Girls encouraged to pay more attention to science subjects

By Phiona Namukasa

The Executive Director Electricity Regulatory Authority, a government agency that ensures sustainable electricity supply Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako has appealed to parents to encourage the girl child to take science subjects so that they increasingly join the technical sector.

Eng. Ziria says,”science subjects are known to be taken by the boy child yet girls can also handle them if they are strongly guided and empowered by their parents.”

She adds that parents should encourage and inspire the girl child that so that they can also serve in science oriented positions.

Eng. Ziria encouraged women that as they celebrate this day to reflect on how best they can improve their lives if they are to go forward.

Many times women spend too much time on less productive matters which hinders their independence.

She also encouraged men to always support women in any developmental activity they do because it is the only way they can strengthen the family.

Kampala, surrounding areas, highly polluted –AirQo

By Edwin Muhumuza

Uganda has made a huge stride towards improving air quality monitoring and forecasts in order to mitigate risks caused by air pollution.

This courtesy of Makerere University’s AirQo project which was launched by ICT and National guidance Minister Judith Nabakooba.

While Presiding over the event, she noted that the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development adopted by all UN members in 2015 recognizes ICT as a key tool for environmental protection under the SDG 13 which calls for taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

The event which started in the morning had participants discuss and analyze findings of the study and raise policy concerns of ensuring that pollution and its environmental impacts are mitigated.

Some of the issues raised was that there is need for nationwide campaigns to plant trees that ensure clean air, adoption of clean energy, regulation of transport mostly involving taxis and boda boda’s coupled with the introduction of buses in a bid to limit dangerous exhaust gas emissions.

Relatedly, participants suggested that industries adopt better means of filtering their gas emissions. Their views were in sync with, those of the minister of ICT who said that environmental protection is one of the greatest challenges of our times and its adverse effects undermine the ability of countries to achieve sustainable and equitable national development.

According to the findings, of the report ,the central region, notably Kampala and Wakiso areas experience high concentration of pollution in the peak hours of the day, that is between midday and during sunset. This as a result of increased human activity, and the sun’s heat.

The study also shows that areas located near the Lake Victoria, down south, were less polluted and yet, while heading north east, pollution levels there were hazardous as a result of the many factories and industries in the region.

According to Nabakooba,It is important to note that Increases in air pollution, global temperature, sea-level rise, ocean acidification and other climate changes have adverse effects on food security, diseases incidences and other support systems, however, the widespread use of ICTs has great potential to accelerate the development of scientific and technological innovation for environmental protection.

Project Lead Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha said that lack of air quality data to quantify the magnitude and scale of air pollution levels is a big challenge in Uganda and across the African continent but that the first step in being able to improve air quality is to be able to measure it.

“The AirQo project fills in this gap by creating low-cost air pollution monitoring devices designed to work in the unique contexts of African cities,” he further added.

Paul Greene, AirQo’s lead researcher notes that data collected by the project will go a long way in supporting policy geared towards ensuring a higher quality of life among urban dwellers.

Minister Bahati says refugees are not to blame for under development

By Deo Waswa

High teenage pregnancy rates, high school dropout rates, unemployment and lack of access to reproductive health services are some of major challenges that have persisted in the country despite the efforts put in place by government, private sector and civil society organization to ensure development of the country.

According to the state minister for finance and planning David Bahati, while addressing journalists about government’s preparations ahead of world population day celebrations due to take place on 11 July at Paridi stadium in Adjumani district.

According to him, Teenage pregnancy has remained high at 25% which translates that one in four girls getting pregnant before the age of 19, and as result, many adolescent girls are denied their right and opportunity to education which traps them in a cycle of poverty.

He however noted that the coming of refuges in the country is not a threat to the increasing population of the country because the rate at which they produce is far below than the Ugandans(Nationals)

Currently Uganda has a population of not less that 40.3 million people and by the year 2050 the population is projected to increase up to 101 million people.

In Africa Nigeria still ranked no one with population of about 191 million people, followed by Ethiopia with over 104 million people, Egypt in third with over 90 million people and Uganda in 10th position.

People with disabilities urge government to be mindful of them while constructing markets

By Deo Wasswa

A report indicate that people living with disabilities in Uganda  find it extremely difficult to work in markets leading them to rampant poverty.

According to this study, disabled traders find it difficult to access market stalls, use public toilets, too much congestion and negative atittudes towards them by buyers.

These among others were the challenges highlighted in the study that was done between August 2016 and March 2017 by  different organizations of the disabled.

The study dubbed, the market based solutions for the extreme poor project, was conducted in two districts, Kampala and Gulu.

Mukasa Apollo, the executive director of the Uganda National Action on Physical Disability, asked that government and other development partners begin considering disabled people while building such structures.

Uhuru Institute of social science interests Boda riders in forming cooperatives

By Wasswa Deo

Uhuru Institute for Social Development, a social business that supports cooperatives has urged Bodaboda operators to engage more in creating cooperatives as the only platform they can use to penetrate different funding opportunities that may arise.

This is according to Leonard Okello, the executive director of Uhuru institute for social development.  He was speaking during the launch of freedom fund loan scheme where close to 250 members in Kampala civic center Bodaboda transporters cooperatives will be accessing Bodaboda on loan.

Okello says the loan scheme is to ensure holistic empowerment of the Boda Boda business community hence increasing their livelihood.

Involve people in the redevelopment; Tumushabe

By Patricia Osman
Policy analyst Godber Tumushabe is advising the government to always involve residents in decision making when planning any redevelopment processes.
Responding  to the recent eviction of over 1000 vendors form park yard market in Kampala,Godber says redeployment usually  come with hard decisions however these should be made transparent and fair.
While deliberating on the Capital Gang show on Saturday, Tumushabe said, “as a country we should be brutally honest with ourselves as we assess the issues affecting this country.
During the same show gangster and legislator, Abdu Kantuntu expressed his disappointment saying these markets were formerly created for poor people but now the capitalist NRM is selling all these markets off  to rich developers. Whom he expresses fear that they are upto make profit through rating these arcades that are being built in the City.
Katuntu also adds that redevelopment should come with transparency. The process should be done in light and the developers should be clearly known by the people.