Can Technology Incentivize Tourism Growth In Uganda?

Telecommunication services provider Vodafone Uganda will at the fifth edition of the Vodafone Power Talks provide a platform at which Ugandans will discuss how best they can use technology to market the country’s tourism sector locally and internationally.

The fifth edition of its empowerment forum under the theme, Leveraging Technology in Tourism: Lessons for Uganda, will take place on July 28, 2016 at the Kampala Serena Hotel. Vodafone Uganda’s Chief Executive Officer Allan Richardson said the meeting will feature success stories from the East African region.

Richardson also said the meeting will focus on identifying new and better digital marketing platforms that can be adopted by various players in the tourism and hospitality industry to boost both the country’s image and deliver better investment returns for their businesses.

“Uganda is fast becoming a leading tourism destination and the progressive SMEs involved in this space will have to be more innovative in the way they use technology to redesign tourism products to address individual needs, satisfy consumer wants and grow their businesses,” says Allan Richardson.

“There are a lot of lessons we can learn from the region and I am confident that our experienced panelists will be sharing exciting ideas and insights during this forum,” he added. 

With technology, the world has turned into a global village and the internet has fast become the universal source of information for billions of people. This quarterly forum is designed to inspire Ugandans to harness the transformative power of technologies for growth at individual and business level.

The panelists for this edition include; Steven Asiimwe, the Executive Director Uganda Tourism Board, Amos Wekesa, the Director of Great Lakes Africa Safaris, Kelley McTavish, the Executive Director of Pearl of Africa Tours, Belinda Namutebi, the iBrand Chief Brand Custodian, Phillip Kalibwami, the Director of Pearl Guide and Rosette Chantal Rugamba, the founder and Managing Director of Songa Africa based in Rwanda.

All delegates participating in the forum will be entered into a raffle draw with the chance to win a return ticket to Abu Dhabi, where the winner will experience the warmth of traditional Arabian hospitality, courtesy of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates.

Recently, Uganda was named the second best honeymoon destination by the Huffington Post, a globally recognized online blog and news aggregator, hinting at the global attention that the country has received over the past few years leading to a booming market.

According to recent National Budget revelations, tourism contributes US$ 2.5 billion to Uganda’s GDP and approximately USD 1.5 billion in foreign exchange earnings annually. This translates to 9% of national output and 26% of export earnings.

The forum is expected to attract over 250 SME entrepreneurs, managers and ICT enthusiasts from mainly the tourism and hospitality industry and others including; aviation, media, health and cultural attachés.

Sheraton Hotel Hosts Muslim At Iftar Diner

Just a week into Ramadan, the Kampala Sheraton Hotel organized a splendid Iftar diner for its Muslim clients. The diner was held to thank the Muslims for the continued support to the hotel and to also wish them a fruitful fasting period.

While addressing the guests at Kampala Sheraton hotel in Victoria Restaurant, the General Manager, Kampala Sheraton Hotel Mr. Jean-Philippe Bittencourt encouraged the Muslims to keep up with the good spirit of brotherhood as they observe this Ramadan.

He further thanked them for the immeasurable support to the Sheraton hotel their respective organizations and as individuals and also encouraged them to work as a team for peace and unity to be realized.

The diner was attended by clients from various organizations and industries with a guest profile ranging from managers, ambassadors, business people, media personalities to mention but a few together with their spouses.

A wide spread of food and soft drinks were served to the guests. The guests were first ushered in to separate dedicated rooms for prayers and the guests then proceeded to the main dining area to break their fast for the day.

“As is part of Sheraton Kampala’s corporate value, we aim to respect all religions, races and disciplines, and we are holding this Iftar diner is to symbolize this and emphasize the fact that everyone is equally welcome at the Sheraton.

In the coming days we shall also hold a very special Iftar Dinner for about 400 Muslim children from disadvantaged backgrounds – this being one of our CSR initiatives and a way for the Hotel to give back to society.”

“Thank you all for respecting the Holy Month of Ramadan and making a point to fast, and we encourage all our clients to come and break their fast at Sheraton Kampala’s Paradise Restaurant where we have a very special Iftar corner accompanied by a lavish buffet every Monday through to Saturday. Concluded Mr. Bittencourt.

