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SWFF Annual Report

SWFF Annual Report

USAID and the Government of Sweden launched the Securing Water for Food (SWFF) grand challenge for development in September 2013 during the World Water Week in Stockholm. Within two years after the launch, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of South Africa joined the party of Founding Partners. Through SWFF, the partners have worked to identify and accelerate science and technology innovations and market-driven approaches that improve water sustainability to boost food security and ultimately alleviate poverty.

SWFF aims to increase access to innovations that help farmers produce more food with less water, enhance water storage, and improve the use of saline water and soils to produce food. Water Governance Institute (WGI) responded to SWFF call for proposals in 2015 and was selected as a winner from among 408 applications, representing 67 countries.

Twelve winners of the award were selected from the applications. WGI's winning proposal was titled "Promoting Commercial Aquaponics Farming Among Smallholder Farmers/Households for Water Efficiency, Food Security and Livelihoods Improvement in Uganda". The project will initially be implemented in 4 districts of Uganda; namely Kampala, Kamuli, Hoima and Adjumani that were selected based on their high poverty indices.

Kampala was selected because it is the central administrative center of the country; has wide gap between the rich and poor; and suffers from escalation of population as a result of rural-to-urban migration which is challenging the adequate delivery of social goods and services

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The blessing of extractive resources (oil, gas and minerals) for Uganda since their discovery and confirmation of commercial viability is highly touted. Uganda is currently described by the World Bank as one of the hottest inland exploration frontiers in the world and the country to watch in the oil and gas space, due to the commercial discovery of an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with about 1.4 billion barrels of recoverable resources. With oil production expected to begin in 2020, there has been a multitude of activities, in the oil and gas sector with more work yet to be done as well.

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Date: 31/01/2018 | Download here (2.06MB)
 
Source: Oil in Uganda

The President hints on the possibility of hiring technicians from neighbouring countries, in case Ugandans are not ready. 

Government will not hesitate to hire or import oil and gas technicians from neighbouring oil producing countries, in case Ugandans are not ready, President Yoweri Museveni has said.

“Nothing will delay us. If we don’t have skilled Ugandans, we shall hire skilled labour from neighbouring oil producing countries,” the President emphasized.

Ugandan plans to start oil production in 2020, though it is unlikely. Museveni was speaking at the closure of a two-day Skilling and Local Content Forum for the Oil and Gas sector at Sheraton Hotel, Kampala on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018. The forum was organized by the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) and the Ministry of Education and Sports.

The oil and gas sector is a specialized sector that requires internationally certified skills especially for engineers and technicians. Skills development for oil and gas, remains critical if Ugandans are going to participate in the sector.

“They [technicians from neighbouring oil producing countries] will be here in the first years of oil production and leave when we have trained enough of our own,” Museveni said.

In 2014, the joint venture oil partners – Tullow, Cnooc and Total released the Industrial Baseline Survey (IBS) report, titled, “A survey to foster opportunities for Ugandans in the Oil and Gas sector”, which revealed the country’s manpower need for the sector alone. According to the report, the sector is expected to generate at least 14,000 direct jobs and more than 100,000 induced jobs during the production and development phase. According to the same report, more than 60 percent of the jobs will be technicians and craftsmen like wielders and metal fabricators among others. However, these will require to be retrained, retooled and internationally certified in order to meet the stringent industry standards.

Government started the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba (UPIK) purposely to churn out such technicians for the sector, but the numbers are too low. Museveni therefore urged the private sector to set up technical and vocational institutions to train the much needed technicians for the oil and gas sector. Government alone, he acknowledged cannot do much.

“My appeal is that Ugandans should set up private vocational and technical institutions and train welders and other technicians. The government is also training technicians but the private sector should play greater roles and get international certification for the technicians,” Museveni added. He said in case students can’t pay for themselves in private technical institutions, government will step in and offer scholarships.

