Muha-kanizi on spot over Shs90b farmers cash 

 By Yasiin Mugerwa

Posted  Monday, September 29  2014

The Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Keith Muhakanizi who kept calling himself “ born again Christian” was today pushed on the wall and forced to apologise for the “inefficiencies” in the running of a Shs 90 billion facility meant for helping the poor farmers access cheap credit.

The Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee noted “gross inefficiencies, conflict of interest and lack of supervision of the funds” on the part of Bank of Uganda and Ministry of Finance. Because of lack of supervision, PAC Chairperson Ms Alice Alaso said, the money has gone to the well-off farmers at the expense of the poor farmers and written off more than Shs499 million in bad debts.

On December 3 2009, the Governor Bank of Uganda Prof Emmanuel Mutebile wrote to Ministry of Finance, saying that Bank of Uganda could not monitor the implementation and evaluation of the facility, citing conflict of interest however to date, Mr Muhakanizi had not taken action. The ST apologised for “inefficiency” saying “he is also human”.

The committee expressed concerns about the possible risk to the funds and ordered Muhakanizi to streamline the monitoring of the scheme within one month. Officials from BoU told the committee that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ministry of Finance and clearly STATED that monitoring of the agriculture credit facility will not be their mandate.

Mr Muhakanizi returns to PAC next week.


Taata Omusoga ava e Iganga ate nga mulema oluusi antuma okumugulira bamalaaya wano mu Kampala:

By Lawrence Kitatta

Added 21st September 2016

Nzuukuka ku makya ng’obudde tebunnakya ne tutegula ebikunta oluvannyuma taata bw’aba yeetewuulizzaako mu kaveera nkakwata ne nkasuula mu kipipa kya Kcca ekiri e busukkakkubo. kyokka oluguudo ndusala mmagamaga emmotoka zireme kunkoona.


Nakasango ng’asindika kitaawe bagenda okusabiriza ssente.


Emboozi ye yaginyumirizza DAPHINE SEMAKULA NE LAWRENCE KITATTA

bw’ati:

Nzuukuka ku makya ng’obudde tebunnakya ne tutegula ebikunta oluvannyuma taata bw’aba yeetewuulizzaako mu kaveera nkakwata ne nkasuula mu kipipa kya Kcca ekiri e busukkakkubo. kyokka oluguudo ndusala mmagamaga emmotoka zireme kunkoona.

Bwe tuba twasuze n’amazzi tunaabako mu maaso era tunywako oluusi ne njolekera Kiswa gye nsoma mu P1.

Taata eyandibadde ampa ssente za bodaboda okuntwala ku ssomero ate nze mba nnina okumusindika ku kagaali nga tuva e Lugogo we tusula ku mulyango gwa GTZ.

Olumu ku ssomero anzigyayo ssaawa 4:00 ne tugenda ku kkubo gye tusabiriza. Olumu nsoma naye olulala nnemererwa.

Olusoma oluwedde nakola ebibuuzo era okuva olwo saaddayo kusoma. Buli lunaku tuzunga ekibuga kumpi okukimalako ne mpulira nga n’obugere bunfuuyirira.

Kasango ng’azingako akaveera akakola nga bulangiti e Lugogo okumpi ne siteegi ya New Vision, we basula ate Nakasango nga yeetereza batandike olugendo lw’okubuna ekibuga nga basabiriza.


Naye taata bw’atuuka ku kaserengeto olwo ng’anteeka mu maaso ng’akagaali kayiringita. Taata yangamba nti maama wange ye Nasim Namulondo abeera Iganga era gye yanzigya okundeeta e Kampala okutandika okusabiriza ku luguudo.

Enkuba bw’etonnya mu budde obw’ekiro olwo ne tuyimirira ku lubalaza we tusula olumu n’okutukuba etukuba naddala ng’erimu kibuyaga.

Obudde buli lwe buziba mba mu kweraliikirira. Taata oyo talina nsonyi antuma okumuyitira bamalaaya ekiro!

Omanyi bwe tuba twebase nsula ku ludda kw’assa ebigere wabula olumu ngenda okusisimuka nga mpulira anninnya mu maaso, ngenda okulaba nga mukazi.