Development Should Not Be At Expense Of Environment – NEMA

The commemoration of World Environment Day reignited the need for mankind to be mindful of how they use natural resources. The World Environment Day was celebrated across the world with a call for humanity to do all that is in their means to protect the environment.

In Uganda, the World Environment Day was celebrated in Gulu, northern Uganda under the theme Conserve Wildlife, Sustain Livelihoods. To put the seriousness of the challenge at hand, Flavia Nabugera Munaaba, the Minister of State for Environment, said the decline in total forest cover was at an average of 89,000 ha per annum for the period 1990 to 2005.

The World Environment Day celebrations in Gulu attracted officials from UNDP, government minister and officials and the private sector

This has mainly been brought about by human activities.  The Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Gulu Capt. Sam Okot speaking at the celebrations said one of the biggest environmental problems is charcoal burning & timber harvesting. "Timber cutting is at a higher level, there is need to sensitize people to plant trees to keep the environment in upstate."

He advised that there is need to employ more police officers to protect the natural resources from being tampered with. The other challenge that was widely discussed was the lost wetlands. It was agreed that there is need to work with the local government, so as to fight encroachment on wetlands and restore all the wetlands hence preserve the eco system at large. Animal poaching is another danger at hand.

A man walks away with a tree seedling given to him by Uganda's Little Hands Go Green team

This year’s celebration kicked off on 3rd June with a number of activities being undertaken by National Environment Authority (NEMA), National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and partner Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green. There activities involved members of communities planting trees in major towns on the Gulu highway. The communities are taking significant efforts in conserving the wildlife.

Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green, an organization that teaches children about environment conservation teamed up with their partners and cleaned Gulu town. They also gave away thousands of trees to residents living in major towns enroute to Gulu.

Members of Uganda's Little Hands Go Green cleaning Gulu town ahead of the World Evironment Day which tool place in Gulu on 5 June

Onesimus Muhwezi, Team Leader, Energy and Environment, UNDP Uganda, who represented the UN Resident Representative to Uganda noted that 'together we can ensure that our environment is sufficient for us and our Children' adding the ‘it is vital for every one of us to fight and condemn illegal trade in wildlife.’ He warned against the illegal trade in wildlife because it will have significant national & economic effects.

The Executive Director of the National Environmental Management Authority, Dr. Tom Okurut implored that Uganda as a country shouldn't seek development at the expense of the environment. “We must seek for sustainable development,” Dr Okurut said.

Five Trends That Make Cities Safer

Rapid urbanization has made public safety a top priority of city governance. Governments worldwide recognize that urban safety plays a vital role in protecting people’s lives and property, and is the cornerstone of economic growth in modern cities.

To make cities smarter and safer, they are adopting innovative information and communications technologies (ICT) designed to prevent and react to evolving threats. Safety risks can be effectively addressed by leading new ICT, particularly Wireless Broadband, Cloud Computing, and Big Data.

Ms. Rose Moyo, the Director of Enterprise Wireless Solutions of Huawei in East and Southern Africa shared the following five trends which Safe City Solutions can be driven at the KCCA East and Central African Cities development Forum at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

 Internet of Things: Comprehensive Situational Awareness, Intelligent Protection

Video surveillance systems are essential to enable Safe Cities by providing live and recorded videos at key locations. Safety agencies can analyze the videos to predict potential risks, and take appropriate measures to prevent incidents before they occur. When an incident happens, safety agencies can access and watch recorded videos to find valuable insights for handling the incident quickly and safely. 

Video is a collection of people, vehicles, and environments based on image sensing technologies. However, video collection alone can no longer adapt to increasingly complex environments. Government agencies need a holistic Safe City system that capitalizes on a variety of sensors and smart technologies to facilitate comprehensive situational awareness and intelligent protection via the Internet of Things (IoT). 

A holistic Safe City system covers a wide range of areas including residential communities, banks, postal offices, roads, and vehicles. At key locations, such as airports and metro stations, the Safe City system can adopt state-of-the-art IoT technologies to perform data collection, wireless communications, and tracking and analysis, achieving comprehensive security protection. 

