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Agriculture & Environment

East African EfD centers strategize on how to promote sustainable use of Lake Victoria Basin (LVB)



Lake Victoria is a trans-boundary natural resource, underpinning the economies and livelihoods of the population within the wider catchment area of Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. The most significant part of the Lake, 51%, is in Tanzania, occupying 35,088 Km. Uganda has 43% of the Lake, while Kenya has 6%.

The lake acts as a source of fresh water, fishing, a waste repository and provides food, energy, water for irrigation, industry, drinking, tourism within and cross border transportation.

However, the lake and its surrounding areas have faced many challenges including rising lake water levels, moving islands, encroachment, ecological and biodiversity degradation which is evident in the probable extinction of several fish species.

The violation of the buffer zone policy of 200 meters away from the lake by investors, industries, farmers and settlers, increasing pollutants in form of polythene bags, plastics and untreated wastes and poor fishing methods have changed the lake ecosystem.

East African governments are signatories to the regional and international treaties targeted at conserving, protecting and ensuring sustainable use of natural resources within the lake basin. Whereas the international treaties have been domesticated in national legislation and, institutions and agencies have been established with mandates to safeguard the fragile ecosystems, unstainable use and management of the lake basin persists. This is partly attributed to political interferences, ineffective monitoring and poor implementation of the existing laws on the management and utilization of the lake.

Left to Right: East African EfD Centre Directors; Dr. Onesmo Selejio-Tanzania, Prof. Edward Bbaale-Uganda and Prof. Richard Mulwa-Kenya (Right) pose for a group photo with NEMA Executive Director Dr. Akankwasah Birerega (2nd Right). Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Left to Right: East African EfD Centre Directors; Dr. Onesmo Selejio-Tanzania, Prof. Edward Bbaale-Uganda and Prof. Richard Mulwa-Kenya (Right) pose for a group photo with NEMA Executive Director Dr. Akankwasah Birerega (2nd Right).

Because of unstainable management of the lake, countries have witnessed unprecedented consequences such as floods and mudslides, extreme and unpredictable weather changes including where dams could not generate electricity due to very low water level and many other livelihood, social and economic impacts including loss of lives.

East African EfD centers meet in Uganda to discuss LVB issues

On 7th June 2023, Environment for Development Initiative (EfD) Makerere University Uganda organized a one-day high level policy dialogue on changes of Lake Victoria’s hydrology, water quality and livelihoods that was hosted by Uganda’s environment watchdog – the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) at its head office in Kampala, Uganda.

The dialogue was attended by the three East African EfD Centres led by the Directors; Prof. Richard Mulwa (EfD-Kenya), Dr. Onesmo Selejio (EfD Tanzania) and Prof. Edward Bbaale, for EfD-Uganda. Each country was represented by the delegates from different agencies. Among others, delegates from Kenya included Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) of Kenya, Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) of Kenya and academia from the University of Nairobi. In Tanzania delegates spanned from Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Lake Victoria Basin, Mwanza, and other Academicians from Adhi University and University of Dar es Salaam. In Uganda, Delegates came from different agencies including Ministry of Finance, planning and Economic Development (MoFPED), National Planning Authority (NPA), Ministry of Water and Environment (MoWE), Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Environmental Police Protection Unit (EPPU), and academicians from Makerere University.

The Executive Director NEMA and host of the dialogue Dr. Akankwasah Birerega also graced the meeting.

Each country presented an in-depth analysis of the issues around LVB pertinent to its areas of jurisdictions, and later went into plenary discussion where short, mid and long-term interventions were proposed

Giving the background to the meeting, the Director EfD-Mak center Prof. Edward Bbaale said the need for this meeting arose from the impacts Uganda felt in 2020 when the country experienced heavy rainfall that made the Lake Victoria Basin (LVB) unable to hold the water and caused a lot of havoc and predicaments on livelihoods.

During the period of late January 2020, fears of Lake Victoria bursting its banks started to be felt which later was followed by damaging of several landing sites and settlements as a result of floods. This led to disasters that left almost half a million people homeless and property worth billions of money had been lost in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

In April 2020, heavy floods with the moving vegetation chocked the hydroelectric power generation turbines at Jinja on Lake Victoria leading to a total blackout of the entire nation during a presidential address to the nation.

