Felling the Walls of Lies Tobacco and Oil Industries Built

He smoked cigarettes and coughed a lot, leaning against the walls of a streetin a cold morning. As I became more concerned, as of my journalistic works, I cracked open my car door immediately inhaling an unfair share of his cigarette smoke blended with the permanent carbon taste of the roads.There and then, I knew we were all not safe from deadly harm caused by the Tobacco and fossil fuel industries.

At first, the smoker looked at me with a grin in his face as though I was coming add him the “sticks”, unfortunately, all I wanted was take photos on the public.

It is of course not odd to spot smokers like him despite all the calls to end smoking, but the addiction to Tobacco seems far much powerful than the legal tools and regulations World Health Organisation (WHO) usesto inform the public against the dangers of smoking.

As the saying goes “actions speak louder than words, In 2006, the US court dragged the tobacco industry to court and found them guilty of a decades-long racketeering enterprise in which it conspired to deceive the public about the dangers of smoking.

Specifically, the Department of Justice alleged that the cigarette industry purposely and fraudulently mislead the public about the risks and dangers of cigarette smoking. The government alleged that "the Defendants have engaged in and executed – and continue to engage in and execute – a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes, in violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act”.

The Big Tobacco knew. They knew that their industry was seriously damaging people’s health, for years they had known of the relationship between tobacco and lung cancer, along with many other diseases. Instead of acting upon it, they started a huge strategy of confusion and denial, trying to mislead population and spending lots of money on advertising “healthier” smoking options.

In that same year 2006 they were declared guilty and had to pay $10 billion in fines. Since then, life of the Tobacco Industry has become a little difficult: laws and regulations were put in place, they have been set aside of the negotiation tables, and strong regulations grow against their industry day by day. Shamelessly, they continue taking people’s health, now rapidly expanding their business in the global South.

Speaking for ThinkProgress, Sharon Y. Eubanks – the leader of the Justice Department team that prosecuted the landmark lawsuit against big tobacco – says the Department of Justice should investigate Exxon and possibly other fossil fuel industry players for a similar claim, only much worse. The conspiracy isn’t only against smokers’ health, it’s against all life on Earth.

Like Tobacco, the Big Oil also knew. Companies like Exxon, BP, Shell and Peabody Energy have known about climate change and their role in creating it for many decades. Again, instead of solving the problem, these big polluters embarked on a series of campaigns designed to deceive the public about the reality of climate change and to block any actions that might curb global warming emissions.

Actually, Big Oil and Big Tobacco shared the same “playbook” to misinform the public, often through the very same paid academics, “think tanks,” and PR firms. Ten years ago, a federal court ruled against those tactics. Maybe it is time to rule against those exact same ones that the Oil Industry used.

Last year, the New York attorney general began an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business, and has demanded to the company extensive financial records, emails and other documents.

Furthermore, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines sent this July to 47 “carbon majors” including Shell, BP, Chevron, BHP Billiton and Anglo American, a 60-page document accusing them of breaching people’s fundamental rights to “life, food, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and to self-determination”.

The move is the first step in what is expected to be an official investigation of the companies. The complaint argues that the companies should be held accountable for the effects of their greenhouse gas emissions in the Philippines and demands that they explain how human rights violations resulting from climate change will be “eliminated, remedied and prevented”.

The Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has a powerful tool to hold companies liable for the damage they have produced.

Article 19 gives Parties the power to use the law to hold the tobacco industry legally and financially accountable for its abuses, putting the societal burdens of the tobacco on the industry. Nowadays this article is infra-utilized, due to the fact that low and middle-income countries lack the resources and legal expertise to take on the industry in the courts and defend against its litigation attacks. 

But a broad implementation of Article 19 would help countries recoup the exorbitant costs of the tobacco industry’s deadly abuses and severely limit Big Tobacco’s power around the world. But this is possible if we first deal with the lies these two deadly industries have built about their unhealthy products that causes trouble on human health as well as the health of our planet.