Olumu mpulira n’amaloboozi ekiro naye nga sirina kyakukola. Bw’aleeta bamalaaya nga sinneebaka olwo nsituka busitusi ne ntuula ku kkubo mu kayumba ka siteegi ya New Vision okutuusa lwe bamaliriza naye ate olumu nneekanga nsuze awo. Olumu antuma e Nakawa ngule sooda.

Wano nga beetegeka okugenda.


TAATA YANZIBA AWAKA

Bwe yali yaakandeeta okunzigya mu kyalo ng’annyambaza nnyo engoye z’abalenzi nga tayagala bamulaba kumanya nti ndi muwala naye kati nange nnyambala ngoye z’abawala.

Nzijukira nali mbeera ne maama wange ne jjajja, twali tuzannya ne baganda bange be twabeeranga nabo awaka, abakulu tebaaliwo kw’olwo taata yajja awaka n’anzibawo n’antwala ewa jjajja omulala.

Ono kirabika ye maama we amuzaala wabula nga naye saamwetegereza bulungi era simumanyi. Taata bwe yawulira nti gye yanzigya baali batandise okunnoonya kwe kunzigyayo n’andeeta e Kampala.

Kye nzijukira twatuuka kiro era ekkubo eryatuleeta sirimanyi naye angamba nti ewaffe Iganga we wali ekyalo kyaffe.

Wabula okuva lwe natandika okubeera ne taata embeera tebeerangako nnyangu kuba ennaku ezisinga tusiibirira capati n’amazzi emmere tugirya lumu na lumu ate tugirya Kataza Bugoloobi kuba we wali eya layisi gy’asobola okugula.



Eno ku 1500/- tufuna ebijanjaalo n’akawunga ate ennyama ya 3,000/- naye ennyama emirundi gye nnaakagiryako mbala mibale ate essowaani tugigabana.

Emirundi gye nnaakabula sigimanyi!

Taata oyo ayomba nnyo! Waliwo olunaku lwe sisobola kwerabira. Yasuula engatto ye gye saamanya naye n’anvuma olunaku lwonna.

Kino tekyamumalira yansindika ne ngwa ku kolaasi ne nnuubuka nga kw’agasse n’okunkuba nga bw’andaalika nga bw’ajja okuntuga ansuule ku kkubo.

Ekyo buli lwe nkirowoozaako mmubulako olwo n’atandika okunnoonya ng’alaga nti anjagala nnyo kyokka ng’ansuza mu mpewo buli lunaku.

Ekisinga okunnuma ssente azifuna ezisobola okupangisa ennyumba naye azigulamu bamalaaya olwo nze ne mbonaabona.

Bamalaaya abasausla 5,000/- buli kiro. Waliwo Omuzungu atuwa 50,000/- buli kiseera ate ono olumu amusaba 70,000/- naye ezisinga azimalira mu bamalaaya b’agula.

Nze bw’antwala ku ssomero tandekera ssente za buugi ate angamba nti talina wadde za yunifoomu. Wabula ez’ebigezo batusaba 8,000/- era yali tazirina naye omusomesa ku ssomero ye yannyamba ne mbituula.

  Nakasango ne kitaawe nga bava we basula.

NNOONYA MMANGE

Ekizibu ekiriwo gye nava simanyiiyo. Nsaba maama Nasim Namulondo ow’e Iganga ankime kuba nkooye okuba mu mbeera embi. Ebbanga lye nsuze ku kkubo mpulira nkooye.

Olumu mbeera awo ne nneebuuza oba olunaku lulikya ne nzirayo ewaffe ne mbeerako ne baganda bange. Kati taata namudduseeko era nsula ku mbalaza mu kibuga naye annoonya buli wamu w’ansuubira okuba naye saagala kumulaba.

Taata alina ekifaananyi kye yeekubisa nga tuli babiri. Kati akwata akagaali ne yeefuula atalaba era omulema ennyo nga bw’abuuza buli gw’asanze oba amulabiddeko ku muwala we.

Ekyandeetedde okumubulako yankubye n’okunvuma ng’agamba nti nja kukola bwamalaaya oba mu bbaala. Bwe twamaze okulya capati n’andagira okugenda okusuulayo ebisaaniiko mu kasasiro bwe nafunye oluwenda kwe kudduka.