As a center, Bbaale said, the EfD-Mak conducted an investigation on the cause and what Government of Uganda can do to circumvent some of the issues through conducting national wide policy tours and came up with a policy paper.

Director EfD-Mak Centre Prof. Edward Bbaale presenting the Ugandan case. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Director EfD-Mak Centre Prof. Edward Bbaale presenting the Ugandan case.

Bbaale attributed the 2020 floods to Climate change, Lake Sedimentation due to catchment degradation and Buffer zone encroachment and lack of Regional Consensus on a well-coordinated Policy of regulating Lake Victoria inflow and outflow

The Director however said it was noted that L. Victoria is a trans-boundary natural resource benefiting East African countries and a source of River Nile holding livelihoods in Egypt and Sudan and thus, what Uganda does was bound to affect other countries, hence the need for the East African EfD centers to converge and debate what they can do together in terms policy frameworks and to tap from one another’s best practices.

“The current problems may threaten Lake Victoria basin for centuries if not well addressed at present. For example, all the major lakeside cities in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania could lose access to Lake Victoria in as little as 100 years.

We thought that we could leverage on each other’s information and knowledge on what we have collected concerning lake Victoria basin, come together, understand the issues from each country and how we can come up with one voice in the East African parliament and individual policy making bodies in our countries”, Said Bbaale

 Bbaale reported that Environmental valuation in Uganda has huge capacity gaps.  And more than often, environmentalists have vaguely responded to the president to weigh an industry over maintaining a wetland and many politicians have failed on the floor of parliament.

In addition to a deepened trans boundary cooperation on the management of the lake, tackling point and non-point source pollution, Bbaale called for the development of a coherent plan for conservation and rehabilitation of the fish fauna in Lake Victoria, strengthening capacity and human resources in environmental valuation as well as involvement of the general public in the management of the lake and observance of the buffer zone size of 200m away from the lake. 

See the detailed EfD Mak presentation at the bottom of the page.

A cross-cutting enforcement body and an integrated Lake Victoria Basin Management policy for East Africa  needed while producers must be responsible for their waste – Prof. Mulwa Kenya EfD Centre

The Director EfD-Kenya Prof Richard Mulwa decried the continued unsustainable utilization of natural resources despite many meetings targeting LVB. He said, the target for policy making on the lake basin and its ecosystem has been a moving target and would require a dynamic, adaptive, and collaborative approaches in balancing utilization and conservation.

Prof. Mulwa expressed the need for continued reviews and dialogues that incorporate the changing dynamics for example the changing climate.

At national level, Prof. Mulwa reported that Kenya has adopted integrated organic agriculture to reduce use of agrochemicals, promotes sustainable land use practices such as agro-forestry, crop rotation, conservation agriculture, and strives to eliminate the destructive fishing gears and enforcement of the allowable catch.

Director EfD Kenya Prof. Richard Mulwa presenting the Kenyan case. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Director EfD Kenya Prof. Richard Mulwa presenting the Kenyan case.

Other national interventions according to Prof. Mulwa are  enhancement of  waste management technologies and incorporation of  the oil spills management plan and adoption of cleaner production technologies in industrial sector and mining sector,  elimination of  the use of cyanide and use the GDA (Gold Dressing Agent), Regulation of the aquaculture and develop MSP for suitability mapping , Promotion  of conservation activities, integrating  environmental considerations in  County Integrated Development Plans including  advocating and  lobbying  to expedite the enactment of many of the regulations that may govern activities in Lake Victoria that are still drafts.

Regionally, the Kenyan EfD Centre called for the Development of an integrated Lake Victoria Basin Management Policy/Regulation, formulation ofa regional monitoring commission under the East African CommunityandEnactment of draft regulations by the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC).

In addition to establishing an enforcing body that cuts across the five countries that share the resource, Prof Mulwa suggested that producers must be responsible for the waste they generate.

“Engage organizations on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) so each is responsible for waste collection and management around the basin and be able to care for the plastic bottles and how they are disposed’ He said.

See the detailed EfD Kenya presentation at the bottom of the page.

Declining water levels, water pollution and illegal fishing persistent challenges in Tanzania

Representing the Director EfD Tanzania, Dr. Rosemary Taylor said despite the immense contribution of the lake to many livelihoods, there is declining water levels due to evapotranspiration, given the Lake’s shallowness, poor land use practices, agricultural and industrial development, and water withdrawal for consumption.