Authored by Boaz Opio

 

Jumia Travel Launches New Web Extranet For Hotel Managers

Jumia Travel is seeking to further empower its hotel partners across all markets with top-notch technology by unveiling the Web Extranet, a web version of the previously launched Extranet App on Android. The tool allows hotel managers to confirm and view their incoming Jumia Travel reservations, change their rates and update availability.

According to Charles de Moucheron, Chief Operating Officer at Jumia Travel, the portal is working on direct integration with existing partner hotel systems to manage bookings, update rates and availability. “After integrating the first channel managers in May 2016, we are now integrating multiple hospitality software solutions for our hotels partners to work better with us. The Web Extranet is built on the latest technology that delivers the shortest loading time currently available in the market. This is customized to accommodate even markets where internet speed is still limited,” he said.

The new version is a progressive web application, which delivers an app-like experience to the user. With a market that is highly characterized by a "mobile-first" adaptation, the tool is mobile-optimized, which means the app size can adapt to any screen size; be it on the mobile, smartphone, tablet or desktop.

New features such as reviews, statistics and a finance section where hotels can review their invoices will soon be introduced. The launch of the Web Extranet is part of a wider program by Jumia Travel to bring on board the latest technology to the hospitality industry in order to democratize travel in Africa.

About Jumia Travel

Jumia Travel (travel.jumia.com) is Africa's No.1 hotel booking website, allowing you to get the best prices for more than 25,000 hotels in Africa and more than 200,000 hotels around the world. Our ambition is to bring every bit of available accommodation online and to create the easiest and cheapest way for customers to book it.

At Jumia Travel, we have hundreds of travel specialists constantly in touch with our customers. Our offices are located in Lagos (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Dakar (Senegal), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Algiers (Algeria), Douala (Cameroon), Kampala (Uganda), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Nairobi (Kenya), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Porto (Portugal) and Paris (France).

Before June 2016, Jumia Travel was known as Jovago. It was founded in 2013 by Jumia and is backed by MTN, Rocket Internet, Millicom, Orange and Axa as financial partners.

Is The Star System Still Vital For Hotels

A regular traveler who has been to several hotels around the world’s popular cities can easily tell you the difference between the standards and star rating of a hotel. Yet the question is, is the star rating still as relevant as it was years ago? First off, what is star rating and what does it mean for a hotel?

Wikipedia states that  Hotel ratings are often used to classify hotels according to their quality. The development of the concept of hotel rating and its associated definitions display strong parallels. From the initial purpose of informing travellers on basic facilities that can be expected, the objectives of hotel rating has expanded into a focus on the hotel experience as a whole. Today the terms 'grading', 'rating' and 'classification' are used to generally refer to the same concept, that is to categorize hotels.

In Uganda; the Uganda Hotel Owners Association and the Uganda Tourism Board recently embarked on the process of grading hotels in the country, starting with those within Kampala city centre. This process is to assist in regulating hotel standards as well as make sure the properties adhere to the hospitality laws in the country.

What does the rating mean for a hotel? Who decides what stars the hotel deserves and if it is worth the grading it receives? Does the standard levied on Ugandan hotels apply when you are in the rest of East Africa or Africa? Who creates these standards? The grading and classification being done in Uganda is under the East African Community directive, meaning the regulating bodies in all different countries have to ensure that the standards are as uniform as possible for all their hotels according to what grading they receive.

Uganda Tourism Board, the body in charge of the standardised rating system in Uganda goes through the process of vetting hotels starting from their amenities, management, staff and infrastructure to make sure the hotels adhere to their regulations to stay in business and if they do not match up to the standards, some of these hotels are closed.

Vincent Agaba from Uganda Tourism Board says that ever since the grading and classification process started, they have seen a lot of improvement coming from most of the hotels. He continues to add that, “Of course they all can not start off as 5 Star hotels because there is always something missing, but along the way after full implementation, we will not have to do the grading since the hotels will see the importance of the regulations.”

The biggest number of hotels in Uganda especially those in the countryside have been operating below rating standards, but with continued inspections from the Uganda Hotel Owners Association alongside Uganda Tourism Board, there has been a number of improvements that make them operable in the industry.