Video Cloud Storage: Large-Scale Video Networking and Sharing

According to IMS Research, more than 56 million cameras were shipped in 2014 alone, generating over 1,600 PB videos on a daily basis. Government agencies are facing significant challenges in managing and using this immense amount of data, such as:

  • Sharing and searching vast amounts of data in traditional ways is time-consuming, inefficient, and challenging across agencies and regions.
  • Video reliability is compromised by non-professional storage methods. Valuable videos may be lost or corrupted, negatively influencing case clearance efficiency. 

Siloed video storage system architecture hinders video usage efficiency and reliability, and needs rethinking. One effective solution is video cloud architecture, which uses cloud storage technologies to enable large-scale video networking and sharing.

Wireless Broadband Trunking: Prompt and Accurate Emergency Response

Effective cross-agency resource scheduling and unified command are critical for prompt and accurate emergency response. To achieve this, government agencies urgently need a unified wireless communications platform that converges video, voice, and data services for unified dispatching, accurate decision-making, and efficient command. 

Today, narrowband digital trunking is evolving to broadband multimedia trunking with a focus on 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE). LTE broadband trunking delivers a downstream bandwidth of 100 Mbit/s and an upstream bandwidth of 50 Mbit/s to achieve real-time video transmission.

Its latency and security also comply with professional standards and adapt to industry-specific scenarios. When a public safety incident occurs, a broadband trunking system allows first responders to receive videos from, send on-site videos back to, and join a video conference with the command center, drastically improving emergency response accuracy and efficiency. 

Converged Command Center: Efficient Emergency Response 

A command center functions as the central system that coordinates police, fire, and medical departments for unified actions. A traditional command center is challenged in the following ways:

  • Lack of on-site videos impedes decision-making accuracy of the command center.
  • Different agencies have different communication systems making cross-agency information sharing and service collaboration challenging. 

To address these challenges, a future-ready command center must integrate diverse systems to achieve service interoperability and information sharing:

  • By interoperating with on-site video collection, broadband trunking, and conferencing systems, the command center implements real-time video sharing and stays informed of on-site conditions.
  • The interoperability of cross-system terminals facilitates unified voice and video conferencing across agencies, enhancing collaboration and decision-making efficiency.
  • A converged command center will broadly use voice, video, and data services for accurate, efficient decision-making. 

Big Data Analytics: Scientific Command, Rapid Response

With the continuous development of Safe City systems, government agencies are concerned about how to use and manage a growing number of devices, data, and application resources. Big Data technology opens up new possibilities for efficient data searches, analysis, storage, and usage.

The technology helps police officers analyze behaviors, movements, and social relationships of suspects, and identify their biological features. By doing so, police officers can make effective decisions in scheduling police forces and rapidly responding to emergencies. 

As cities continue to develop, government agencies are under pressure to ensure public safety. The priority of Safe City development is shifting from site deployment to intelligent management. Innovative ICT is helping government agencies to strengthen safety management capabilities and make cities safer. 

These Safe City Solutions have been widely deployed across the globe by Huawei a leading global ICT solutions provider. For example, Huawei helped Kenya improve public safety by establishing safe city systems consisting of a Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, broadband trunking eLTE, video surveillance, and intelligent analysis (license plate recognition and traffic violation detection).

According to Kenya’s annual police report, the crime rate in the regions covered by the system declined by 46 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year. In particular, the solution played a vital role in ensuring the safety of Pope Francis during his visit to Kenya on November 26, 2015. 

Huawei has successfully implemented solutions worldwide to help build greater levels of Public Safety for more than 100 cities in more than 30 countries serving more than four hundred million citizens.

Uganda's Little Hands Go Green, NEMA Tie Up World Environment Day Partnership

As the world prepares to celebrate the World Environment Day, Uganda's Little Hands Go Green and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) are teaming up to drive awareness, excitement and  sensitize Ugandans about conservation of the environment.

World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year on 5 June to raise global awareness to take positive environmental action to protect nature and the planet Earth. Uganda will however celebrate it a day later, on Monday 6th June, in Gulu district under the theme "Conserve Wildlife, Sustain Livelihoods."

World Environment Day activations will kick off on 3rd June with a appearances at Wobulenzi, Luwero, Bombo, Nakasongola, Mijera, Kafu, Kiryandongo, Bweyale and Kamdini Corner before visiting Hospitals, Markets, District Headquarters, NGO offices and people's homes on 4th June.

