From 5th to 7th June 2019, the Makerere University College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) and the Ministry of Water and Environment (MoWE) jointly organized the First Great Lakes and Catchment Management (1st GLACAM) Conference at the Water Resource Institute, Entebbe, Uganda.
More than 200 participants from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Mali, Benin, Congo (DRC), Botswana, Nigeria, South Africa, Malawi and Germany participated in the conference. They included students, academia, practioners, researchers, farmer’s representatives, private sector actors and policy makers.
The conference had five (5) keynote paper presentation from lead scientists in each of the thematic areas of the conference. A panel of discussants gave highlights of the issues that have affected water and land resources protection and development for improved livelihoods, income security and climate change adaptation in Africa.
Please see below for a statement from the 1st GLACAM.
WE DO HEREBY AFFIRM THAT:
- Water remains a vital resource for sustenance of life, agriculture production, and industrial processes for cities and rural communities but also for sustainable development in Africa. Effective management of water resources has several benefits including poverty reduction, economic growth and environmental sustainability.
- The water resources of the Great Lakes region are under increasing pressure. The critical drivers of water resources degradation are mainly as a result of mismanagement of catchments. Declining water quality and quantity is evidently becoming a major threat to energy, food, forage, fiber, income, environment and social security in the Great Lakes of Africa. Pollution of the water resources is high with evidences of sedimentation, weed invasion, and toxic substances.
- The main cause of decline in water quality and quantity has been identified as poor catchment management, also referred as watershed mismanagement; and climate change uncertainty. Over grazing, massive deforestation, bush burning, inappropriate agricultural practices, over application of chemicals and many human induced land use measures have led to loss of productive soils through erosion; leading to increased siltation and pollution of water systems, and increased threats to fresh water biodiversity.
- Impacts of degradation include reduced fish stock in rivers and lakes, drying streams and rivers, reduction in groundwater levels, wide spread wetland encroachment, reduced soil depth and soil fertility in agricultural landscapes, rapid agricultural land use intensification and increased migration of people by abandoning unproductive land.
- Degradation of water resources has increased production risks, reduced hydropower production potential, sky-rocketed maintenance costs of infrastructure such as hydropower installations, roads and water supply systems, affected cost of irrigation infrastructure, reduced storage capacity of dams and increasing water treatment costs. These effects are consequently impacting on the livelihoods and the quality of life of millions of people in the great lakes region.
WE HAVE OBSERVED THAT:
- There are emerging technologies for catchment management, waste water treatment, judicious use of agro-chemicals, recycling water and nutrients that should be embraced
- Law enforcement for improved natural resources management in the region and promoting circular economy needs to be strengthened.
- Partnerships among various stakeholders (Governments, Academia, NGOs, Private sector and the general public) have improved across the region to counter environmental challenges and livelihood limitations in the region. Sustainable partnerships can be promoted to achieve higher impacts that can benefit the intended beneficiaries
- The ongoing collaborative water resources management efforts with stakeholder coordination structures and social cultural behaviors are commendable. A shared vision with sectoral integration of the thinking is vital for a sustainable environment.
- A catchment provides the needed framework for interactions between sectors and actors that do not often come together to share knowledge and visions for the future. Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) will therefore require embracement the integrated approach following a catchment with consideration of the water-food-energy- ecosystem nexus
- There are efforts to improve the management of water and land related resources in the region. The efforts should be promoted across different Water Management Zones and catchment in the country to ease access and use of quality water, soils and other land resources
- A key challenge to scaling up land and water management approaches and measures to address climate change such as ecosystem based adaptation approaches (EbA), is the limited funding especially at the local government level especially for natural resources and environmental management.
- Over dependency on natural resources at community level is a key challenge that undermines catchment restoration and application of approaches such as EbA, which build the resilience of ecosystems to climate change. The lack of alternative livelihood sources, is the main reason behind the ever increasing pressure on natural resources.