The rating system can be seen to be vital for travelers especially when it comes to booking, the more the amenities that compliment the staff attitude towards customers, the better the rating the hotel receives and that is what most people look for in a hotel even if they are low on budget. “There have been times when the ratings do not match up to the hotel when a guest checks in, but we can see that is improving over time,” says Victoria Acom the Travel Advisor for Jumia Travel Uganda.

A guest who is looking to stay long would rather pay money for a hotel that is very comfortable with the best service for them, than stay at a dilapidated structure where they are not sure about their security and well being.

This means that the grading is still as important as it was. Although the star system is still coming back to life in Uganda, there’s a hope that in years to come the hospitality sector will be one of the most well maintained and operated industries in the country.

Credit: travel.jumia.com

Excellent Etihad Airways Honoured

Etihad Airways ‘treasury team has once again been acknowledged for airline treasury management excellence with three key accolades at the 2016 Middle East, African& Islamic Finance Aviation 100 Awards presented by Airline Economics in Dubai this week.

Following a string of successes in recent months with leading awards from various organizations in London, Miami and Dubai, Etihad Airwayswon further honors with:

  • The Middle East & Africa Overall Deal of the Year for Etihad Airways Partners’ (EAP) bond transactions totalingUS$1.2 billion
  • The Middle East & Africa Treasury Team of the Year
  • The Middle East & Africa Treasurer of the Year awarded to Group Treasurer Ricky Thirion

A US$700m five-year landmark finance transaction completed by EAP in November 2015 was followed by a further US$500m issuance in April 2016. The funds were raised to support the requirements of Etihad Airways, its subsidiary Etihad Airport Services, and five of the carrier’s strategic airline partners – airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia and Jet Airways.

The ground-breaking funding from institutional investors was the airline industry’s first ever joint financingin the debt capital markets.

Etihad Airways’ multi-national treasury team was able to deliver these significant results by bringing together a comprehensive array of skill sets involving cash and liquidity control, risk management and hedging, funding, and relationships with bankingpartners, investors and rating agencies.The treasury team is also responsible for insurance, direct customer payments, as well as property and infrastructure.

Ricky Thirion, who has led the treasury department since joining the company almost 10 years ago, was honored for his sterling work and leadershipinbuilding a world class treasuryorganisation.

James Rigney, Etihad Aviation Group Chief Financial Officer, said: “Our treasury team under the leadership of Ricky has worked tirelesslyto deliver a robust global treasury managementcapability. Tremendous amount of time, effort and resource has been spent on creating and developing processes, and preparing treasury business plans to take the group to a new level.”

James Hogan, Etihad Aviation Group President and CEO, added: “Etihad Airways is renowned for delivering excellence and driving innovation across our business. Our unique bond transactions continue to be recognized by the international financial community that demonstrates our equity investment strategy in airlines is forward-thinking and reinforces the level of market confidence in our business model.

“Credit to James Rigney and his treasury team led by Ricky Thirion for building a strong treasury department, and creating the framework with our partners for completing two successful bond transactions, particularly in testing times during challenging economic conditions.”

Airline Economics, part of the Aviation News stable of aviation publications, is considered among the leading airline industry titles for insightful reporting and analysis. The awards were presented during Airline Economics Growth Frontiers, Dubai’s premier aviation finance event organized by Airline Economics for owners, investors and operators of commercial aircraft across the aviation industry.

Excellent Etihad Airways Honoured

Etihad Airways ‘treasury team has once again been acknowledged for airline treasury management excellence with three key accolades at the 2016 Middle East, African& Islamic Finance Aviation 100 Awards presented by Airline Economics in Dubai this week.

Following a string of successes in recent months with leading awards from various organizations in London, Miami and Dubai, Etihad Airwayswon further honors with:

  • The Middle East & Africa Overall Deal of the Year for Etihad Airways Partners’ (EAP) bond transactions totalingUS$1.2 billion
  • The Middle East & Africa Treasury Team of the Year
  • The Middle East & Africa Treasurer of the Year awarded to Group Treasurer Ricky Thirion

A US$700m five-year landmark finance transaction completed by EAP in November 2015 was followed by a further US$500m issuance in April 2016. The funds were raised to support the requirements of Etihad Airways, its subsidiary Etihad Airport Services, and five of the carrier’s strategic airline partners – airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia and Jet Airways.