On 5th June activations will be taken to Watoto Church in Gulu ahead of visits to Kolo Abili Primary School, Gulu Baptist Primary School and Coch Ongaka Primary Schoo on 6th June, the day of the main celebrations.

As part of this partnership both organizations and other stakeholders will activate the entire northern corridor with activities ranging from tree planting to anti kavera sensitization and pass on environmental conservation messages. Joseph Masembe the CEO of Uganda's Little Hands Go Green said these activities will carried in all major town enroute to Gulu.

 

Uganda's Little Hands Go Green and National Environment Management Authority have in the recent past had similar partnership that have registered tremendous success. The two organizations recently organized the International Children's Climate Conference, green festivals and visits to schools where pupils have been taught how to care for the environment.

Ill will On Fossil Fuels Break Loose

Things begin falling apart as NASA announces 2016 is hottest year in recorded history. So the threat of climate change proves soaring enough to move countries to break the ice. Here begins a story of men and women standing erect through manmade pains facing the changing planet. Thousands of whom have emptied sorrows to the streets or coal quarries or oil terminals in May 2016 sampling a united will to get rid of dirty energy once and for all.

History may just be rewritten. But the half thrilling and half intimidating side of the truth will forever echo the curse of dirty energy lobby as among the most impossible dystopian illusion of this generation. When the globe finally cools, the battle is successful. When extinction approaches, will the oil industry have planet ‘B’?

Whether or not climate activism is the cup of tea here, the dark past of climate denial, by all standards have bred about 0.04% (400 parts per million) carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, many times higher than 400,000 years ago.

Fossil fuel companies bigger than monsters have bankrolled anti-climate change philosophies; climate activists – as meek as lambs of God are being arrested…the list is endless, but the most recent illogical treatment is the arrests of nearly 60 advocates protesting Keystone pipeline in the US. So confirms the saying: “change is painful but inevitable.”

Equally, it might hurt world governments to give up oil wells for the public wellbeing. But the pains and wretchedness resulting from extreme weather conditions such as ill-health, including those caused by droughts, floods, food insecurity and inundation from rising seas is even much long bottled in communities around the world.

Even oil industry knew of 'serious' climate concerns more than 45 years ago. In fact, researchers warned American Petroleum Institute in 1968 how the release of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels could eventually lead to ‘worldwide environmental changes.’

Despite this good faith, they chose to pay a deaf ear, that’s why things had to fall apart. Some did the opposite – trying to challenge climate change science – with illicit documentations. Further evidence unveils that American Petroleum Institute, the peak body for the oil industry in the US, knew about the dangers of climate change at least 20 years before the issue was brought into mainstream public discourse via the former Nasa scientist James Hansen.

The then influential world leaders like the US president Lyndon Johnson also received an early cautioning about climate change, with scientists explaining the mechanism of the greenhouse effect as early as 1965.

For how long could any such delicate matter be hidden? Not too long! With the final blow being the latest Nasa’s thermometers reading global average temperatures as ‘soaring at 1.28C’ as of March above the average from 1951-1980, while February was 1.34C higher, dangerous tipping points, an irreversible benchmark could be crossed.

Climate change is usually crosschecked over years and decades, but even scientists have been struck by the recent unprecedented temperatures. Furthermore, annual heat records have been also breaking records, with 2015 demolishing the record set in 2014 for the hottest year seen, in data stretching back to 1850.

Prof Michael Mann, a climate scientist who spends most of his time between shelves and laboratories of Penn State University also became agile-tonged about March data by saying: “Wow. I continue to be shocked by what we are seeing.” He said the world had now been hovering close to the threshold of “dangerous” warming for two months, something not seen before.”

“The [new data] is a reminder of how perilously close we now are to permanently crossing into dangerous territory,” Mann said. “It underscores the urgency of reducing global carbon emissions.”

As such terrifying facts unfold; the fossil fuel business seems dragging towards hell, with sharp losses resulting from steep price drops. Alternatively, exemplary investors like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is divesting its heavily invested holding in BP.

The weights “breaking” dangerous fossil fuels is the most courageous wave of actions challenging business as usual across the world. Motivated by an ever strengthening, ever stretching effort to achieve 100% renewable energy, breakfree campaign resounds the knell that spelled fossil fuels at the close of COP21.

