The World Bank group has said decline in global oil prices should not discourage the development of the oil industry in Uganda as the resource will be pivotal in economic development.
The World Bank says the reason why Uganda and the oil companies exploring oil should not lose hope is because there is hope that global oil prices will pick up and stabilise in the near future.
The oil prices have now fallen by more than half since June 2014, when the prices stood at $110 (about Shs314,000) per barrel to the current price of under $50 (about Shs143,000) per barrel.
Speaking during a meeting to disseminate the findings of a study on the National Content Development in the oil and gas industry in Uganda yesterday at FairWay Hotel, the World Bank country programme coordinator for Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda, Mr Sajjad Ali Shah said even before oil production commences and oil revenues start coming in, there are benefits to be reaped from the sector.
The current dry spell is significantly affecting the forest cover in parts of Bunyoro sub region where forests are being used as a tool of heritage conservation.
Hundred of trees recently planted as part of a campaign to conserve the 12-pet names ( empaako) of Bunyoro and Toro are drying up as a result of extreme weather conditions.
The situation is expected to stretch till the end of March 2015 according to a recent report by the department of meteorology.
Ten forests each sitting on 2 acres of land had successfully been planted as part of the drive initiated by Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom in partnership with Cross Cultural Foundation of Uganda. But many of them have dried up with limited chances of survival because of the too much sunshine.
Mbarara deputy Resident District Commissioner Moses Mwebesa and residents of Nyamitanga Division have faulted authorities charged with environmental protection of giving up the campaign to save River Rwizi from unfriendly human activities.
Sand mining in the river at Kirehe in Nyamitanga Division has made the river come close to changing course.
The residents say environmentalists focus on reclaiming and protecting sections of the river which are easily noticeable, neglecting sections deep in rural and hard to reach areas.
“Every now and again I hear that National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) is reclaiming catchment areas of the river and protecting its zones but sand mining has been here for years yet the miners have never been stopped,” said Mr Badru Kateba, a resident.
Wilmar International, one of the largest oilseeds corporations in the world is developing palm oil plantations in biodiverse islands off the coast of Lake Victoria, Uganda. The project is a partnership of Wilmar with the Government of Uganda, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Kenyan oilseeds company Bidco. The first phase of the project was completed in 2011, and despite a number of social and environmental problems raised1, the second phase of the project is currently going ahead.
Chemicals and chemical waste in the extractive sector pose a great risk to miners, communities around mining areas and the environment. Large swaps of land near mining areas are often degraded; miners and communities nearby develop health problems but may not immediately associate their health problems with the effects of mining processes.
NAPE carried out an investigation to assess the levels of awareness on harmful aspects of chemicals and chemicals waste and how workers in mines, the communities and the environment were being protected from such harm. This report reveals the reality in selected artisanal mines in Uganda.