The ground-breaking funding from institutional investors was the airline industry’s first ever joint financingin the debt capital markets.

Etihad Airways’ multi-national treasury team was able to deliver these significant results by bringing together a comprehensive array of skill sets involving cash and liquidity control, risk management and hedging, funding, and relationships with bankingpartners, investors and rating agencies.The treasury team is also responsible for insurance, direct customer payments, as well as property and infrastructure.

Ricky Thirion, who has led the treasury department since joining the company almost 10 years ago, was honored for his sterling work and leadershipinbuilding a world class treasuryorganisation.

James Rigney, Etihad Aviation Group Chief Financial Officer, said: “Our treasury team under the leadership of Ricky has worked tirelesslyto deliver a robust global treasury managementcapability. Tremendous amount of time, effort and resource has been spent on creating and developing processes, and preparing treasury business plans to take the group to a new level.”

James Hogan, Etihad Aviation Group President and CEO, added: “Etihad Airways is renowned for delivering excellence and driving innovation across our business. Our unique bond transactions continue to be recognized by the international financial community that demonstrates our equity investment strategy in airlines is forward-thinking and reinforces the level of market confidence in our business model.

“Credit to James Rigney and his treasury team led by Ricky Thirion for building a strong treasury department, and creating the framework with our partners for completing two successful bond transactions, particularly in testing times during challenging economic conditions.”

Airline Economics, part of the Aviation News stable of aviation publications, is considered among the leading airline industry titles for insightful reporting and analysis. The awards were presented during Airline Economics Growth Frontiers, Dubai’s premier aviation finance event organized by Airline Economics for owners, investors and operators of commercial aircraft across the aviation industry.

Destination of The Week: Murchison Falls National Park

The independence weekend is going to be celebrated in the beautiful Murchison Falls National Park for some Ugandans who are taking part in the #UgTravelMonth that is happening throughout the month of October, where travellers travel to different parts of the country on an endeavour to push domestic tourism in the country.

The first trip happened on the 2nd where people were served with delicious dishes of everything that Queen Elizabeth National Park has to offer and a side of roadside beauties whilst on the road. The second trip is happening on the 8th of October and is going to be a journey to the Murchison Falls National Park.

Murchison National Park is one of the oldest wildlife reserves in Uganda and was established in 1926 but was officially a park from 1952. The park is located in the North- Western regions of Uganda running an estimate of over 3,840km at the end of the Albertine Rift Valley. The Victoria Nile or White Nile as it is commonly known, passes through the park and falls over the rift valley which creates the glorious Murchison falls that are the most visited section of the park.

The park has over 76 species of wild animals within its confines and boasts of 451 bird life that can be identified around the park.

Meaning there is a huge feast for the eyes when you make your way into the park this weekend. If you are not joining the #UgTravelMonth bus to the park, there are other ways you can get to the park and have a weekend there too. The park is located between Buliisa district within the Bunyooro Kingdom of western Uganda and Nwoya district in the Acholi region on the Northern side of the country.

If driving from Kampala to the park, it is easier to access the park by going through Bombo- Luweero, Nakasongola to Karuma right off the Northern Bypass route. 

The most superb and eye catching area of the park is where the falls are located and it doubles as the the park’s most requested for item on the game drive and sightseeing treks.

Mostly referred to as the Kabalega falls, the location has a breathtaking effect on visitors due the formation of the falls. The falls are 43 metres high and tumble down in a thunderous roar into a beautiful fall coupled with dancing rays of light that form a rainbow, especially during the sunset when the sun has reached its peak.

Visiting the park means getting sightful of many animals that range from Giraffes, leopards, Oribi, buffalo, crocodiles, elephants and lions among many others including birds such as; Red-throated Bee-eater, White-browed Sparrow Weaver, Speckle-fronted Weaver and African Quailfinch. For anyone interested in the African study of herbs, the park as the other of its kind is home to so many different species of flora especially those used for herbal purposes for generations in Uganda, for the people living nearby who do not have immediate access to emergency medical supplies.