Dr. Rosemary Taylor presenting the Tanzanian case. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Dr. Rosemary Taylor presenting the Tanzanian case.

The other threat and defining features of the lake’s water according to Dr. Taylor is eutrophication, poor water visibility, dramatic changes in nutrients, and hypoxia, resulting to a massive loss of biodiversity. 

The deteriorating water quality was attributed   the discharge of untreated municipal waste, industrial effluents, urban surface contaminated runoff, organic and inorganic waste for intensive agricultural activities, and municipality sewage.

To promote the sustainable use of the basin, Dr. Taylor submitted that Government of Tanzania signed various protocols and treaties with other partner countries, participates in regional organizations such as LVFO, formulated national legal and regulatory framework and established national agencies to facilitate the sustainability of the Basin. GoT also collaborates with development partners in promoting sustainable use of the Basin, fosters Local community awareness creation and engagements, and

Participants listen to Dr. Rosemary Taylor presenting the Tanzanian case. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Participants listen to Dr. Rosemary Taylor presenting the Tanzanian case.

Increased women’s participation in managing the basin’s resources.

Dr. Taylor however said, despite  being signatory to regional and international protocols , illegal fishing  leading to reduced fish stocks and water pollution leading to loss of biodiversity are the persistent challenges

Key findings from the national policy dialogue attributed the persistent challenges to unharmonized policies e.g., Diverse policies and strategies about various sectors, such as agriculture, fisheries, water, and tourism, may have conflicting objectives.

Other factors are the Inadequate implementation and loopholes of the existing legal and regulatory frameworks, Lack of a common objective and vision among the key players, Growing poverty among the locals and limited alternative sources of living among local people and the open access nature of the fishing activities.

Harmonizing regional and national Policies, Laws, and Regulations can help establish consistent frameworks for sustainable management.

We also need to think about enhancing economic empowerment of local communities and stakeholder engagement (academia, private sector, etc.) and involving local communities in decision-making can enhance awareness creation and a sense of ownership of the basin’s resources”, Dr. Taylor submitted

Dr. Onesmo Selejio represented Director EfD Tanzania. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Dr. Onesmo Selejio represented Director EfD Tanzania.

See the detailed EfD Tanzania presentation at the bottom of the page.

Expand the horizon of your economics and put the economic value on every resource, ED NEMA to EfD Centers

The Executive Director NEMA Dr. Akankwasah Birerega underscored the role of the EfD initiative as the way to go on reason that quiet often the obstacles of the environment come from development and thus one cannot separate  environment from  development and vice versa.

“Environment for development is a very important initiative for pushing sustainable policies advocacy and making a case for conservation using the economic lens because most of the decision makers understand the economic lens faster than the ecological lens.

When you translate ecological lens to the economic lens, it is the same message but it will move faster.

If you say this forest is very important for rainfall formation and air we breathe, everybody will take it for granted as the usual talk of environmentalists. But if you give them what cost they will incur when the forest goes away, the message will sin faster.

When you tell people that air pollution will increase public expenditure on health management, the message moves faster than saying the air is bad. So we need economics to communicate environment because the most policy architects and policies in Africa are based on economics”, Dr. Birerega explained

Executive Director NEMA Uganda Dr. Akankwasah Birerega addressing participants. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.
Executive Director NEMA Uganda Dr. Akankwasah Birerega addressing participants.

He urged the EfD centers to to use the niche, ability and establishment they have to lead the shift to enhancing the broadness  with which economics is looked with by expanding the horizon of economics to begin putting the economic value on every resource in environment be it water, air, pollution etc.

“Economics for development is a very significant vehicle for us to transform the way we look at things and therefore as NEMA we pledge our total commitment to working with you in delivering the objectives of economics for environment sustainability and development because there are no alternatives to that.

You cannot preach the gospel of ecology alone and succeed because development must happen. We should not look at development as brick and mortar and concrete but in a holistic manner”, NEMAs ED asserted.

Dr. Birerega expressed willingness to participate in the development and popularization of the policy paper arising from this dialogue noting that nationally and globally there is now a fair understanding of the value of environment due climate change, biodiversity loss and increasing levels of pollution.

