Arial view of a riverbank

Uganda – Balancing Economic Growth and Natural Resources

Uganda has seen a continuous high rate of annual economic growth over the last 20 years. While this has led to a reduction in headcount poverty, the creation of around half a million jobs per year and improved access to basic services, further growth plans and the high rate of population growth and urbanisation are prompting severe environmental risks for population and economy. Issues like wetland encroachment, unregulated wastewater discharge and poor solid waste management have had detrimental effects to Ugandas’ natural ecosystems. To reach its economic growth targets for 2040, the country needs to balance economic growth and its environmental assets, especially water. Green growth is needed to enable Uganda to continue developing, while avoiding or reducing negative environmental impacts. Collaboration and proper management of its natural resources are key to enhancing green growth in Uganda.

EUNOMIA Programme: Creating Green and Prosperous Economies across Uganda

Central Business District Kampala

NatuReS Uganda promotes green urban economies.

In order to support Uganda’s path towards a green economy, NatuReS Uganda is implementing the project EUNOMIA – Creating green and prosperous urban economies across Uganda. EUNOMIA aims at strengthening the green economy in Uganda, focusing on the two urban centers Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area & Gulu City and targeting specific urban sectors such as flooding, wastewater, solid waste and urban wetlands. It is co-financed by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and is implemented by GIZ from 2020 to 2023. The main objectives of EUNOMIA are:

  • To develop effective partnerships for improved multi-stakeholder stewardship of natural resources
  • To increase capacity of public and civil society actors, as well as the private sector on natural resources stewardship
  • To embed lessons learned and emerging good policy and practice with regard to natural resources stewardship

Partnerships in Uganda

Packages of bottles ready for recycling.

NatuReS supports recycling hubs in Uganda.

Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area PET Plastic Recycling Partnership

Location: Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area

Background: Rapid economic growth and urbanisation of the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area has led to an increase in the area‘s waste generation. The amount of solid waste generated overwhelms the capacity of the urban authorities to collect and dispose of it. About 40 percent of the waste created in Kampala is collected and delivered to designated landfills every month. The remaining uncollected waste is dumped in unauthorised sites, burnt on roadsides or washed into storm water channels that flow into the wetlands and Lake Victoria.

Aim: Improving the sustainable management of PET plastic waste in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area by developing an inclusive green recycling sector


  • Improving the recycling value chain, including upstream collectors, collection hubs, recycling plants and downstream users of plastic waste
  • Improving attitude and behaviour towards waste and plastic in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area
  • Improving the policy framework to facilitate greater recycling by private and public actors

NatuReS working areas: Circular Economies

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

Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area PET Plastic Recycling Partnership

Gulu Integrated Catchment Management Partnership (GICM)

Gulu City seen from above
Gulu, one of Uganda’s fastest growing cities. Copyright: Gulu City Council

Location: Gulu City

Background: The city of Gulu, situated in the north of Uganda, is one of Uganda’s fastest growing cities due to rapid urbanisation (about 4.5% per year) and relatively high population growth (2.8% per year). As the city continues to grow, so does the amount of generated solid waste. Gulu’s young waste management system, however, is yet unable to deal with the amounts of solid waste generated, which are causing a major threat to its natural resources. Especially Gulu’s water resources are increasingly polluted by plastic and organic waste.  

Gulu lies within Albert Nile and Aswa Catchments of the Upper Nile Water Management Zone. Both catchments are characterized by high vulnerability to dry spells, especially in the months from January to March. Climate conditions of the past years have led to the drying up of the Oyitino valley dam and the associated streams that serve as a main water source for the city. In addition, Gulu is faced with an increasing rate of wetland degradation. Those wetlands are a critical component of the existing watersheds, all connected to the main water supply source for the city – the Oyitino dam.   

Aim: To tackle these challenges, NatuReS has facilitated the formation of the Gulu Integrated Catchment Management partnership, working with key stakeholders from the government, private sector and civil society organisations to reduce the amount of solid waste entering the environment and securing the quality and quantity of the city’s main water source. 


  • Support the development of Oyitino 2 source protection implementation plan and implementation of soft and green infrastructure measures 
  • Strengthen the capacity of the Oyitino 1 and Oyitino 2 Water Source Protection Coordination Committees through trainings and exchange field visits 
  • Support the development and implementation of a behavior change and communication strategy and action plan for solid waste management in Gulu city  
  • Support the development of an operational manual for local solid waste collection schemes 
  • Support small and medium enterprises in the solid waste management value chain of the city through trainings and equipment/tools 
  • Establish and equip at least one plastic recycling hub in the city 

NatuReS working areas: Catchments and Circular Economy 

Partners: Ministry of Water and Environment, Gulu City Council,  National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Takataka Plastics and Community Empowerment Education Development (CEED) Uganda 

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The Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS) is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). This website’s contents are the sole responsibility of GIZ and do not necessarily reflect the views of the BMZ, European Union or FCDO.