Speaking at the same forum, Loy Abaine Muhwezi, the Assistant Commissioner, Technical Education in the Ministry of Education and Coordinator Skills Development, said government with support from the World Bank is to offer at least 600 scholarships mainly to students in the oil-rich Albertine graben to train as technicians.

Uganda expects to utilize its oil and gas resources to trigger economic growth and development. However, in case, labour is imported from elsewhere, it will leave Ugandans out of the sector, a move that could spell doom not only for the sector but the entire country at large. It means the benefit will not go to Ugandans but rather foreigners.

Dr Elly Karuhanga, the Chairman Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP), said that by the end of the 2018, the country might have to come to a Final Investment Decision (FID).

“Once that is done, we shall embark on the development phase that will see construction of the refinery, crude oil pipeline and other infrastructures, creating a lot of technical jobs. So, let us prepare to do the work.” Hon. Karuhanga said.

source: oil in Uganda

Artisanal gold miners in Chepkarat gold mining area in Karita Sub County in Amudat District have been left in tears and counting losses after armed men looted their gold.


Mr Joseph Wamuno, a gold miner told this reporter that six armed men shot four bullets in air dispersing the miners before taking off with the gold on Thursday at about 8pm.


"When we saw them (robbers), we thought they were UPDF soldiers patrolling the area. However, they ordered us to give them all the gold we had. As we were still trying to identify them, they shot in air four times and the miners scampered for their lives leaving their gold behind," he said.

Mr Wamuno said no miner was shot but some of them sustained injuries during the scuffle to save themselves from the suspected robbers.


"Nobody was shot but people got injuries as they tried to run," he said. Grace Chepto, another miner said she had gathered about 1kilogramme of gold hoping to sell it next week.

"I was expecting to get Shs30million out of it. I had planned to use part of the money to buy food and clothes for my children ahead of Christmas but now I have remained with nothing," she said.


Mr Richard Aruk Maruk, the Mt Moroto regional police commander described the incident as a criminal act saying they have launched a joint operation with the army to arrest the suspected robbers.

"This is the first incident to happen but we are looking for them. We shall get them by all means," he said.
Appealed the miners and the local community to calm down saying the situation is being handled by security.


He urged the miners to be security conscious and report any suspicious person.

Source: Daily monitor

Global Witness’s undercover investigation exposes some of the major exporters involved in Peru’s biggest timber scandal - the Yacu Kallpa ship sailing from the heart of the Amazon towards the US.

Companies caught up in the Yacu Kallpa scandal knew or had reason to suspect their exports from the Amazon rainforest were illegal, according to undercover footage. See our full video evidence series >>

FALSIFIED DOCUMENTS

The timber was transported out of the Amazon on the Yacu Kallpa in late 2015, but the ship was later detained in Mexico, en route to the US. Ultimately, more than 96% of the timber on board was found to be illegal.   

The major exporters claimed their timber had the correct accompanying documents, but in Peru, where regional government corruption is rampant, such documents are often falsified and used to launder illegally extracted timber. This is what our undercover footage exposes: that the exporters, despite what they claim publicly, are aware that the documents do not guarantee legal origin.   

Global Witness's footage is believed to be the first time timber exporters in Peru have been caught on camera acknowledging that documents are often falsified. It gives an insight into the scale of corruption that allowed the Yacu Kallpa scandal to happen.

 

THE YACU KALLPA

A public prosecutor had attempted to seize some of the timber on the Yacu Kallpa before it left Peru, as part of a trail-blazing national and international crackdown on illegal Peruvian timber exports dubbed Operación Amazonas. The prosecutor effectively failed, permitting the ship to leave with a full cargo. Its subsequent detention in Mexico, together with the previous shipment having been blocked from entering the US, turned the Yacu Kallpa into the biggest timber scandal in Peru’s history.

