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EU Climate Diplomacy Week Lecture calls For Burden Sharing

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By 11:00am on 16th September 2016, the usually silent Senior Common Room in the Main Administration Building was abuzz with activity as Staff and Students of Makerere took up every available seat, expectantly awaiting the start of the Public Lecture. As part of activities to mark the Climate Diplomacy Week, the EU Delegation in Uganda in partnership with the Makerere University Centre for Climate Change Research and Innovation (MUCCRI) organized a Public Lecture aimed at raising climate change awareness among University students.

The Moderator of the event and Acting Director MUCCRI, Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi thanked his audience for keeping time and introduced the day’s theme “Innovative and effective approaches to climate change adaptation in Uganda”.  He noted that Makerere University is engaged in a number of activities such as teaching, curriculum review and outreaches, all aimed at highlighting the impact of climate change and the appropriate adaptation strategies that can be adopted.

The Public Lecture was jointly presided over by H.E. Ambassador Kristian Schmidt, Head of the EU Delegation in Uganda and Alhaji Momodou Jallow, FAO Country Representative. In his opening remarks, Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, Principal, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) thanked the EU Delegation in Uganda for choosing Makerere to host the all important Public Lecture. He noted that bringing students on board is the right thing to do and urged the students present to work together with today’s researchers to build rather than destroy their future.
EU Head of Delegation to Uganda-H.E. Amb. Kristian Schmidt (R) is welcomed by The Moderator and Ag. Director MUCCRI-Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi (L) to the EU Climate Diplomacy Week Public Lecture with Students
Prof. Edward Kirumira is no stranger to the Climate Change Adaptation debate. The Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) is also the Academic Coordinator for the Makerere-University of Bergen collaboration and as such, played a key role in organizing the first EA Norway Climate and Business Conference. The outcome of this conference was a Communique to COP21 on Climate Change and Opportunities for Sustainable Business. Representing the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, Prof. Kirumira noted that climate adaptation is a multidisciplinary, multifaceted, multi sector undertaking that calls for concerted effort to accomplish.

“Issues of climate change and climate adaptation are part and parcel of the curriculum review process that the University is undertaking now. This Public Dialogue comes at a very opportune time to make sure that climate change issues are on the agenda of curriculum review” said Prof. Kirumira

He urged the students to listen attentively and thereafter, actively participate in the discussions so as to guarantee themselves internship and possibly employment positions. He observed that the public lecture had in addition to the EU Head of Delegation and FAO Country representative attracted some of the most important parties in the climate change circles, all of whom presented very good future prospects for students.

“It is indeed important to have the academia, training and research institutions on board to contribute knowledge and information in addressing the climate change challenge. This forum is therefore timely and significant, and similar forums should be organised” remarked Alhaji Jallow, the FAO Country Representative in his keynote address. He noted that FAO is already working with MUCCRI on a project aimed at enhancing Knowledge Management and Communication Systems for climate change adaptation. The project is being carried out in six out of twenty nine Districts of Uganda’s cattle corridor. These six Districts are Sembabule, Luweero, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Mubende and Kiboga.

Alhaji Jallow hoped that the Public Lecture would identify priority areas that need concerted effort in contributing knowledge, information and technologies for building resilience to climate change challenges. “Resilience to climate change will surely maintain food and nutrition security for all and sustain development themes” he said.
FAO Country Representative to Uganda-Alhaji Momodou Jallow (L) and Principal CHUSS-Prof. Edward Kirumira share a light moment before the EU Climate Diplomacy Week Public Lecture
H.E. Ambassador Kristian Schmidt is a lively speaker who likes to engage his audience. Noting that his speech had a number of acronyms, the Ambassador occasionally paused whenever he met one and asked the students to give him the full version, and none disappointed. He noted that Uganda had the best climate in the world and it would be a pity if this enviable fact were to change.

“You the youth are well-placed and crucial in society in addressing and also living with the consequences of climate change” said Ambassador Schmidt. He commended the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) for spearheading efforts that led to Uganda playing a very constructive role at COP21 (Congress of Parties 21). COP21 was the 2015 Paris Climate Conference aimed at achieving a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

“Climate Diplomacy is about countries working together to agree on burden sharing and collective action, when acting alone will not solve the problems that we face… It is about countries saying ‘we all have to do our share’ and then committing to doing it together” Ambassador Schmidt explained. He therefore urged Uganda to press on and ratify the COP21 Agreement as this will pile pressure on emitting countries to do the same.

Ambassador Schmidt then shared four examples of the EU Delegation in Uganda’s Green Projects that other parties could borrow a leaf from. These include: the Sawlog Production Grant Scheme III (SPGS III) for Commercial Agroforestry; Green Transport to support multimodal transportation; the Largest On-grid Solar Energy Plant in East Africa currently under construction in Soroti and working with KCCA (Kampala Capital City Authority) on its Climate Change Action Strategy to address congestion.
EU Head of Delegation to Uganda-H.E. Amb. Kristian Schmidt outlined some of EU's Green Projects in Uganda
Following the Ambassador’s presentation, the day’s discussion would have been incomplete without expert opinions on the four themes of: climate change policy and practice in Uganda; the role of education in addressing climate change; climate change and the youth; and climate change and gender. The Moderator, Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi then invited the day’s panelists who included Mr. Bob Natifu-Climate Change Department (CCD)-MWE and Prof. John Baptist Kaddu-Lead Government of Uganda Negotiator for COP to share their views. Others included Mr. Sadam Kiwanuka-President Makerere University Climate Change Association, Ms. Catherine Mulinde-PhD Candidate on Climate Change Adaptation and Dr. May Sengendo-School of Women and Gender Studies, CHUSS

At the conclusion of the open discussion, Hon. Chebet Maikut, the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) National Focal Point and Coordinator, CCD-MWE commended the audience for being keen listeners and active discussants.

