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Government of Uganda with approval of parliament, some time back in 2009 banned the importation, manufacture and use of polythene bag, popularly known as kavera of gauge below 30 microns.

The ban was based on the effects the Kavera has on the environment namely:-

Review of economic, social and cultural rights in UgandaNAPE and other Civil Society organizations in Uganda have been collaborating with Franciscans International (FI), a faith-based International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) with General Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and submitted a contribution to the list of issues to the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Uganda.

Franciscans International submitted a contribution to the list of issues in September 2014 and is now closely following the review process.

The Bujagali hydropower dam on The River Nile in Uganda was finally commissioned in August 2012 after eighteen years of controversy that delayed the dam construction.

The dam faced numerous economic, environmental, social and spiritual challenges that stalled the dam construction while the project underwent investigations over bribery claims and project reviews on the dam design and capacity.

The dam cost kept on growing from $580 million at inception to $860 million and finally $902 million ($3.6million per MW) at completion. Independent investigations by the Ugandan Parliamentary adhoc committee on energy put the dam’s actual cost at $1.3 billion ($5.2m).

Kenya-based M-KOPA Solar announced that it has connected an estimated 20,000 Ugandan homes to affordable solar power in the past 15 months.

M-KOPA solar III: powering over 20,000 Ugandan homes with solar power. Pic credit: m-kopaThe ‘pay-as-you-go’ energy service provider for off-grid homes is extending its product offering across the country with a target of connecting 50,000 additional off-grid households by the end of 2015.

Jesse Moore, managing director and co-founder of M-KOPA Solar, said: “We are very proud of the M-KOPA III solar home system and our success to date in Uganda. Together we are helping Ugandans get rid of kerosene, improve their standard of living and save money all at once.”

M-KOPA customers can buy the M-KOPA III kit for a deposit of UGX 90,000 (ZAR390) plus 365 daily payments of UGX 1400 (ZAR5). The company claims the price is cheaper than the daily kerosene needed to power lights and to charge phones.

Small-scale gold miners, government decry poor disposal of mercury in miningGold miners in the country have expressed concern on the improper disposal of mercury within the industry. Mercury is used in all gold mines in the country to sieve or attract ‘gold dusts’ from soil.

However, some miners have expressed concern that after its use, mercury is improperly disposed of, which sometimes ends up in water streams and rivers. Water contaminated with mercury could affect the environment.

Soil suspected to have gold is placed in a basin of water and mixed with one bottle of mercury. Mercury attracts all the gold particles in the soil. During a recent conference to discuss the proposed amendment to the mining policy and act at Protea hotel organized by Eco Christian Organization and Action Aid Uganda, miners asked government to check the improper disposal of mercury to save the environment.

“In Buhweju, the gold deposits are located in water catchment areas and wetlands. Mercury is often improperly disposed of into wetlands. Many of our valleys have been washed down with mercury, which contaminates our water. It is a big challenge that needs to be addressed immediately,” one of the miners told participants.