It contributed to protests in Iquitos and another city, Pucallpa, where the office of the government’s forest inspection agency, OSINFOR, was fire-bombed, and it effectively cut the only direct timber export route from Peru’s Amazon to the US, given that the Yacu Kallpa was the only ship operating on it. Under pressure from the timber sector, the new law allowing public prosecutors to seize timber was weakened, and OSINFOR’s president, Rolando Navarro, was sacked and forced to flee the country in fear for his life.

The Yacu Kallpa's infamous voyage from Peru's Amazon towards the US

 

The timber detained in Mexico was all released in late 2016 despite OSINFOR proving it was illegal, according to Peruvian media outlet OjoPúblico. Their report claims that decision was made by Mexican authorities without informing Peruvian prosecutors, following pressure from the Peruvian and Mexican timber sectors.

HOW THE ILLEGAL TIMBER TRADE AFFECTS PERU’S AMAZON

The trade in illegal timber has numerous serious impacts on Peru and Peruvians, fostering widespread corruption and furthering the exploitation and invasion of indigenous peoples’ land and resources. In addition, it contributes to the unsustainable deforestation and degradation of the Amazon basin –  a major source of carbon emissions and cause of climate change – and is widely reported to involve, or to be connected to, assassinations, forced labour, tax evasion, prostitution, human rights violations, land-trafficking, narco-trafficking and organised crime.

Many thousands of Peruvians in the Amazon are dependent on the timber trade for their livelihoods. Illegal or corrupt operations by comparatively affluent exporters, sawmills, government functionaries, forestry consultants and other ‘middle-men’ companies or buyers expose those people to unnecessary, unfair risk and potential prosecution and imprisonment, while the real profiteers go unpunished. 

OUR KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

Public prosecutors specialising in environmental crimes in Iquitos and two other towns in Peru’s Amazon are currently investigating the late 2015 Yacu Kallpa shipment.

 In light of the undercover footage obtained by Global Witness – together with the other arguments made in our report – we urge the prosecutors to:

  • Continue their investigations into the Yacu Kallpa.
  • Among the representatives of the exporters being investigated, prioritise whether to prosecute those regularly exporting the biggest quantities, such as Inversiones La Oroza, Inversiones WCA and Corporación Industrial Forestal.
  • Investigate whether to prosecute other representatives from the exporters not currently being investigated, such as Sico Maderas’ Dante Zevallos.
  • Among the regional government functionaries being investigated, prioritise whether to prosecute those who continue to hold public positions.
  • Among the forestry consultants being investigated, prioritise whether to prosecute those who continue to be able to write and sign harvesting plans.
  • Investigate whether to prosecute ‘middlemen’ companies in the supply-chain, none of which are currently being investigated.
  • Request the Ministry of Economy and Finance to provide more resources to continue with the investigations as effectively as possible.

 

SOURCE: Global Witness 

 'Well done.' Museveni meets Kutesa in his New York office when he was President of U.N. General Assembly

A former foreign minister of Senegal and a Chinese intermediary have been arrested for their role in bribing the President of Chad and Uganda's foreign minister, the U.S. announced in an indictment unsealed Monday.

The bribes were allegedly for concessions in the energy industry in both Chad and Uganda for an unnamed Chinese oil company, according to the U.S. indictment unsealed by the Justice Department and posted on its website.

A payment of $2 million was allegedly paid to President Idriss Deby of Chad and $500,000 to Uganda's foreign minister Sam Kutesa, the U.S. alleges. A joint business venture by the unnamed Chinese company with the "family businesses" of Kutesa and Museveni was also promised and both men received gifts, according to the U.S. indictment.

The scheme was hatched in New York in 2014 soon after Kutesa assumed his role as President of the United Nations General Assembly. The payment to Kutesa wasn't made until his term ended and he returned to Uganda, the U.S. alleges.

The payment was disguised as a "donation" to a charity of Kutesa's choice or a donation to help Gen. Museveni with his 2016 re-election campaign, the U.S. alleges. However, the payment was allegedly to gain favorable concessions for the Chinese oil company. The $500,000 wire transfer was made after the Ugandan election, the indictment states. The alleged bribe payment to Kutesa was wired to a bank account in Uganda that he designated.

