduce or validate new performance-based navigation procedures, to help reduce fuel consumption and enhance operational safety.

Emirates added 24 new aircraft and retired 10 older aircraft in 2014-15, maintaining an average fleet age of 75 months, or about half the industry average of 140 months.

Key highlights this year include a continued reduction in aircraft noise emissions, a modest improvement in overall fleet fuel efficiency despite external operational challenges, and improvements in ground vehicle fuel efficiency.

All of Emirates’ aircraft* meet or exceed Chapter 4 limits - the most stringent ICAO noise Standards, and new A380 and Boeing 777 deliveries during the year helped to further improve the fleet’s margin below the Chapter 4 limits.

Emirates’ overall fuel efficiency in 2014-15 improved 1% to 0.3057 litres per tonnekilometre, 14% more efficient than the IATA fleet average fuel efficiency (IATA WATS 59th Edition). 

This was despite the impact of airspace closures caused by security concerns in many parts of the world, which led Emirates to fly longer routings to avoid these areas. The 80-day runway closure at Emirates’ hub in Dubai International Airport also meant that flights had to carry more contingency fuel than usual, thereby impacting fuel efficiency.

On the ground, dnata in Dubai took delivery of 30 new electric tractors to replace diesel-powered vehicles for use at Dubai International Airport. The tractors, manufactured by TUG Technologies Corporation and Charlatte America, produce no air-polluting emissions.

A change in the UAE government’s regulations also helped to bring down the amount of pollutants produced by ground vehicles. The Group’s ground transport fleet in the UAE began using low-sulphur diesel following the government’s announcement of mandatory new fuel specifications in 2014.

The fuel contains 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur, a considerable reduction from the previous specification of 500 ppm, and will greatly reduce levels of particulate emissions.

Central Bank Commends Buganda Land Reforms

 

The Bank of Uganda (BoU) has said Buganda Land Board has done right in setting up a land registry system that helps land owners acquire certificates of registration as official documentation and proof of ownership of their bibanja (land).

“I would like to commend the Buganda Land Board for initiating the process of establishing a land registration system, which will not only provide tenure security to the bibanja owners and enable them to pledge their land rights as security for a loan, but will also ease searches of land titles,” said Governor Emmanuel Tumusime-Mutebile.

The Governor’s message to officials of Buganda kingdom was delivered by Dr. Charles Abuka, the Director Financial Stability BoU, at a prayer breakfast where the Buganda Land Board was reviewing their Lease Access Financing Initiative.

The Governor also commended Buganda Land Board for the initiative which it took to assess the land holders’ financing needs in the acquisition of land titles and taking the necessary steps to address these needs by linking up with Centenary Bank and other stakeholders.

 The combined efforts of the Buganda Land Board, the land holders and Centenary Bank led to the formation of the Lease Access Financing Initiative in 2010 which now is under review.

“The outcomes of this tripartite arrangement can have positive and far-reaching effects on the security of land tenure; access to, and use of, financial services; private sector investment; and socio-economic growth and development, if it is managed well. The onus is on each of the stakeholders involved to make the Lease Access Financing Initiative a success.

Despite the progress achieved, the initiative faces some challenges like forged collateral which has hindered land holders’ access to financial services and their acquisition of land titles. In the process financial institutions have incurred losses when loans secured against poor quality collateral have not been repaid on time.

The process of establishing a land registration system will not only provide tenure security to the bibanja owners and enable them to pledge their land rights as security for a loan, but will also ease searches of land titles, Mutebile noted.

“In order to make the certificate of registration and the land title credible and to provide reliable documents that financial institutions can accept as collateral for loans, all necessary steps must be taken to minimize disputes, litigation, forgeries and other land grievances.

He advocated that public education about land registration should be undertaken to facilitate and support understanding of the system by using qualified and skilled survey and registry staff.

Hardware Products Plaza To Boost Uganda’s Construction Sector

 

Kampala traders dealing in hardware products and services have now got a home after city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia officially opened the Hardware City complex on Entebbe road, downtown the city near Nakasero Market.

Crane Management Services, which is part of the Ruparelia Group, on Monday, at a grand opening ceremony, handed over the multistoried building worth $25m to tenants.

The spacious  Hardware City building was officially opened by the chairman of Ruparelia Group Sudhir Ruparelia, Crane Management Services managing director Rajiv Ruparelia, traders and tenants.

The state of the art building seats on about 27000 square meters of prime land, has 281 shops and 66 residential apartments; the piece of land on which the building that took 18 months to construct cost $7m. Already tenants have taken up shops and residence.

“What we had in mind when starting to work on this project was to provide a one stop center to offer hardware products and services. This would help customers to buy everything in one place. We wanted to create a situation were a customer doesn’t move from one place to another looking for hardware goods or services,” Sudhir told tenants at the grand opening of the multistoried building.

Unlike other commercial buildings in the city centre, tenants at the Hardware City complex will pay their monthly rent in Uganda Shillings and they will face no monthly rent increment for the next two years.

“‘Since it is a new building, we are not going to increase monthly rent charges for the next two years,” Sudhir assured tenants.

Rajiv Ruaparelia the managing director of Crane Management Limited the company behind the development of this magnificent building described the building as modern, safe, secure and of high standards when compared to their neighboring commercial building.

Rajiv, the only son of Sudhir, said they have secured a 500kv transformer to supply the building with constant power and will provide tenants with pre-paid sub meters through which they will be able to buy electricity. He said it will be a private service akin to Umeme’s Yaka system where the customer pays for any amount of electricity at any time.

Rajiv said the building is space with parking space that can accommodate 800 vehicles. Tenants to park their vehicles will pay a monthly subscription of $50; Non-tenants will pay $100 per month. He added that building will be open between 6am to 10pm because people need enough time to do their business.

SOCO Gives Up Oil License In Protected DRC Park

British oil company SOCO International said it no longer held a stake in an exploration license located in a DRC national park, home to mountain gorillas.

SOCO said it was writing off the costs associated with operations in the so-called Block V inside the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo."SOCO no longer holds the Block V license," the company said in a statement.

SOCO signed a production sharing agreement with the DRC government in 2006. It said earlier that it reached an agreement with conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature, which operates as the World Wildlife Fund in the United States, to halt work in the DRC's Virunga National Park, a protected area and home to mountain gorillas, a critically endangered species.

In October, the WWF said the number of mountain gorillas in the Virunga park has increased over the last few decades following the work of regional conservationists. The organization said the threat continues, however, to the species' habitat. A census is underway.

The company in its latest update said no drilling ever took place inside Block V and no oil extraction plan was in place in the controversial basin."Block V is not located within the mountainous Mikeno sector [of the park], home to the famous mountain gorillas," it stressed.

Virunga, an award-winning documentary, showcases how the work of poachers, along with oil interests and conflict, has threatened the habitat and the survival of the mountain gorillas. The film raises questions about SOCO's transparency in the region, questions the company has criticized.

SOCO in 2012 was forced to relocate some its staff from the DRC to neighboring Uganda to flee a rebellion launched by the March 23 Movement. It defended its operations in the DRC, saying much of its preliminary work was carried out using aerial surveillance.

The company's work in the DRC had involved seismic surveys of the oil-rich Lake Edward region to get a better understanding of the reserve potential.

 

SOURCE:  UPI.com

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