- There is limited human capacity to integrate the key tenets of the integrated catchment management approach in the region. The low human capacity in the region has affected advocacy and policy action efforts for boosting approach among stakeholders
- Social, institutional and financial approaches should focus on increasing productivity, environmental conservation and resource costing for livelihood improvement strategy resilience of communities to drought and other climate stressors
- Chemical contamination has caused lesions and other changes in fish and human health. Anthropogenic and industrial activities are the main causes of pollution to rivers and other water bodies
- Land use practices in fragile ecosystems (like the Mountainous areas), especially those of the agricultural sector are contributing to accelerated impacts of climate change and environmental degradation. An example are the continuous landslides within the Mt. Elgon landscape, which are partly due to destabilization of steep slopes through poor agricultural practices.
- Enforcement of Laws and regulations is still a challenge, and this undermines catchment management efforts. In Uganda for example, the amended National Environment Act (2018) has provided for an Environment police which is independent from the Uganda Police Force. It is anticipated that the independent Environment Police will be more efficient in enforcement of laws and regulations.
- There is imbalance in the sustainable utilization of catchment with more focus on production rather than balancing production, environmental conservation, income and social acceptability.
- High vulnerability and low resilience of communities to extreme events like landslides, floods and drought
- Need for shared data, if better weather and climate predictions are to be made
WE AGREE AND RECOMMEND THAT:
- Special attention be given to water harvesting technologies such as road water harvesting, controlled run-off systems into water retention ditches etc that maximum re-use of water resources to avert climate change effects. These should be integrated in government policy and strategies.
- The contribution of land use change monitoring approach on water bodies and river systems using sound datasets should be demonstrated
- Advanced technologies that enhance biodiversity and conserve systems using modern sustainable water and land management, and agroforestry technologies should promoted.
- Governments, NGOs, Private sector and Development Partners should prioritize funding research and training in all sectors dealing with land and water resources management to create the best Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) options for the countries in the Great Lakes region.
- Alternative income generating activities should be fully integrated in catchment management efforts to ensure that the communities have improved livelihoods and do not over rely on natural resources.
- A consortium or program be created by Makerere University (MAK) and Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) to coordinate the generation and dissemination of knowledge, innovations and technologies for integrated management of Great Lake Catchments emphasing communities engagement and livelihoods improvement
- Great Lakes and Catchment Management (GLACAM) conference be held regularly to bring together the Governments, Academia, NGOs, Private sector and the general public to share practical experiences, knowledge, innovations and practical technologies for integrated management of Great Lake Catchments.
- Community based natural resource management should be promoted and encouraged that the enforcement of laws, byelaws and regulations is carried out by the community to make enforcement more effective and sustainable.
- There is need to adopt Catchment based approach to planning and implementation as it provides the needed framework for interactions between sectors and actors that do not often come together to share knowledge and visions for the future
- Promote and enhance multilevel governance, dialogues and engagements to improve collaboration and partnerships in achieving our collective goals and enhance sustainability on the ground. Working with local and national government, regional networks such as LVRLACC and international centres of excellence such as the Cities Biodiversity Centre and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability
- A water-food-energy and ecosystem nexus approach should be adopted by all countries as this is key in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and management of water catchments
- There is need for regular awareness sessions by government and other stakeholders about mindset change in vulnerable communities. This will enable them take a shared responsible
Please see Downloads for detailed report
Rotary International President visits Mak
Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta has appreciated Makerere University for supporting and carrying forward the newly introduced programme aimed at advancing peace on the African Continent. Launched in January 2020, the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University runs a postgraduate diploma programme in Peace-building and Conflict Transformation. The hands-on program entails coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.
At a high level meeting held with the University leadership on 15th September 2021 at CTF1, President Shekhar Mehta said Rotary International was proud to be partnering with Makerere to promote peace on the African Continent. “The mere absence of war does not translate into total peace. Besides war, there are many other factors undermining peaceful co-existence. It is our duty to address these issues so as to create harmony in our communities. Through the Rotary Peace Centres across the globe, we are undertaking a number of initiatives aimed at promoting peace. Since 2002, the Rotary Peace Centres have trained more than 1,300 fellows who are working to advance peace in more than 115 countries. We are happy to work with Makerere University to foster peace and development on the African Continent,” he noted. President Shekhar Mehta, who was on a three-day tour of Rotary projects in Uganda, was visiting Makerere for the first time since the University won the bid to host the International Rotary Peace Centre, the first of its kind on the African Continent.