If in any way you have not had a good fill of mammals, the park has a number of primate species in the Rabongo- Kaniyo Pabidi forest reserve and the savanna. On the several nature walks organised by the parks, you might catch a glimpse of the Olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus including chimpanzees which are estimated to be over 800 in number from the last census. And because they are a very naughty lot, it is advisable for all visitors to avoid feeding the primates or leaving their windows open during the drives or one might lose their lunch to them.

The travel month trip is all about communing with the wild, so every traveller is equipped with a tent in a well lit campsite at the Nile Safari Lodge that is well guarded by park rangers but if you want to spend a night at the lodges, you will get a 20% discount when you book via Jumia Travel one of the sponsors of the #UgTravelMonth.

 

Credit: travel.jumia.com

When The Wanderlust Hits You

Hello, my name is Cecile and I am addicted to traveling. It does sound silly when you say it out loud, “addicted to traveling” and one might scoff it off as one of those millennial problems that youths come up with when they need to catch attention from those people who live on the internet, but it is as real as it gets.

I do not know when it started exactly to be honest, but I remember all I ever wanted to do was travel. See the world, be amazed and come back home to my regular job plus life like nothing special happened a week before. 

The first trips I ever took weren't even out of the country or thousands of miles away from home; it was a week away from the city and its hustle- bustle life. I was forced to take leave or else lose all my vacation days. Of course took it and let me tell you; IT WAS AMAZING! The tranquility that comes with being around nature is amazing; the fresh air, there was no unnecessary noise anywhere except for the beautiful chirpy sounds of birds and constant whoosh of the trees when the wind blew by. Even the wind was not that dry- hot gust filled with dust and unknown particles but a fresh cool breeze filled with aromas and fragrances from the different homesteads scattered all over the place.

You could think, I was at some resort yet I was at my Grandmother’s house in the village surrounded by trees, farmland, kitchen coops and cattle kraals. That week marked a new step in my life. 

After that, whenever I could get a chance to leave the city even if it was for a weekend, I would do it without thinking twice. My grandmother was happy about the company and taught me so much about the countryside that I had everything on my finger tips.

Yet, I kept itching for more; I needed more than I was getting at that time and even if I didn’t know what it was I kept searching for it within every place I went to.

The other times when I travelled, I would wander off to beach havens hidden within the country. I didn’t know how gorgeous water could look without revellers jumping and playing in it but I fell in love with that beauty. I needed to see more, what else was my country hiding from me?

Social media is a magical place, most people do not notice how deeper it gets because we always keep scratching the surface. I found so many travel groups on several of the sites I frequented and discovered gems within those groups; most of the people on these groups organised trips every month or two. I was excited about this and decided to join in every excursion they planned.

After several trips, I realised I needed to plan for my salary and only go for trips I could afford since I had been spending a lot more money than expected on traveling compared to everything else in my life. It is during all these trips that I learned how beautiful my country is and how refreshing it is to always go away from everything and see life from a different angle than what you are usually used to. 

After the group trips, I started hunting for trips headed out of the country but this meant spending even more money than I usually do. I made a decision to start saving up, stopped spending on unnecessary things and put up a plan that even though sometimes I veered off, helped keep me on track with my expenses.

There was joy and relief in seeing new things and I took it in hungrily craving for more to be given to me.

Within four months, I had been to over five countries such as Samoa, Ireland, Seychelles among others; countries I didn’t notice much unless they popped up on my screen due to something happening there. I fell in love with these countries and learned a lot from their people. For every country I visited, a fire was lit in my heart to visit even more others and I am doing just that. It is not easy saving and not jumping for every night out, but it is worth it. Every once in awhile, I drag my friends along for some of my travels and they love it too. 

I now get very excited when travel packages pop up on my phone screen, I have stories to tell and look forward to discounted packages whenever I can find them. I am more wiser now about so many places, yet I know I have so much more to see and learn.

Yes, I am addicted to traveling but this wanderlust has brought so much therapy, joy and adventure in my life and do not think I will give it up anytime soon. 