In the UK, the campaign had the country’s largest open-cast coal mine shut over 12 hours. While in the Philippines, over 10,000 people marched in Batangas city demanding the cancellation of the proposed 600 – megawatt coal powered plant in Barangay Pinamucan.

All signals indicate greener earth and a brighter future will lean on the raptures of renewable energy miracles that must shatter the bondage of carbon dioxide emissions nuclear energy price competitions built from the cradles civilization to the present moment.

To harness the moment, activists and concerned citizens committed to addressing climate change—from international groups to local communities to individual citizens— are united to maintain grips to force energy providers, as well as local and national governments, to steer towards a renewable future through investing in wind and solar energy.

This enviable cause justifies the discharge of thousands of men and women showing the world a glimpse into wrecking resistance through solidarity hard for politicians foster. Each action was unique: from the coal fields of UK, to the oil wells of Nigeria, to defiant actions against new coal power plant in Indonesia and the Philippines -- and many places beyond but all echoes one sound: stop polluting our ecosystem! End fossil fuels. And now.

In order to address the present-day climate crisis, fossil fuel projects need to be shelved and existing infrastructure needs to be replaced now that renewable energy is more affordable and widespread than ever before. The only way to achieve this is by keeping coal, oil and gas in the ground and accelerating the just transition to 100 percent renewable energy.

 

By Boaz Opio

Environmental Writer, Kampala Uganda.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ +256784947523

Huawei Uganda, KCCA For Africa Mayors Forum

Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, to partner with KCCA for Africa Mayors’ Forum known as the East and Central African Cities Development Forum. 

The three day African Cities’ Development forum to be held by KCCA at Speke Resort Munyonyo from 24th to 26th of May 2016 is to attract hundreds of high-level audience, mayors, scholars, research institutes, enterprises and private sectors to participate and discuss extensive topics like realizing UN sustainable development goals, delivering great 21st Century African Cities, safety and securities in Cities and financing infrastructure investment in African Cities among others. 

Huawei Uganda to deliver Keynote address on how to promote Smart City and Safe City in African Cities such as Kampala in order to cut down crime. 

“With our 18 years of experience within Africa’s ICT industry, coupled with our extensive industry global network, Huawei is well positioned to share the best practices and latest ICT solutions. Huawei has a presence in most of the 54 African countries where it works closely with telecom operators to modernize their respective networks and with governments to support ICT infrastructure deployment and digital transformation practice. We know that our insight in Smart City and security in African cities shall give an end to end solution for crime in Africa,” says Mr. Stanley Chyn the Managing Director of Huawei Uganda. 

According to Mr. Stanley Chyn, Huawei is to exhibit virtually to the attendees how its Smart City and Safe City solution can be incorporated in African Cities’ already existing infrastructure to cut crime, manage traffic and surveillance among others. The Prime Minister of Uganda Rt. Honorable Ruhakana Rugunda is going to open the East and Central African Cities Development Forum in Munyonyo.

PHOTOS: Kids Tackle Climate Change Challenge With Verve

Developing countries like Uganda are at a higher risk of being devastated by the negative impact of climate change. As a preventive measure environmental activists are undertaking initiatives to stop agents of climate change.

One of the agents of climate change is deforestation which is an act of cutting down trees. In a situation where trees have been cut, efforts to re-plant new and more tree is taking shape. Afforestation is being used to curb the devastation caused by the vegetation that was cut down by man.

In Uganda, Little Hands Go Green, an organization championing good environmental practices, is using children friendly initiatives to protect the environment. Over the weekend, the organization hosted over 500 children at a one day International Children’s Climate Change Conference 2016. The conference which was also celebrating International Earth Day took place at Rainbow International School.

The conference also celebrated World Earth Day

Children from different schools debated environment and water topics, presented poems, participated in tree planting exercises, made paintings in support of nature, danced and presented their ideas about mitigating climate change. Senior environmentalists were also at hand to answer questions from the pupils.

Pupils were taught how to plant and care for the trees

The annual conference, the third one in a row, was organized under the theme ‘When Water Slows, Trees Die’. It was supported by Midland Group of companies, National Forestry Authority (NFA), NBS Television, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and Vivo Energy.

Uganda's Little Hands Go Green team at the conference

Joseph Masembe CEO of Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green said the only way the environment can be saved is through using the young generation because “they are our future and we must create love for nature in them in order for them to encourage and inspire others.”