International observers ruled that the election had not been free, fair, or credible.

The Chinese intermediary who made the bribe payment was identified by the U.S. as Chi Ping Patrick Ho and the the former Chadian foreign minister who also acted as an intermediary, is identified as Cheikh Gadio. He allegedly received $400,000 as an intermediary with President Debby.

Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, foreign minister of Senegal from 2000 to 2009, was arrested last Friday in New York and Ho was arrested Saturday. They were both charged with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, international money laundering, and conspiracy to commit both. 

Both appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck and ordered detained.

The bribe money allegedly came from a "Shanghai-headquartered multibillion-dollar conglomerate that operates internationally in the energy and financial sectors" through an NGO operated by Ho and based in Hong Kong and Virginia, according to the indictment. The NGO was affiliated with the United Nations.

According to the U.S. indictment, the Chinese intermediary, Ho, "also provided the Ugandan Foreign Minister, as well as the President of Uganda, with gifts and promises of future benefits, including offering to share the profits of a potential joint venture in Uganda involving the Energy Company and businesses owned by the families of the Ugandan Foreign Minister and the President of Uganda. These payments and promises were made in exchange for assistance from the Ugandan Foreign Minister in obtaining business advantages for the Energy Company, including the potential acquisition of a Ugandan bank."

"“This alleged scheme involved bribes at the highest levels of the governments of two nations," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco. "The Criminal Division is committed to investigating and prosecuting corrupt individuals who put at risk a level playing field for corporate competitiveness, regardless of where they live or work.  Their bribes and corrupt acts hurt our economy and undermine confidence in the free marketplace.”"

"Wiring almost a million dollars through New York’s banking system in furtherance of their corrupt schemes, the defendants allegedly sought to generate business through bribes paid to the President of Chad and the Ugandan Foreign Minister," said, Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim. "As alleged, Ho'’s Ugandan scheme was hatched in the halls of the United Nations in New York, when the country'’s current Foreign Minister served as the President of the U.N. General Assembly, and then continued unabated upon his return to Uganda.  International bribery not only harms legitimate businesses and fair competition, but it also destroys public faith in the integrity of government.  And when this type of international corruption and bribery touches our shores and our financial system, as the alleged schemes did, federal criminal charges in an American court may very well be the end result.”"

The F.B.I and the Internal Revenue Services were also involved in the investigation, according to the indictment.

The U.S. alleges in the indictment that the conspiracy between Ho and Kutesa started in October 2014, at the U.N. headquarters, soon after Kutesa started his term as General Assembly President. The alleged bribes were not paid until 2016, when Kutesa was back in Uganda.

Kutesa has been involved in several alleged corruption scandals. At the time he became President of the General Assembly, The Black Star Newsreported that his private company in Uganda, ENHAS, had earned about $30 million from a U.N. contract. He had never disclosed to the U.N. that he owned the company when ENHAS was awarded the contract. When The Black Star News questioned U.N. officials including then Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the U.N. disabled the links that displayed ENHAS's invoices on its website.

The U.S. is the largest contributor to the United Nations.

The Black Star News was unable to get comments this morning from both the Permanent Missions of Uganda and Chad to the United Nations.

 Source: The black star news 

 

 

The SWFF Program Team lead, SWFF TA Facility deputy program coordinator, and other USAID representatives travled to Kampala, Jinja, and Hoima to meet with innovators in Uganda, including Aquaponics and Green Heat.

“SWFF site visits allow the program to get a better understanding of innovators’ activities and provide more in-depth advice that can accelerate their path towards progression,” SWFF Program Team Lead Dr. Ku McMahon said.

In addition to meeting with the innovators, Ku and the SWFF team talked with local farmers and technicians to get feedback and confirm innovator-submitted data over the course of the week.

 

“SWFF site visits allow the program to…provide more in-depth advice that can accelerate their path towards progression.”