“It is clear that you cannot ignore environment issues and continue talking about development. We ignored environment, it went silent and started fighting for itself and when it starts fighting, it always wins and so our politicians now have a fair view of the importance of the environment at national and global level”, He added.

He expressed hope that they no longer go through a lot of hustle to convince people for environment resources, the reason why there is a Climate Financing Unit in Ministry Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

Short, midterm and long term propositions during the plenary discussions

  • The need for further scientific studies into the issues affecting LVB.
  • Have a database where information concerning the LVB can be maintained and looked at what happens 10 years ago to inform policy.
  • Involvement of local communities in the management and protection of natural sciences as the users.
  • Enhance capacity building in water science to monitor how the seas and lakes behave.
  • Using science to inform policy frameworks and devise means to invoke governments to use science informed policies.
  • Public participation in environmental related dialogues and utilization of local knowledge to protect the LVB and move away from academic ranks.
  • Harmonization of policies on alternative livelihood alternatives to reduce dependence on nature eg price of electricity and Gas to reduce use of wood fuel.
  • All policies must have the policy action in order to achieve the objectives.
  • Governments should incentivize local communities to protect lake shores and curb illegal fishing.
  • Emphasize ENR valuation and enforcement.
  • Environmentalists should make arguments based on science to address environmental problems eg if sedimentation continues, for the next so years the lake will dry up, given the magnitude of pollution.
  • Governments should adopt participatory approach to start from local communities to the ministries. 
  • Extend the mandate of the LVB to all East African water bodies including Burundi and Rwanda for better implementation.
  • Revisit national   policies on offering certificates for residential, hoteliers and industries in fragile ecosystems to avoid double standards.
  • Address the issue of sedimentation to national leaders and point out that in countries like Chad, a lake disappeared.
  • Make a case for Uganda’s Presidential directive banning charcoal use that it shows good political will. However, there is need to provide alternative survival mechanism for communities to succeed e.g. how affordable is LPG gas and electricity.
  • Countries should form technical committees to visit other countries to learn the best practices.
  • Discussion on LVB should be promoted around the East African level under the Natural Resources Commission to gain political will.
  • Investing institutional capacity building to provide ENR Valuation.
  • Gazeting wetlands and enhancing public awareness for enforcement to be successful.
  • Think of mechanisms to win political will to fight selective enforcement of the law.
  • Government should address the issue of sewerage systems and waste management near water sources and adopt sanitary dumping sites.
  • Strengthening existing partnerships within the country and across boarders and borrow best practices from neighbors, and bring resources together.
  • Need to devote efforts in financing chapter and resource mobilization beyond governments and donors for long term financing for LVB policy implementation and capacity building.
  • Establish village committees to participate in project evaluation and check on performance indicators.
  • Evoke the education system in the region to build real patriotism from primary on importance of natural resources and the need to preserve it for the next generation. Borrow from Germany the sense of ownership of natural resources. Most education level of the population fishing in East Africa is more concerned with making super normal profit not the health and future of the stocks.
  • Institutional strengthening to enhance implementation of regional instruments to manage natural resources   and Biodiversity.

It was agreed that a writing team is constituted to synthesize the research findings from the three countries and come up with a single document written in simple language that policy makers can easily appreciate.

Later on, members would convene virtually in a webinar and further synthesize that paper for use as a policy brief or advocacy tool for sharing with government entities.

Given the opportunity, the policy paper will be presented to committees of parliament and other stakeholders. At the same time, EfD Tanzania, residing in a country hosting the East African Parliament in Arusha, will seek an opportunity to articulate the issues in the East African Parliament to promote awareness on LVB, converse political support and inform policy making.

Jane Anyango is the Communication Officer, EfD-Mak Centre Uganda.

Agriculture & Environment

CAES Annual Report 2023



Cover page of the CAES Annual Report 2023. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga
Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga

With utmost delight, I am honoured to present the Annual Report of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) for the year 2023. As we look back on the accomplishments and obstacles of the past year, I extend my deepest appreciation to each and every one of you who contributed to our collective achievements. It has truly been a year of fulfilment and progress. In 2023, CAES proudly celebrated the graduation of 592 students, of whom 48% were female, at the 74th Graduation Ceremony. Among them were 14 PhD, 94 MSc, 5 Post Graduate Diplomas, and 479 BSc graduates across various disciplines in agricultural and environmental sciences. My sincere congratulations to all the graduates and the dedicated staff who supported them throughout their journey.