President Shekhar Mehta, who was in company of past and current Governors of Districts 9213 and 9214, said peace was a necessary catalyst for the progress of humanity and general development of nation states across the globe. Elected for the 2021-22 term, President Shekhar Mehta, through his year theme Serve to Change Lives, asks Rotarians to participate in service projects where they can make a difference in their communities and the people who live in them. Since he joined Rotary in 1984 as a member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar, West Bengal, India, President Shekhar Mehta has led many major service initiatives in India and South Asia, including among others, constructing 500 homes for Tsunami survivors at Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and starting the Shelter Kit programme in India which has served about 20 disasters and benefited about 75,000 disaster victims.
Delivering her remarks, the Chairperson Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara appreciated Rotary International for entrusting Makerere University with the mandate to host the first rotary peace centre on the African Continent. “Choosing to house the Centre at Makerere University shows Rotary International’s trust and confidence in Makerere and her vision for building for the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the advancement of Rotary International’s agenda. We also sincerely appreciate Rotarians all over the world who have committed funds to support the Rotary Peace Centre at Makerere University,” she noted. Similarly, she appreciated The Rotary Foundation (TRF) of Canada for setting up an endowment fund for the Peace Centre. “This will go a long way in ensuring the sustainability of the Peace Centre at Makerere University. The fund will help in the Capstone week where Fellows will present their social initiatives. These initiatives will showcase how the Rotary Peace Centre contributes to positive peace initiatives all over the world.”
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe informed the President that the decision to establish the first Rotary Peace Centre in Africa at Makerere University was welcomed with ‘excitement and gratefulness’. “We consider this to be a vote of confidence in our efforts in the peace and conflict resolution agenda. We extend our appreciation to Rotarians in Uganda and beyond for selflessly supporting this noble cause.” The Vice Chancellor appreciated the leadership of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere, and the Director of the Centre, Dr Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala for their tireless efforts in ensuring the centre achieves the intended objective.
By the end of this year, the Centre will have hosted two cohorts of peace fellows. The first cohort was at Makerere University between February and May, 2021. Currently, these Peace fellows are carrying out their peace initiatives in their communities. The second cohort will report on September 27, 2021. In both cohorts, Peace Fellows were chosen from 20 countries and by the end of the year, the Centre will have had a total of 36 Fellows.
Intentionality Key to Nurturing More Women Leaders
The Gender Mainstreaming Directorate (GMD), Makerere University on 14th September 2021 presented findings from phase one of the study on Enhancing Women’s Participation and Visibility in Leadership and Decision-Making Organs of Public Universities in Uganda through Action Research. The study team led by the Director GMD and Principal Investigator (PI), Dr. Euzobia Mugisha Baine also consists of Assoc. Prof. Consolata Kabonesa, Dr. Anna Ninsiima, Ms. Frances Nyachwo, Ms. Susan Mbabazi and Mr. Eric Tumwesigye.
The team is also made of coordinators from participating Universities such as Busitema University-Ms. Elizabeth Birabwa, Kabale University-Sr. Dr. Eva Tumusiime, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)-Dr. Specioza Twinamasiko, Muni University-Ms. Amandru Stella Wawa, and Gulu Univeristy-Sr. Rosalba Aciro.
Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the study was inspired by the fact that women are persistently few in numbers as staff, more so in leadership and decision-making organs of Ugandan Public Universities. “This is despite all the various efforts at national and international levels; the numbers are not growing as fast as needed to meet development goals of the country” explained Dr. Euzobia.
Based on this background, the study team therefore sought to conduct a situational analysis of the gender terrain of the six public universities to obtain baseline information encompassing the composition of governance and leadership organs and senior staff by sex, as well as a needs assessment and profiles of potential mentors and mentees.
Furthermore, the team sought to explore the capacity to conduct gender-responsive research as well as the role of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions within the universities as the drivers of development.