Each innovator serves as a pioneer, impacting the amount of water used in poor countries through cutting edge technologies and business models. Water Governance Institute’s aquaponics program serves to eliminate nutrient deficiencies through a tray cultivation system. This technology creates a bridge between crop and fish production, allowing for optimal food output with less water.

The Green Heat program cuts down on water use by implementing a waste-separation system that creates fertilizer. SWFF travel plays a key part in both organizations’ success through offering the innovators in person support and guidance.

Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development helps farmers around the world grow more food using less water, enhance water storage, and improve the use of saline water and soil to produce food by ensuring that the entrepreneurs get the support they need to apply and expand their solutions around the world.

To learn more about Securing Water for Food, as well as access a list of our innovators, visit www.securingwaterforfood.org/innovators

 

 

SOURCE: SWFF

By Diana Taremwa

Government has created a mining police unit to enable law and order in the mining sector and deal with disorganized artisanal miners.

This was confirmed by the Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines, Edwards Katto, at the recently concluded Mineral Wealth Conference in Kampala.

Katto said the mining police’s first significant role was the recent mass eviction of artisanal miners in Mubende gold fields aimed at  getting rid of foreigners that had penetrated Mubende and the need to curb use of hazardous chemicals mercury and cyanide in gold mining activities.

However, creation of a mining police unit and the act of evicting Artisanal Small and Medium scale miners (ASMs) in Mubende go against the principles of the draft law  and policy and the spirit of regularising ASMS.

Government is in the process of reviewing the mining law and policy with a view of regularising mining activities in the country.

Some of the proposals in the draft law and policy recognise the need to regulate ASMs which was lacking in the old Mining law 2003.

POLICE UNITS WILL BE DEPLOYED IN MINING AREAS (PIC: REUTERS/EDWARD ECHWALU)

The specialised mining police unit is not provided for or enshrined in the current mining law nor captured in the draft law and policy which makes it illegal. Government should first regularise ASMs before taking such actions.

It is a well-known fact that for a long time Uganda’s gold has been mined by the ASM miners whose back breaking labour contributed towards $340 million in gold exports in 2016, according to figures from Bank of Uganda.

Gold mining alone employs over 20,000 people in the country who would otherwise be unemployed.

The Mubende evictions  have not only  deprived the people depending on gold mining in the district livelihoods and rendered  them jobless but have created recipe for speculation of government wanting to wipe out ASMs in the gold mining industry and bringing in big investors.

Uganda’s mineral sector growth has been guided by legislative frameworks riddled with gaps and implementation challenges. Consequently, the sector has registered negative social and environmental effects/impacts, such as miners being exposed to hazardous chemicals; mining operations being conducted in total disregard of health and safety requirements and operations often result in pollution and loss of biodiversity, and overall land degradation.

Therefore, government needs to put in place measures to monitor mining industry compliance to social and environmental safeguards, including bio-monitoring the effects/impacts of chemicals used in mining operations.

Also, government and other stakeholders should invest in educating ASMs on social and environmental safeguards, including standards of extracting minerals.

Artisanal miners tend to be ignorant about social and environmental safeguards and therefore inadvertently violate or do not comply with the safeguards.

The important role of ASMs in the mining sector– as “path finders” cannot be ignored .Government should give them an opportunity to engage in mining as individuals and collectively as groups or as ASM-mining companies through regularization.

The writer is the extractives officer at Water Governance Institute

 

SOURCE: Chimpreports

 

Recently, government ordered the eviction of the miners carrying out activities on sites that have been licensed to investors. There have been long standing battles between artisanal miners and owners of mineral licenses in the country.

 

Karuhangainsert 703x422

Dr. Elly Karuhanga, the Chairman Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum will be one of the speakers at the event.

 

This year’s mineral wealth conference is underway at the Kampala Serena Hotel- overshadowed by the stunning eviction of tens of thousands of artisanal gold miners in Mubende in August.