Reflecting on the commitments made in 2022 for the year 2023, we have made substantial strides. I am pleased to report that our faculty and students successfully adapted to the blended mode of teaching and learning. We remain steadfast in our dedication to a learner-centered, practical-oriented, and gender-responsive approach, with the goal of nurturing skilled, entrepreneurial, and innovative graduates capable of addressing challenges in the Agricultural and Environmental sectors.

Furthermore, we have revised the curriculum for approximately 15 programs, enriching content to include skills relevant to entrepreneurial green economies. This underscores our commitment to fostering innovation within CAES and equipping our graduates with the tools they need to thrive in dynamic professional landscapes.

Moreover, our college continues to advance knowledge, tackle critical challenges, and make a positive impact on society. Notably, the Makerere University Regional Centre of Excellence for Crop Improvement (MaRCCI) has been elevated to an “African Host Centre (AHU/C) for training high-quality PhDs in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology.” This initiative aims to address the human resource gap in highly qualified specialists in these fields across Africa, reaffirming our commitment to excellence and leadership in agricultural education and research. For the reporting year, CAES has registered several achievements as highlighted.

Teaching and Learning for improving learner experiences

The introduction and implementation of the CAES-GRADCARE Management System represents a significant milestone in our efforts to enhance graduate management processes within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This innovative system was meticulously crafted to streamline operations, optimize workflow, and elevate overall efficiency and effectiveness. Its primary objectives include improving supervision mechanisms, reducing lead times, and minimizing costs associated with thesis examination. Moreover, the system empowers stakeholders with invaluable data insights, facilitating informed decision-making across various levels of academic administration.

Research and Innovation for impacting society

In our relentless pursuit of ethical research practices, we are proud to announce the establishment and full operationalization of the CAES Research Ethics Committee/Institutional Review Board (CAES-REC/IRB). This critical initiative underscores our commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity and transparency in our research endeavors. Our dedication to innovation is exemplified by the introduction of the MakSol Cooker—a solar-powered marvel poised to revolutionize cooking practices while significantly reducing carbon footprints within households. This transformative solution not only addresses environmental concerns but also promotes sustainable living on a tangible, everyday level. Furthermore, our research efforts have yielded remarkable breakthroughs in agriculture and food security. Through the development of bio-fertilizer formulations, we aim to unlock crop productivity while simultaneously addressing soil nitrogen deficiencies, thereby enhancing household food security and bolstering agricultural sustainability. In tandem with our agricultural innovations, we have successfully bred resilient Mak Soybean, Cowpea and Sorghum varieties, capable of withstanding drought, disease, pests, and climate stress while boasting shortened maturity periods. These advancements provide a vital protein source, particularly in regions prone to agricultural challenges, and enable the production of value-added products, contributing to enhanced food security and resilience, further enhancing the agricultural value chain. In our quest for sustainable agricultural practices, we have developed innovative solutions such as the Soil Test Kit, facilitating simplified soil management by offering rapid semi-quantitative evaluations of essential elements crucial for optimal plant growth. This tool empowers farmers with actionable insights to optimize crop yields and promote sustainable land stewardship. Additionally, our Hybrid Refractance Window Drying equipment represents a game-changer in post-harvest handling, ensuring consistent drying of perishable agricultural produce. By preserving the quality of fruits and vegetables, this technology enhances the value chain, thereby maximizing agricultural productivity and reducing post-harvest losses. Furthermore, our efforts extend beyond crops to encompass livestock management and nutrition. Through the development of protocols for Banana Tissue Culture and value addition to Sweet Potato-Sorghum enterprises, we aim to improve agricultural livelihoods and economic resilience among farming communities. Innovative solutions such as rearing and utilizing blue flies, maggots, and earthworms as alternative protein sources for poultry and fish feeds demonstrate our commitment to sustainable feed production. These efforts not only diversify protein sources but also promote circular economies by utilizing agricultural by-products effectively. Moreover, our research endeavors have yielded transformative solutions to combat malnutrition and poverty. The development of a livestock milk booster, derived from sugarcane industrial waste, addresses nutritional deficiencies while enhancing dairy production, thereby improving livelihoods and food security. Our commitment to research and innovation for societal impact is unwavering. From ground-breaking agricultural technologies to transformative solutions for nutrition and food safety, we remain dedicated to advancing sustainable development and improving livelihoods across communities. Through collaborative efforts and relentless innovation, we strive to create a brighter, more resilient future for all.