“The Youth have a daunting responsibility, more so in our National circumstances where Uganda’s economy is predominantly based on our natural resources… Our natural resources are under the biggest threat; they are bleeding! If we don’t do anything now, the future is very bleak” he warned.

Hon. Chebet Maikut nevertheless reiterated Government’s total commitment to addressing climate change as demonstrated by the various national policies and strategies in place. He then thanked the EU for their generous support to the Government’s Development programmes and negotiations at COP.

Article by Public Relations Office

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UNMA Advisory on Agriculture and Food Security Jun-Aug 2021

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A male researcher inspects a maize cob in a demonstration plot on 13th August 2010 at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK), Wakiso Uganda.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) on 7th June 2021 released the seasonal rainfall outlook for the June-July-August (JJA) 2021 period. Contained in the outlook were advisories to various strategic sectors of the economy.

Particularly, the advisory to the Agriculture and Food Security sector was;

  • JJA season is often part of the normal dry season in the areas of South-western, western, parts of the eastern, and central Uganda. The farming communities in these areas are therefore advised to be vigilant during post-harvest handling by considering proper drying of the harvest on clean surfaces, use of tarpaulins and drying on racks;
  • Preparation of good storage facilities of produce to avoid compromising on quality and safety;
  • Channeling of the run-off water into the gardens in order to maximize on the soil moisture conservation;
  • For those areas where near normal to above normal rainfall is expected (most parts of northern and eastern Uganda), farmers are encouraged to continue with regular weeding, pest and disease surveillance and control;
  • Due to the expected enhanced rainfall in those areas, water logging and proliferation of fungal and bacterial crop diseases are likely to occur.
  • Open drainage channels around household and gardens to reduce risks from stagnant water causing damage to root tuber crops;
  • Flash floods and waterlogging are highly anticipated to occur in low lying areas expected to receive enhanced rainfall such as Katakwi and Kapelebyong. Therefore, communities are encouraged to keep watch over their crops, animals and property;
  • In Karamoja sub-region, where wetter conditions are expected, the pastoral communities are advised to diversify into boosting the production of cereals (sorghum, millet, and maize), beans, and ground nuts and sustain pasture availability for livestock.

Please see Downloads for the detailed outlook.

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4th Call For Applications: MURBS Departmental Ambassadors

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URBRA’s Mrs. Ritah Nansasi Wasswa (2nd L) assisted by Ag. University Secretary-Mr. Yusuf Kiranda (L) hands over a plaque of recognition to Outgoing Trustee-Ms. Dorothy Nannozi Kabanda (2nd R) as Incoming Trustee-Ms. Franco Angida Mugyema (R) applauds during the MURBS Board Handover on 26th March 2021.

In February 2018, the Makerere University Retirement Benefits Scheme (MURBS) launched the Departmental Ambassadors Programme. MURBS hopes to use this Ambassadors Programme to engage more directly with its membership and enhance member education. MURBS further perceives this Programme as a means to mitigate succession planning risks.

MURBS Fund Value continues to grow, and as at 31st March 2021, it stood at Ushs 235.5bn as compared to Ushs 209.6bn as at 30th June 2020. Given this growth, there is increased need for prospective Trustees, who are well equipped with relevant knowledge and skills, and with practical exposure to the management and governance of MURBS.

Eligibility

  1. Must be employed by the University on permanent terms
  2. Must be an Active Member of the Scheme (currently contributing to the Scheme) and appear on the Official Register of the MURBS Active Membership as at 30th April 2021.
  3. Must be willing to commit time to trainings and other ambassadorial activities organised by the Scheme.

Mode of training for 4th Cohort of Ambassadors

Training for this (4th) Cohort of Ambassadors is envisaged to be conducted over the zoom online platform only, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Scheme does not envisage any face-to-face interactions.

Tenure of Office & Termination or Withdrawal

There is no tenure of office for the Departmental Ambassador. As long as a member is willing to continue serving as an Ambassador, and the Ambassador continues to satisfy the eligibility criteria above, she or he will remain a MURBS Ambassador.

How to Apply

Interested members should complete the MURBS Departmental Ambassador Application Form 01-0218. The completed Form together with the requested attachments should be sent to info[at]murbs.mak.ac.ug and copy to wilber.naigambi[at]mak.ac.ug no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 14th June 2021. We discourage hand delivery of applications.

Confirmation/Approval Process

MURBS shall acknowledge receipt of each application received within 12 hours and will respond to the applicants to confirm the status of their application in writing (by e-mail). Upon approval of the application, the name of the approved Ambassador together with the Department and School/Unit will be updated on the list of the MURBS Departmental Ambassadors in the Group 4 category and published on the MURBS website.

NOTE: There is no limit as to the number of ambassadors that MURBS can have in a department.

Please see Downloads for the detailed call and application form.

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Chair Council Communication on Closure of Makerere University

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An older photo of the Main Building, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda as seen from across the Freedom Square. Date taken: 22nd October 2012.

7th June 2021

All Members of Staff
All Students and Stakeholders
Makerere University

RE: CLOSURE OF MAKERERE UNIVERSITY

Following the address to the Nation by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, on 6th June 2021, this is to inform you that the University will be closed with effect from today 7th June 2021 for 42days.

During the closure, the University shall observe a 30% physical presence of staff while other faculty and administrative staff shall continue to work online.

Management will inform staff and students on the implementation of teaching, learning, and research activities online. Construction activities shall continue as per the President’s directives and with strict adherence to the COVID-19 SOPs.

Yours sincerely,

Lorna Magara (Mrs.)
Chairperson, Makerere University Council

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