Recently, government ordered the eviction of the miners carrying out activities on sites that have been licensed to investors. There have been long standing battles between artisanal miners and owners of mineral licenses in the country.

Artisanal and Small Scale Mining (ASM) will be one of the topics of discussion at the two day conference.

The conference, now in its sixth edition, is organized by the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) and in conjunction with the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development.

This year’s conference is being held under the theme “Minerals – knocking on the door to cause economic transformation in Uganda.” 

Speakers at the event include Richard Kaijuka, the Chairman Board of Trustees Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Dr. Elly Karuhanga, the Chairman Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Robert Kasande Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

 

ASM activities in the country are most of the time carried out illegally throughout mining areas in Mubende, Busia, Karamoja, Buhweju and other parts of the country.

Also on the agenda for discussion are topics such as mineral processing and value addition, economic transformation.

 

Source: New Vision

I am very thankful to the project; it has contributed significantly to improving the lives of my family-Norah Maridiyo

 

Adjumani district, Uganda

33 year old Norah Maridiyo lives in Malipupu, a remote village in Adjumani district. Adjumani is one of the districts in the semi-arid northern part of Uganda with a height between 1356-1524m above sea level, a precipitate of 400-600m litres and temperatures above 30 degrees centigrade .Water scarcity is a big problem in this district as it is far from the main water source the River Nile. The district is also still recovering from decades of conflict posed by Kony rebel forces and is host to hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighbouring South Sudan and the Democratic of Republic Congo.

However, it was not all smooth sailing as she had anticipated. She faced some challenges in managing the Aquaponics system.

 “The system was installed at my home in the dry season and there was a problem of water scarcity which made it difficult to change the water and also the rate of evaporation of water from the system was high” says Ms.Maridiyo.

Also, she had not mastered the techniques of managing the Aquaponics system well at the time.  “It was a gamble for me; I wasn’t sure when to feed the fish and the quantity of feeds to put in the system”.

This led to poor yields from the fish .she harvested only 78 fish though the crop yields were good.

Nonetheless, this did not discourage her in fact the money earned from the fish sales and the good yields from the crops made her realise that it was a profitable venture, and that fish was on high demand. She then decided to dedicate time and learn more about managing the Aquaponics system with the support of the WGI project staff and the farmer guides.

 

Ms.Maridiyo stands next to her two Aquaponics units with flourishing spinach vegetables

Ms Maridiyo also installed additional two aquaponics systems. In June this year, she again received 1,763 fish fingerlings and collard greens, tomatoes and spinach from WGI which were placed in the three systems. Her efforts are already paying off.

“I have so far had good yields from the vegetables which has earned me Ugx shs.160, 000 that I will use to buy fish feeds. I’m also hopeful that I will get good fish yields because most of the fish currently weighs 350grams at just 3months.” Says Ms Maridiyo.

She was also contacted by Zawadi hotel who have become her biggest customer for her fish and vegetables.

“I am very thankful to the project; it has contributed significantly to improving the lives of my family- they now eat a balanced diet from the fish and vegetables .I am also able to earn money and contribute meaningfully towards my family’s needs ” She says.

 

She has also become a model farmer in her community. People keep flocking her home for training on how to set up and manage aquaponics systems as an alternative farming method and business investment option.

Mrs Maridiyo is one of the many farmers in Uganda who have benefitted from the WGI three year project aimed at promoting commercial Aquaponics farming among smallholder farmers/households for water efficiency, food security and livelihoods improvement. Adjumani was chosen as one of the project districts due to the high poverty rate and huge influx of refugees in the district.

 

 

Listen to her testimony below;

Tax incentives have been used over the years with the belief that they lead to the attainment of public policy objectives that would ordinarily be accomplished through public (revenue) spending  or as an avenue of encouraging activities that will lead to setting up of investments especially FDI that would provide jobs and contribute to future revenues.   Read more

Water governance Institute is a member of the of the Tax Justice Alliance

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