Skip to main content

Official launch of the NatuReS programme and partnerships in Uganda

The Natural Resources Stewardship (NatuReS) programme Uganda and its Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area PET plastic recycling partnership were officially launched by the European Union, GIZ and the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment. On March 24th, 2021, the launch took place as a side event of the Uganda Water and Environment Week 2021 at the Ministry of Water and Environment.

Launch of NatuReS Uganda and presentation of artpiece
EU, GIZ and Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment officially launched the NatuReS programme in Uganda by signing a commemorative piece of art
Copyright: Ministry of Water and Environment Uganda

During the event, partners and donors gave opening remarks. Among them were the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water and Environment Alfred Okot Okiidi, the Commissioner Water Resources Planning and Regulation Dr. Callist Tindimugaya, the programme manager for the EU Delegation to Uganda, Jean Baptiste Fauvel, and GIZ Country Director James MacBeth Forbes.

Objectives of the programme

In Uganda, NatuReS focuses on strengthening the inclusive green economy in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area as well as Gulu City. Objectives of the programme are:

  • enabling multi-stakeholder partnerships in solid waste management & circular initiatives, urban flood resilience, wetland management and sustainable eco-industrial parks
  • increasing capacity of public and civil society actors, as well as the private sector, on natural resources stewardship
  • embedding lessons learnt and emerging good policy regarding natural resources stewardship

Multi-stakeholder partnership

The Greater Kampala PET plastic recycling partnership is a multi-stakeholder partnership. Accordingly, partners from private, public sector and civil society are:

  • Uganda Ministry of Water and Environment,
  • National Environment Management Authority (NEMA),
  • Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA),
  • Coca-Cola Beverages Africa,
  • Mukwano Industries Uganda Ltd.,
  • Uganda Water & Juice Manufacturers Association,
  • Global Green Growth Institute.

Together, they strive towards improving the sustainable management of PET plastic waste in and around Kampala by developing an inclusive green recycling sector.

Partnership members during panel discussion during NatuReS launch
Panel dicussion on “Cross-sectoral partnerships as a way forward to water and environment security” attended by the partners of the GKMA PET plastic recycling partnership
Copyright: Ministry of Water and Environment Uganda

During the launch event, a panel discussion on “Cross-sectoral partnerships as a way forward to water and environment security” took place. It was attended by Patience Nsereko (Principal Environment Officer, NEMA), Jude Byansi (Supervisor Waste & Sanitation, KCCA), George Asiimwe (Senior Officer Urbanisation, Global Green Growth Institute), Collins Oloya (Director, Directorate Environment Affairs in the Ministry of Water and Environment), Morgan Bbonna (Secretary, Uganda Water and Juice Manufacturers Association) and Samuel Kangave (Plant Manager, Plastic Recycling Industries).

Handover of tuktuks for waste collection

handover of Tuktuks used for waste collection
Ceremonial handover of tuktuks used for waste collection from the Ministry of Water and Environment to KCCA
Copyright: Ministry of Water and Environment Uganda

A ceremonial handover of 10 tuktuks from the Ministry of Water and Environment to KCCA followed. The vehicles will facilitate waste collection in ten municipalities within the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area. Above all, they will enable efficient and timely collection of waste, hence making sure it can be channelled into the recycling value chain.

An artwork representing NatuReS

In parallel, a visual artist produced a live artwork which donors and partners signed in the end of the event to officially launch the NatuReS programme Uganda and its partnerships.

Man signing an artwork piece on stewardship in Uganda
The Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Water and Environment Uganda Alfred Okot Okiidi signing the artwork to launch the NatuReS programme Uganda
Copyright: Ministry of Water and Environment Uganda

First breakfast meeting between public and private sector during Uganda Water & Environment Week

The NatuReS programme Uganda supported the Uganda Manufacturers’ Association (UMA) in hosting a first breakfast meeting on Friday, the 26th of March 2021, as part of the Uganda Water & Environment Week 2021. This annual weeklong event provides a platform for sector actors and other stakeholders to network, exchange knowledge and build working relationships.  

Coca Cola beverages Africa representative Discussion about natural resources stewardship
Lee Newton from Coca-Cola Beverages Africa contributing to the discussion

The meeting aim was to create a platform of cooperation for the Ministry of Water & Environment and the Ugandan private sector, represented by UMA. Both are interested in fostering a working relationship. Consulting on issues of mutual interest and of relevance for natural resources stewardship will be an important part.  

UMA chairperson presenting green ecnoomy initiatives
Barbara Mulwana, chairperson of UMA, putting forward scenarios of green economy undertaken by private investors in Uganda

High-level decision-makers from the public sector and chief executives from the private sector participated, among which the chairperson of UMA, the Commissioner for Water Resources Planning & Regulation at the Ministry of Water and Environment, the Country CEO of Hima Cement Ltd., representatives from Steel and Tube Industries Ltd., Brittania Allied Industries, and Coca-Cola Beverages Africa. 

Commissioner Water Resources Planning & Regulation
Commissioner for Water Resources Planning & Regulation at the Ministry of Water and Environment, Dr. Callist Tindimugaya, talking at the event

Environmental threats affecting both business operations and the public

Discussions focused on water and environment security in private sector operations. Frequent flash floods threaten e.g. industrial areas, namely Namanve, Ntinda and Bugolobi. They pose both an environmental threat and have a detrimental effect on business operations, as machinery can be damaged or access roads get blocked. For instance, recently employees at Namanve Industrial Park were blocked in their workstations due to floods having swallowed up the outgoing streets. Consequently, factories like Hima Cement Ltd. have embarked on improving drainage systems at their own costs within their boundaries. 

Participants also discussed water pollution, another environmental threat affecting the private sector. For example, Jesa Farm Dairies, Uganda’s leading dairy processing company, extracts water for their operations from the River Mayanja. However, it is increasingly polluted. Therefore, Jesa increased its investments in water treatment to ensure availability of clean water for their operations.

uganda Country Coordinator presenting natural resources stewardship
Mathew Parr, NatuReS Country Coordinator in Uganda, contributing to the discussion during the breakfast meeting

Cooperation is key

The public sector is open to partner  with the private sector in reducing water and environmental risks. During the event, participants long discussed ideas to leverage actions. Among others, they agreed to establish a roadmap for continuous engagement between stakeholders who are affected by and affect water resources and the environment. 

In the end, participants agreed on a follow-up meeting at the Ministry to concretize their ideas. Also, similar meetings between private and public sector are now set to occur annually during Uganda Water & Environment Week.