Dr. Mugisha-Baine shared that results of the baseline would then be used to design participatory training manuals or guides on gender and leadership. The manuals would cover; Institutionalized mentorship, How to conduct gender-responsive research, gender and equity budgeting, among others.
“Within these manuals, we shall have a male staff engagement strategy in gender equity interventions in universities” she explained.
The development of the aforementioned materials would then be followed by their adoption and use to build capacity for women not only in leadership of participating and other public university but also beyond. “We shall periodically evaluate whether the capacity we have built has influenced women’s participation in leadership and decision-making organs of the university” supplemented the PI.
The capacity building trainings for women, it is envisaged, will lay the foundation for the formation of a functional Uganda University Women’s Think Tank, starting with the six participating universities. Dr. Mugisha Baine added that through this Think Tank, a monitoring and tracking system for gender representation in recruitment, promotion, retention/turnover and leadership of public universities shall be established and maintained.
At the conclusion of phase one, the study team had drafted participatory training manuals in gender and leadership with content on; gender specific critical analysis of the leadership spectrum of public universities, positioning of individual women within the institutional framework and strategies for their advancement, gender equity advocacy in the university setting, institutional mentorship, building capacity in conducting gender-responsive research, among others.
“This content will be validated by the participating universities before the actual research training is conducted” added the PI.
On behalf of the research team, Dr. Mugisha Baine thanked the Government of Uganda for providing the resources that facilitated phase one of the study and prayed that the Mak-RIF Grants Management Committee (GMC) would support the next phase of capacity building.
Speaking on behalf of the Mak-RIF GMC Chairperson, Prof. William Bazeyo, Dr. Helen Nambalirwa Nkabala thanked and congratulated the team led by the Director GMD upon the milestones registered in the critical research.
“We are very proud of that work that is being done by all researchers in Mak-RIF and we would like to most sincerely thank Management for all the support throughout this process” she remarked.
Dr. Nkabala encouraged the research team to continue disseminating and using the findings for the furtherance of gender mainstreaming, particularly through the aspect of male staff engagement in gender equity interventions.
Prior to delivering the keynote address of the day, the Executive Director National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) Prof. Mary Okwakol thanked the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe for inviting her to the important forum, noting that women’s participation in decision making and governance is a priority area of the Uganda Gender Policy 2007.
She commended Makerere University for being at the forefront of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, noting that this prominence was one of the reasons why the Gender in Education Policy 2007 provides for replicating the institution’s strategy in all other Higher Education Institutions.
Prof. Okwakol whose keynote address was punctuated incisive personal examples reaffirmed the statistics that women are generally not visible in leadership of Universities. That notwithstanding, in instances where they rise to leadership and decision-making positions, they are regularly subject to roles traditionally deemed as women’s inconsiderate of their managerial seniority and experience.
She nevertheless rallied the women to play their respective roles in enhancing participation and visibility at a personal level. The following were some of the strategies she proposed; work hard to acquire academic credentials so as to compete favourably with men, acquire necessary administrative training and experience, network among women, join professional networks as well as do research and publish.
On joining professional networks, she shared her personal experience as a young zoologist who joined UNESCO’s Tropical Biology and Fertility Programme. “Within a short time I was appointed Coordinator for Africa and after two years, I was elected as a Member of the International Board of Management. After serving for two years, I became Vice Chairperson of that Board and finally I became Chairperson of that International Board.”
At the institutional level, Prof. Okwakol appealed to the Chairperson Council and Vice Chancellor to proactively recruit women who meet the requirements for leadership positions even if it means actively seeking out the reluctant ones. In this regard, she shared that it would be useful for the university to develop a database of women and their qualifications to ease this process.
She shared that NCHE has in recognition of female underrepresentation at every level in Higher Education approved the establishment of a Gender and Equity Unit with the aim of promoting inclusive gender participation in the sub-sector.
“This unit has been placed under the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Accreditation which implies that as we look out for and regulate quality, gender will be a very important aspect of that regulation” she reassured.
Prof. Okwakol concluded by urging participants to read the; Third National Development Plan (NDPIII), Uganda Vision 2040, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) noting that there is no way all three can be achieved while women are left behind because they each make a case for inclusion of the female gender.