Kotecha handed over a dummy cheque of Shs10m to buy tree seedlings that will distributed across the country.

Drashna Kotecha, Director of Rainbow said “we must make sure that environment is protected and preserved to have proper living. A conference like this grooms young generation on the importance of nature and that’s why we as Midland Group of Companies joined Uganda’s Little Hands Go Green and we shall support them as long as we can.”

 

 

 

Charcoal Burning Uganda’s Future

 

Tree fellers should use the timber for making their own coffins. Because, as they kill that 100 year old Mvule, the poor tree is busy supplying them with good air to live. Hacking down a living tree to produce charcoal, one is initiating endless cycles of murder no one can ever tell. First, life of a tragic carbon at a thousandth year of captivity in the trunk is being restored! The logger is innocently condemning the lives of uncountable species of living things.

Deforestation, and especially the destruction of rainforests, is a hugely significant contributor to climate change in Uganda. Scientists estimate that forest loss and other changes to the use of land account for around 23% of current man-made carbon dioxide emissions – which equates to roughly 17% of the 100-year warming impact of all current greenhouse-gas emissions.

The impact of the charcoal industry in Uganda’s once believed to be the most stunning of all Africa’s vegetation is despairing.

Surely, if one day, the spirit of one Sir Winston Churchill, who constantly referred to Uganda as the Pearl of Africa could tour back, we can’t know what the late would make of how rapidly the country has lost it’s beautiful ecosystem to, primarily energy.

Ninety-six percent of Ugandan households depend on wood fuel for cooking. According to a study conducted by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the rate of charcoal production and usage in Uganda between 1998 and 2008 increased by 76% mainly due to increased urbanization.

The study further noted that production of charcoal in Uganda was mainly based on cutting naturally growing trees using simple methods. The current rate of deforestation stands at 1.8%. This means the scarcity of firewood can only get worse unless ambitious interventions are put in place to reverse this trend.

Wood fuel is deeply rooted in both Uganda’s household and industrial energy mix that several attempts to cut the production of the fossil fuel often meets resistance.  In Gulu district, charcoal burners in January only played hide-and-seek with the local authorities trying to impose a mere month ban. 

More burning can’t help heal the already raped lands. But just how will the 85% of the population survive without a reliable alternative energy source? Will the small solar panels visible on few roof tops of villagers produce enough energy for cooking food?

According to some reports, Uganda loses close to 73,000 hectares of forest cover annually, which has critically catalyzed the impacts of global warming in the land-locked country: fields that no longer grow… erratic and harsh weather conditions such as hot days, all have their seeds in a falling tree.

Every year our atmosphere loses around 10 billion cubic metres of oxygen, replacing it with carbon dioxide that would absorbed by flora. Knowing this should help us appreciate the vital contributions made by trees.

During the course of its life, a single average 100 year old tree will have fixed the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) contained in 18 million cubic metres of air in the form of about 2,500 kilograms of pure carbon. Experts have calculated that a hectare of well-working forestry annually absorbs about 6.5 tons of carbon dioxide while releasing 3.5 to 5 tons of oxygen.

For all of human history until around the dawn of the age of fossil fuels, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere was stable at ~275 parts per million (ppm). As climate pundit Bill McKibben explains, “Parts per million is simply a way of measuring the concentration of different gases, and means the ratio of the number of carbon dioxide molecules to all of the molecules in the atmosphere.”7 275 ppm CO2 is a useful, balanced amount which allows enough greenhouse-gasses to create a warm, livable climate but not so much as to make a dangerously hot one.

With limited renewable energy of poor nations, the demand for the fossil fuel have swelled and our carbon-emissions have soared exponentially. As a result, there is now a dangerously high amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

An average 100 year old tree is said to have availed 6,600 kilograms of oxygen for living creatures. A single tree such as a mature Mvule can produce enough oxygen for 10 people for a year. Cut down a Mvule and you condemn 10 people. Cut down a hundred and you condemn a village. Cut down a forest and you are committing genocide; aside from destroying wild-life habitats.

Cut down forests for fossil fuels and you are doing no service to humankind. You are a blight, not a blessing, on civilization; and the face of this Earth – you are burning the future!

 

BY: Boaz Opio

Environmentalist (Kampala Uganda)

 

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.

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