Knowledge transfer and Community engagement

This 2023 Annual Report highlights several impactful knowledge sharing initiatives undertaken by CAES: i) NARO-Makerere Third Joint Scientific Conference, ii) Summer School on Landscape Ecology, iii) International Collaboration in Soybean Research, iv) Policy Dialogue on Climate Science, v) Recognition at the 29th Source of the Nile National Agricultural Show, vi) Youth and Innovation Expo 2023, vii) Training Programs for Capacity Building, viii) Capacity Building in Seed and Agronomic Practices, and ix) Soybean Seed Distribution. These initiatives underscore CAES’ commitment to knowledge transfer, community engagement, and sustainable agricultural development, reflecting our dedication to fostering innovation and driving positive change in Uganda and beyond. The accomplishments detailed in this report are a testament to the unwavering dedication and collaborative efforts of our esteemed staff, students, and partners.

Throughout this reporting year, we have witnessed remarkable growth and achievement among our faculty members, with several individuals being promoted and duly recognized for their outstanding contributions.

Looking ahead, we are presented with a multitude of opportunities to further our impact and achieve even greater heights of excellence. As we embark on the next chapter of our journey, we remain steadfast in our commitment to academic excellence, research, innovation, and societal impact. In the coming year, we will continue to focus on strengthening our academic programs, fostering interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder collaboration, and expanding our innovative research initiatives to address pressing challenges in agriculture, environmental sustainability, and food security. We will also prioritize initiatives aimed at enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our college community, ensuring that all voices are heard and valued. As we navigate the path ahead, I am confident that together, we will overcome any challenges that may arise and continue to make significant contributions to the advancement of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. As Winston Churchill stated, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts”.

I invite you to explore the pages of this Annual Report to learn more about our achievements, challenges, and aspirations for the future.

Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga

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Agriculture & Environment

The Joint ClimSMART-NORHED II CSA Summer School Second Edition 2024 Kicks Off at Mak



Participants of the joint CSA-ClimSMART Summer School at Makerere University’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES). Inauguration of the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, kick off theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

By Brian Ogenrwoth

Makerere University, in collaboration with Gulu University, has inaugurated the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School. Funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, the program began with a series of theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024. This year’s event has drawn 23 postgraduate students (MSc and PhDs) from 7 countries studying at 5 African universities namely; Makerere University, Gulu University, University of Zambia, Hawassa University and University of Juba, and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). Additionally, 16 scientists and three postdoctoral researchers from the participating institutions have joined the initiative.

CAES Principal, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga addressing the participants. Inauguration of the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, kick off theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
CAES Principal, Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga addressing the participants.

Prof. Jackline Bonabana, the Principal Investigator of the ClimSMART project and Co-Principal Investigator of the NORHED II CSA project who coordinated the Summer School, emphasized the comprehensive and multifaceted nature of the program. She highlighted that the sessions would cover critical topics in climate-smart agriculture, biochar, climate change, and food security. Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa, the Principal Investigator of the NORHED II CSA project, applauded the collaborative efforts of the Climsmart/NORHED II partners and delivered an engaging presentation on insect pests and their management in the context of climate change.

Prof. Jan Mulder of NMBU delivering a presentation on food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. Inauguration of the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, kick off theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Prof. Jan Mulder of NMBU delivering a presentation on food security in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Prof. Vegard Martinsen from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) underscored the vast research opportunities in climate-smart agriculture on the African continent. He noted the region’s unique context and the increasing impact of climate change as pivotal factors for continued need for meaningful research and empirical evidence.

Participants and scientists listening to presentation on site assessment and sampling for agriculture. Inauguration of the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, kick off theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Participants and scientists listening to presentation on site assessment and sampling for agriculture.

Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga, Principal of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) at Makerere University, presented on critical thinking and officially welcomed participants, stressing the urgent need to upscale such collaborative efforts to tackle food insecurity and climate change. She affirmed that such programmes align to the Makerere University agenda and strategic direction.

