Uganda sitting on AIDS timebomb!!

Complacency, ignorance and indifference are reversing Uganda’s gains against the Aids epidemic, a senior government official warned yesterday. Dr Kihumuro Apuuli, who heads the Uganda Aids Commission, the government agency responsible for coordinating the fight against Aids, said the number of new HIV infections is “unacceptably high” and rising. Story continues…

In a similiar editiorial story, The New Vision Uganda writes that Uganda needs new strategies to combat HIV/AIDS especially for married couples.

The question still remains, what is teh best strategy to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Uganda and Africa in general?

Bold action on climate change needed in Copenhagen meet

IF necessity is the mother of invention, we should be looking forward to a breathtakingly innovative agreement on climate change in Copenhagen in December. Such an agreement would not only outline how we should curb greenhouse gas emissions, but also how we could realistically adapt to climate change, and help countries cope with its negative effects.

The increasing threat to life and livelihood posed by climate change is already palpable and the need for effective action agreed in Copenhagen is increasingly urgent. Yet the lack of progress in ongoing climate negotiations raises concern as to whether world governments will be able to reach meaningful agreement in December.

For those living on the frontline —the most vulnerable communities living in risk-prone parts of the world — every day wasted could mean a step closer to food or water insecurity; communities having to move to secure adequate and safe services; or even whole regions emptying as they become unable to sustain life.

Changes in the Arctic are accelerating global climate change. Scientists warn that if the Himalayan glaciers disappear, the impact would be felt by more than one billion people across Asia. What will African farmers do when floods wash away their crops as is happening these days in West Africa? This might sound overdramatic. However, climate change is already increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme natural hazard events, especially floods, storms and droughts.  Writes Bekele-Geleta

Uganda National Development Plan lacking!!!

This does not surprise me! Given the way government business is handled in Uganda…..

The National Development Plan is not sustainable and has no practical macro-economic framework, Tumusiime Mutebile, the central bank governor, has warned.

“Although the development plan is still a draft, I can say that its fiscal framework doesn’t consider the possible revenues from oil and this plan is supposed to be for 10 years,” he explained at a press briefing held on the sidelines of the fourth competitiveness forum at Serena Kampala Hotel last week.

“Clearly, oil will start flowing, therefore, oil revenues should be considered. “The macro-economic framework of the draft plan doesn’t contain estimates for revenues and therefore the expenditure does not reflect oil revenues.”

Mutebile had earlier told the forum that he had written to the chairman of the planning authority Kisamba Mugerwa. “He replied me, but his reply is inadequate,” he said.

The governor expressed concern about the lack of technical capacity among Uganda’s workforce. “Unfortunately, almost all vocational training institutions have been turned into universities. No country has ever developed on the basis of university graduates alone. We need vocational skilled workforce.”

According to Mutebile, Kigumba Agricultural Institute, which will be turned into an institute to train oil workers, is not enough. He called for the establishment of more vocational centres. Meanwhile, the governor said the global economic crisis, which resulted in dampening Uganda’s gross domestic product growth to 7%, down from 9%, was beginning to wane.

“There are indications that the negative external shock has begun to subside. The balance of payment has started to improve with a rebound of worker’s remittances from abroad and a return of portfolio investment in Treasury Bills and bonds.”

He attributed this renewed interest from portfolio investors to the excellent macro-economic stability in the country for the past 15 years. He, however, warned that the external environment over the medium-term would not be as it was in developing countries before the downturn. The story continues

Kampala City Council killing Ugandans with sewage

An interesting read from The New Vision Uganda... I believe KCC just doesn’t care about the health and wellbeing of city dwellers.

KAMPALA City Council (KCC) has disregarded recommendations of the Katorobo Commission and okayed the construction of a huge warehouse on top of delicate sewer pipes on a contested piece of land in Lugogo, a city suburb.

The developments on plot M72/3 by Luish Investments have drawn protests from the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, which warns of a health catastrophe as the clay sewer pipes laid more than 40 years ago may give way due to pressure exerted by the weight of the buildings.

The plot is behind the rugby club playground at Lugogo bordered by the Lugogo power transmission sub-station, a railway line and Shell Club.

The plot is not only located in a wetland, but is also shrouded in controversy over shoddy transfers and dealings. It was first acquired by the Vice-President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, in 2003 amid a dispute with Kyadondo Rugby Club.

The story continues…

Kampala’s garbage sites

I always wonder who is responsible for garbage collection in Kampala city. From what I have gathered, Kampala City Council (KCC) is responsible for this duty. However, it is common to find heaps and heaps of garbage piled on most Kampala streets. Now that the rainy season is here, it leaves a lot to be desired when it come to garbage collection in Kampala! For instance, I took this pictures on my way to work.

Scenarios like this are very common on the streets of Kampala, especially downtown and in slum areas, where I believe KCC officials just decide to keep a blind eye!

So what is KCC doing to address garbage collection? Or what does KCC need to do to address the littering garbage in our precious Kampala?

Quoting KCC, they write on their website, Solid waste collection and garbage management is one of the key services provided by the council.” They go to further say that “KCC has contracted private companies to manage solid waste collection so as to improve the cleanliness of the city. It is estimated that the per capita generation of garbage is one kilogram per day. With a population of about 1.5 million, this works out to about 1500 tons. The council can only manage to dispose of 40% -50% of this. About 80% of this garbage is organic matter which makes it very bulky to handle.”

I was beginning to think that most Ugandans are just dirty citizens who do not mind just littering rubbish anyway they find but on second thought, I thin it is the lack of sensitization on proper waste disposal that is lacking!

It is a very sight to see someone throw a polythene bag anywhere they find even when they have garbage bin in front of them! Still, this gets me thinking why can’t there be laws to punish such culprits?! Or is it that KCC will handle the garbage collection! I do not think at this point they are in position to do so!

For me, I believe that KCC should undertake massive sensitization of the public about the danger of unpropitious waste disposal, make implement laws that will catch the culprits who just on disposing garbage as they feel.

Stand Up Against Poverty

Today is the UN’s official World Poverty Day! Millions of people are estimated to take part in the The Stand up against poverty campaign.  But come to think about it, every day is poverty day for the two billion people worldwide who have less than two dollars a day to live on. Of those, just under one billion live on just one dollar a day. In September 2000, 189 countries pledged to halve the number of those in poverty by 2015. When we look at the results so far, hope mixes with despair. Over 100 million children are still unable to go to school. Each year, 10 million children die before their 5th birthday. 40 million are living with HIV and AIDS, and 5 million die of it each year.’17th Oct 2004 Hilary Benn, UK Secretary of State for International Development

Today, nearly half of the world’s people live in poverty, 70% are women. 50,000 people still die daily as a result of extreme poverty, and yet …..we have the power to change this.

In my previous post, I talked about slums in Uganda. I can’t find the exact number of people living in slums who particularly make up the urban poor! But today, I managed to take a picture to show you a general of the living conditions in Katwe or is it the housing situation.