“What we are addressing here are historical injustices” said Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe as he commenced his remarks, “And in the case of Makerere University, it is well known that the institution started as a male-only institution and we all know the original motto was ‘Let us be men’” he added.
Citing examples from history such as; Marie Curie – one of the smartest physicists, Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and Cleopatra – prominent Pharaohs of Egypt, George Eliot, Rosa Luxemburg and Hypatia – all great philosophers as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel – first female Chancellor of Germany, the Vice Chancellor said there is no plausible argument that there are things women cannot do as well as their male counterparts.
He said it was against this knowledge and in a bid to correct historical injustices that Makerere University pioneered initiatives such as putting in place affirmative action for girls, establishing a Gender Mainstreaming Directorate as well as a School of Women and Gender Studies. The Vice Chancellor nevertheless stressed the need to go beyond pioneering to protecting these gains through legislation. “Historically we have seen that discrimination can only be addressed by laws and policies.”
Prof. Nawangwe thanked the Government for providing funds to support Mak-RIF as well as the Funds GMC and Secretariat for ensuring that these funds are put to good use. He equally thanked the Chairperson of Council, Mrs. Lorna Magara for her not only her support but also sparing time to attend a good number of the research dissemination events.
Delivering the concluding remarks, Mrs. Magara acknowledged that the study was timely and relevant the contemporary University, as one of the critical drivers of the national and international development agenda. She therefore reechoed the Vice Chancellor’s thanks to the Government of Uganda for generously supporting the University’s research through Mak-RIF.
Turning to the keynote speaker she said, “I thank Prof. Okwakol for ardently discussing the critical issues affecting the female gender, the strategies to overcome the challenges, including sharing her inspiring personal experiences.”
Mrs. Magara equally thanked Prof. Okwakol for her very instructional analysis, providing mentorship guidance with the resultant impact of enhancing the female gender in decision-making positions. In the same breath she congratulated the PI and her team upon successfully concluding phase one of the project.
“Phase one has generated insights in understanding the status of women in leadership in public universities, the legal and policy framework and its implications on women’s visibility, the institutional mentoring systems and the gaps therein” she observed.
The Chairperson of Council acknowledged that the challenge of underrepresentation of women in leadership roles cannot be resolved at an individual level. She therefore advocated for broad based strategies that can address deep-seated structural and cultural biases facing women. “These include developing mentorship networks, enacting laws and policies that address the imbalances and providing training programmes to address the leadership gaps.”
She therefore pledged the University Council’s unwavering support to the Gender Mainstreaming Programme by ensuring an enabling policy environment that facilitates gender-responsive teaching, learning, research innovation and community service.
The research dissemination was moderated by the Principal Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ms. Ritah Namisango and the Director Communications, Learning and Knowledge Management, ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and PRO Mak-RIF, Ms. Harriet Adong.
Section Editors & Associate Editors Wanted-CABI Agriculture & Biosciences Journal
The CABI Agriculture and Biosciences Journal (CABI A&B) is still in search of both Associate Editors to join the CABI A&B Editorial Board, as well as a Regional Editor-in-Chief to lead for Africa in addition to serving as a Section Editor in the area of either Environmental and SOIL SCIENCE, AGROECOLOGY, OR AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES. Ideally CABI wants Section Editors (SE) who are prominent members of their research communities, with high-level established positions at a research institution, with a strong, current record of international collaborations and publication, with an H-index of at least 25. For Associate Editors (AE) we hope for researchers who have with established positions at a research institution (e.g., not post-docs or Ph.D. candidates), with a strong growing record of international collaborations and publication (e.g., around 8 publications in the past two years), and have an H-index of at least 15.
Very importantly, CABI hopes for SEs and AEs who are good communicators and are passionate about serving and building the journal to be an outlet for both large and small steps of sound science that will improve the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide.
Please see Downloads for the CABI EDITORIAL DIRECTORY
Interested applicants should email PHILIPPA J. BENSON, PH.D. MANAGING EDITOR | _CABI A&B | P.BENSON[at]CABI.ORG