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Ugandan towns covered in garbage, says Victoria varsity VC

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New Victoria University Vice Chancellor, Joseph Nyakana, has called upon stakeholders to engage people in improving the sanitation of communities in which they live.

Nyakana was on Tuesday opening a 4-day training workshop on “Supporting African Municipalities in Sustainable Energy Transitions [SAMSET]” at the main campus located along Jinja road in the capital Kampala.

“For example, most of our towns and their slums are covered in garbage. When you go to slums, garbage is scattered all over the place,” he said.

Nyakana who is currently caretaking affairs at Victoria University—in what he terms as “destructive construction”—urged Ugandans to stop polluting the environment since it later impacts negatively on their lives.

According to Nyakana, 85 percent of Ugandans use firewood and charcoal as source of fuel and this has since increased deforestation.

He cited a report by electricity distributers Umeme that indicates 1,000 people die in Mbale district every year in power theft.

He also noted that while developed countries are doing away with old cars, Ugandans think it’s a privilege to own a 3rd or even 5th hand vehicle.

“Owning such a vehicle [although in a dangerous mechanical condition] in Uganda takes one to a middle class status. Ugandans think it is a privilege to own a car yet these cars are harmful to the environment.”

He suggested the need for solar energy and other means citing the government partnership with Russia to exploit uranium.

Nyakana believes exploiting uranium will take Uganda to another level and give it an international advantage.

Speaking at the same workshop, the minister of State for Housing, Lands and Urban Development, Chris Baryomunsi, said Uganda has many sources of energy but cannot tap them.

“There is wind and solar but we are largely dependent on hydro-power.   Government has tried to improve electricity supply but it is still expensive to locals,” Baryomunsi explained.

He said that in most parts of Uganda, people still use kerosene and moonlight as sources of light since they cannot afford power.

“We are trying to bring down the cost of power and exploit geothermal energy from hot springs.”

He said the deal with Russia would enable diverse sources of energy if it materialises.

“We want to make power more available and affordable. We also aim at harnessing wind and solar in some parts of the country.”

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