Public Dialogue ‘Fossil-free mobility options in Kampala”

Bike share Demonstration

Popularization of the use of dedicated cycle and Pedestrian zones along the NMT Corridor in Kampala

In Uganda, the World Environment Day (WED) 2022 was celebrated in Luweero district under the national theme: ‘Our Earth, Conserve for Life’.

 

Ahead of the WED 2022 (May 24, 2022), the Minister of Water and Environment noted that, ‘Time to act for environment is fast running out, and nature is in emergency mode. To keep global warming below 1.5°C this century, the world must halve annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Without action, exposure to air pollution beyond safe guidelines will increase by 50 per cent within the decade and plastic waste flowing into aquatic ecosystems will nearly triple by 2040.’

The Minister further pointed out the 3 triple planetary emergency: the climate is heating up too quickly for people and nature to adapt; habitat loss and other pressures mean an estimated 1 million species are threatened with extinction; pollution continues to poison our air, land and water.

According to NEMA Uganda, over the last five years, urban areas in Uganda have consistently registered readings that are ten times above the World Health Organization recommended levels of 2021. The key sources of air pollution in the country include the transport sector (automobiles), unpaved roads, domestic burning of biomass fuels and industrial activities. According to 2018 World Air Quality Report, Kampala has the second worst air in Africa due to dirty air characterized by smoke from car exhaust, industry, residential trash burning, road dust, and soot from indoor biomass-fuelled cookstoves for cooking.

This adds to other environmental stresses namely the increasing demand for agricultural land to provide food and jobs for many people; demand for charcoal, firewood and building materials; wetland cover loss and pollution of major water bodies.

One way out for Uganda to offset the above stresses including air pollution is to promote (local) solutions and the technology that exists and are increasingly affordable as the Minister of Water and Environment noted in a statement ahead of WED 2022. Above all the current high prices requires the country to think about fully rolling out the Non-Motorised Transport policy.

It is in this regard that UCSD, JEEP, INFORSE East Africa together with TEENS Uganda organised  a public dialogue to mark the WED 2022 on the theme: ‘Fossil-free mobility options in Kampala’ as part of the national theme: ‘Our Earth, Conserve for Life’.

Dialogue will have 2 resource persons (practitioners):

  • Mr Richard Hamba – TEENs Uganda: Kampala’s Non-Motorised Transport Plans

The public dialogue on the theme: ‘Fossil-Free Mobility Options in Kampala’ sought to create awareness about Kampala’s Non-Motorised Transport Plans and how citizens can be engaged to support / promote it; and to learn more about Bodawerk’s ‘E boda’ as a solution to Uganda’s high fuel prices and addressing Kampala’s dirty air arising from vehicular fumes.

  • Monday Shardurak, BodaWerk – ‘The E Boda’: Solution to the current high fuel prices and deterring dirty air release in Kampala?

Bodawerk International Ltd. is an engineering and innovations company. It promotes Innovations ranging from electric vehicles; boda bodas, tractors, wheelchairs and trailers. Bodawerk also makes power banks made from 100% recycled li-ion batteries and design furniture.

Guiding questions

  • What is the state of fossil-free mobility in Kampala? What options are available?
  • Are there incentives / policy framework to promote fossil-free mobility in Uganda?
  • What are the major drawbacks to fossil-free mobility in Uganda?
  • What proposals do you have to address the above drawbacks?

Dialogue Objectives

  • To create awareness about Kampala’s Non-Motorised Transport Plans and how citizens can be engaged to support / promote it
  • To learn more about the ‘Eboda’ as a solution to Uganda’s high fuel prices and addressing Kampala’s dirty air arising from vehicular fumes.

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