Participants at MUARIK. Inauguration of the 2024 edition of the ClimSMART-NORHEDII CSA Summer School funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Norwegian Research Council, kick off theory sessions from May 27th to 28th, 2024, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
Participants at MUARIK.

The sessions also featured a variety of expert presentations, including:

  • Food Security in SSA by Prof. Jan Mulder (Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
  • Site Assessment and Sampling for Agriculture by Prof. Lydia Chabala (University of Zambia)
  • Aqua Crop Model for Land Management by Prof. Elijah Phiri (University of Zambia)
  • Understanding Basic Concepts in Soil Fertility by Dr. Patrick Musinguzi and Prof. Twaha Basamba Ali (Makerere University)
  • Weed Management by Dr. Sylvester Katuromunda (Makerere University)
  • Co-Composting Organic Wastes with Biochar by Prof. Fantaw Yimer (Hawassa University)
  • Socio-Economic Topics like personal branding and marketing by Prof. Basil Mugonola and Dr. Walter Odongo, climate resilience governance and management practice by Dr. Patrick Byakagaba (Makerere University), and communication and presentation skills by Mr. Edward Gita (Rural Enterprise Development Solutions). Very insightful presentations were made by the Post Doc and PhD students as well.

The practical sessions, scheduled from May 29th to June 9th, 2024, will include farmer field visits, laboratory sessions, group discussions, data analysis, and presentations at Gulu University.

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Agriculture & Environment

Eco Brixs Seeks to Collaborate with Mak in Plastics Waste Management



The CEO of Eco Brixs, Mr. Andrew Bownds (2nd R) with the Makerere University team led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe (3rd R) after the meeting on 8th May 2024. Rotary Peace Centre, Frank Kalimuzo Central Teaching Facility, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

Poor waste disposal remains one of the biggest challenges in Uganda pausing a number of environmental and health risks. According to the Ministry of Water and Environment, plastic waste is becoming disastrous to urban and rural areas due to poor disposal practices. All store purchases are packaged in polythene bags, and without proper disposal, plastic garbage can be seen everywhere. During the rainy season, they are washed into water channels, where they block drainage. Single-use packaging for soda, water, and other drinks results in mountains of garbage heaping up in legal and illegal dumpsites – The Independent Magazine, 30th May 2022.

As a measure to improve plastics waste management in the country, Eco Brixs has reached out to Makerere University to collaborate in addressing the challenge. On 8th May 2024, the CEO, also Co-Founder of Eco Brixs, Mr. Andrew Bownds held a meeting with Makerere University officials led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe in which they brainstormed on different areas for collaboration.

Proposed areas for collaboration

  1. Research, Eco Brixs seeks to collaborate with Makerere University in Product Testing. Eco Brixs is producing new products monthly and requires lab tests to support UNBS certification. The Company also seeks to collaborate with Makerere in Environmental Research. The Company intends to work with PhD students to complete focused research on plastic pollution and the recycling process.
  2. Internships – Eco Brixs has had 50 students complete internships and would love to grow that with Makerere.
  3. Be Makerere Official Recyclers – Eco Brixs seeks to be the recycler of Makerere University. Suggestions were made to jointly source funding to address the challenge and to set up a plastic waste collection centre at Makerere University.

During the meeting, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe welcomed the initiative and reiterated the need to include students on projects to ensure sustainability. The meeting was attended by among others the Principal, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Prof. Gorettie Nabanoga; the Dean, School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Dr Revocatus Twinomuhangi; and the Manager in charge of Accounts and Reporting at Makerere University, Mr Lubowa Ssebina Gyaviira.

About Eco Brixs

Eco Brixs is a plastic recycling enterprise which uses a sustainable circular economic model to address the challenges of plastic waste and high unemployment levels in Uganda. Eco Brixs collects, recycles, and processes plastic waste into Eco Products for a ready market. Addressing plastic pollution and lifting people out of abject poverty through sustainable employment is one of the core roles of Eco Brixs. Operating since 2017, Eco Brixs has a plastic waste collection network that has seen 3,000 people delivering plastic into one of the enterprise’s 44 Buy-Back centres and engaging in earning through the recycling economy. Eco Brixs model is replicable and scalable to achieve its vision of being the Biggest Recycler in East Africa with franchises across the developing world. Eco Brixs is focused on driving green job creation through sustainable conservation.

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