Credit: Travel.jumia.com

Skipping The Language Barrier Issue While Traveling

A wandering soul is never limited by how far the place is or how hard it will be for them to get there, a tag on their spirit to go there will make them leave wherever they call home to see new things.

When you travel to new places, you have this huge excitement to learn and see new things that you might have just read or seen on the internet. The overwhelming excitement to experience a new culture, traditions and learn a new language is always something to look forward while traveling and yet, the biggest huddle is part of the excitement. Languages spoken vary all over the world. No matter how many people speak English away from America and Britain, you will still find that the biggest majority has a native tongue that is well spoken and used to communicate throughout the rest of the country.

One big example would be when you travel throughout Africa; not all states adopted their colonial master’s language as the official one and if they did, it is not spoken all over or it has a mix of pidgin in it that will make it hard for a foreigner to understand. Away from Africa, Europe has different languages spoken by the natives of the country you travel to and not everyone will be able to help you just because you speak English.

Of course we all know that; you need to learn some of the basic words that will help you navigate through and not make a complete fool of yourself whilst trying to describe what you need. 

Can these basic words help you in any way though? Will you be able to sufficiently navigate your way to everything just by learning the “how, where, what, when, why and who?” In most cases when you are not staying for too long in the new environment, it helps especially if you only came for business. Most people in towns can easily make sentences of English depending on what section of town they are in. So you will be able to get away with knowing very little about their official language just because you are breezing through for a few days and spending more time in board rooms than on the streets. 

If you are staying for long, it is a different issue; you need to find a way to adopt so that things do not get a little harder. You can start off with a couple of these tips below.

Hire A Translator

Probably one of the easiest things for most people in foreign countries to do, a translator makes communication a little less complicated since they can speak your language and fluently project what you wanted to say. However,sometimes it becomes quite expensive to do that and keep it up when some meanings get lost in the translation. Unless you can afford to have a translator on retainer all through your trip, this should be the last resort. 

Take Classes

This needs to be done while you are still in your country especially if you are going for a long term contract in the destination country. It might take a month or two to grasp some of the pronunciation but this makes it easy for you to fall into habit of speaking the language when you finally move. 

Translation Apps

With the advancement in technology, comes so many easier ways to do things; you can now download apps such as Google Translate, iTranslate, S Translate and Jibbigo among others to help you communicate and skip over the language barrier issue like a boss. 

Credit: Travel.jumia.com

 

Is Uganda Losing Its Pearl of Africa Spark?

Uganda was once named “the pearl of Africa” by Sir Winston Churchill. She was endowed with beautiful environment comprised of rainforests, woodlands and various species of fauna and flora that lent a bird’s eye view of the most beautiful-green area patched around Africa’s great lakes region. Due to the unforgiving impacts of global warming, today these appealing features are nothing but appalling historical facts to meditate over.

Where is the beauty anymore? What kind of woman is this that destroys her own attraction and what are the consequences upon her and her children? 

Remember that Uganda one time ranked first in the list of the most toured countries on the entire earth. It is probable that her fall is a consequence of enjoying foreign exchange gifts from the flourishing tourism with less effort to preserve her treasured micro climate.

Plague number one: the tourists have turned into NGO expatriates flocking in to attend various international environmental mourning ceremonies masquerading as workshops and fellowships.

Wretched villages no longer appealing to livelihoods; fields that no longer grow; stumps left of forests, saluting the hot of the sun, extreme weather conditions like strong winds that blow down people’s homes in addition to socio-economic dilemmas such as increased scarcity of wood-fuel and water shortages from prolonged dry spells.

Plague number two: October 2009, in the Eastern district of Bududa. Mudslide buries over 2000 people in 2 villages inhibiting the slopes of mountain Elgon, a tragedy that left over 3000 people destitute, homeless and bereaved.

The government was forced to declare a public holiday for Ugandans to mourn those who perished in the landslide. Climate Alert’s quickly casted the disaster to the “list of the deadliest mudslides of all times.”

The menace was linked to rampant deforestation of the steep slopes for wood-fuel production and farming space. When torrential rains resulting from the changing weather patterns hit the bare mountain slope, it fell apart upon the villages. 

National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) sent outcries to the public to conserve forests. The local watchdog had noticed the size of forest cover had declined over time in an alarming rate. It was estimated that there was an annual forest loss of 88,638 hectares per year from 1990-2005nationwide corresponding to pressure to provide livelihoods and economic benefits.

International watchdogs also barked. World Bank Group in partnership with Korea Green Growth Partnership published a 60 paged document, Promoting Green Urban Development in African Cities with critical concerns that Urban Africa has seriously lost much of its green vegetation.

Focusing on Uganda, former public spaces and parks in Kampala and other towns have been mysteriously converted into other urban uses such as erection of tall buildings.

Another plague was brought to light more recently during the Paris Climate summit. Moments of silence shifted to live images of the receding snowline at two summits of Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains: Margherita and Edward.

The images, beamed into the summit by a team of seasoned mountaineers on location atop the Rwenzori, helped cover the melting glaciers as a consequence of warming planet.

Among the images streamed through at the summit included an expanse of the mountains’ vegetation that was razed by a wild fire late 2014 that lasted almost a week, following a spell of close to a month without rainfall on the mountains that are also a UNESCO heritage site.

“The Rwenzoris are known to experience heavy rainfall at least twice every week, and long spells without rain on the mountains are a stark indicator of the effects of climate change,” says Tim Jarvis, the ambassador of World Wide Fund for Nature, Australia, and leader of the four-man crew of mountaineers who streamed live to the summit from the Rwenzoris.

This is the heavy price we are paying encroaching the nature. If we want a greener future for the generation to come, it is important we combat climate change from its roots. This would render cutting down all various fossil consumption of all sorts and focusing on renewable energy investment.  

A greener country and a brighter future will lean on the raptures of renewable energy miracles, a trance that will break the bondage of carbon dioxide karma, as a contribution to the united effort to achieve the major goal of an agreement reached last year in Paris—to stop climate change and keep the temperature increase below 1.5 degrees.

Such huge efforts to heal the country mean small, small contributions. Works will need to be focused activities like conservation and enhancement of forest landscapes, reclaiming waste lands hence restoring biodiversity; livelihoods, and economic opportunities which they support.

Doing, one of the most pertinent goals of Paris climate summit, “Pledging to create one new ecosystem for every ecosystem destroyed by climate change,” will be deliberately met to avoid more unknown plagues.

 

By Boaz Opio

 

 

 

Total Excellium Powers Uganda Travel Month

Total Uganda, a leading integrated oil and gas company, has been announced as the official fuel partner of the first ever Uganda Travel Month, a travel initiative aimed at promoting local tourism in the country. Total, through its new premium line of fuel, Total Excellium, will power the travel to Uganda’s beautiful tourist destinations while keeping engines in a good and healthy condition.

This sponsorship is aimed at allowing travellers experience the numerous benefits of Total Excellium, a new line of specific fuels that clean engines and provide lasting protection to ensure engines perform better, use less fuel and produce fewer polluting emissions.

Speaking at the launch of the Uganda Travel Month, Marvin Kagoro, the Marketing and Communications Manager of Total Uganda said, “We are proud to partner with Pearl Guide Uganda to offer Ugandans a smooth, memorable and worry free travel experience.”

“Total Excellium will not only fuel Uganda’s largest and most innovative tourism initiative, our Awango Solar Lamps will light the camp sites, our Total Service App will also be on hand to help you locate your nearest Total service station where you can stop for Refreshments from our Cafe bonjour’’ he said.

Pearl Guide Uganda, a tour and travel e-commerce tourism company, will provide a 4 week circuit of memorable and epic trips that will take groups into the wild at discounted fees. The Pearl Guide Business Development Manager, Phillip Kalibwami, welcomed the partnership and thanked Total Excellium for giving more travellers the opportunity to see Uganda.

”We are beyond thrilled by this partnership. With Total Excellium on board it will be possible for more travellers to experience the gems that have made Uganda a much coveted destination globally.”

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