Wabula waliwo abakyala okuli Aunt Mather, Jane bano bandabirirako bwe namuddukako omulundi ogwasooka singa basobola okunkima bajje bankime bantwale kuba bo balina empisa era bandabirira bulungi nnyo kuba baali bampa n’ebiteeteeyi n’engatto naye taata yabavuma n’anzigyayo,’’ Nakasango bw’alojja.

Wabula ku Mmande ya wiiki eno Nakasango yalabiddwaako ng’ali ne kitaawe ku Spear Motors ku Jinja Road ng’amusindika mu kagaali. Kirabika yamaze n’amuzuula.

Wano Kasango ng’ayomba n’ababodaboda ng’ali ku kagaali ne muwala we.


EMBEERA Z’OMUSAJJA ONO

MUSA Kasango mukambwe okukira ennumba. Akolima, muyombi ate awemula nnyo. Abamumanyi bagamba nti teyazaalibwa nga mulema wabula alina ekizimbe kye yali akolako e Lugogo n’ava waggulu n’amenyeka okugulu era okuva olwo n’atandika okutambuza omuggo.

Wabula ng’asobola bulungi okutambula n’omuggo nga tali mu kagaali, naye eno embeera agiteekawo basobole okumusaasira bamuwe ssente.

Abeera ne ssente eziwera era Nakasango agamba nti bagenda ne bagula eddagala mu ‘famasi’ buli lunaku bagula ‘air time’. Ate awuliriza nnyo ne leediyo era bw’oyita we basula aba agitaddeko.

Nakasango agamba nti n’olumu banaaba ku ttaapu e Luzira oba waggulu e Kololo. Kigambaibwa nti alina n’enju gy’apangisa e Iganga mu Busoga ejjudde ebintu era nga mu kiseera kino ekuumibwa landirodi ng’olw’olumu agenda n’asulayo.

Kyokka waliwo eyatubuulidde nti alina akati ke yalonda nga kali mu kasawo, kano k’alomberako dduwa era ke yeesiga ng’emmundu emmenye okumulwanira entalo. “Nze ndi mulema naye ndi mukambwe, ekyokulwanyisa kye nneesiga jjinja.

Nja kuliimisa omuvubuka oyo eyankubye ebifaananyi mmukube; bwe yeeweredde abaamawulire. Nakasango y’omu ku baana ng’amaka ge bamanyi gali ku nguudo kwe basula.

Tebamanyi kitanda wadde amasuuka, wabula amaloboozi g’emmotoka ezibayitako ku nguudo kwe basula ge gababeesabeesa okutuusa otulo lwe tubatwala.

Abaana bano abatamanyi bitanda abatasulangako mu nnyumba ye Uganda y’enkya.


    THE

OBJECTIVES 

 It is to develop the elderly of Africa, Uganda financially.


Secondly, it is to assist the needy and disabled.


Third, it is to humanely visit the sick and stressed.


Fourth it is to create financial projects for the needy to generate income for the elderly and young.




This organization has carried out such activities as:

Cake and bread baking.


Members have been involved in rural building construction and road making and repairs.


Members have been involved in decoration on functions.


Members have been involved in all means of assistance in burial ceremonies in the communities.



Ugandan workers less educated, poorly paid

Publish Date: Sep 22, 2014



A Ugandan worker is less educated and poorly paid.

By Samuel Sanya 


MOST working Ugandans are only educated up to secondary level, work for 10 years, six days a week and earn at least sh403 per hour according to a wages survey.


In the wage indicator survey, released recently, 1,306 Ugandans from all administrative regions were interviewed by the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE) in conjunction with Dutch and Tanzanian researchers.


Conservative estimates place Uganda’s working population at 17 million. The average working week of respondents is almost 60 hours and they work six days per week.


Slightly over half (51%) work evenings, seven of 10 workers report working on Saturdays, while four of 10 work on Sundays.


Nearly half of the workers in the sample were managers. Only two of 10 workers had a permanent contract, three of 10 were on fixed term contract while four of 10 workers said they are entitled to social security.


Despite the low numbers entitled to pensions, respondents indicated having four dependants on average. The analysis showed that 77% of the workers were paid on or above the poverty line of sh403 per hour or $1.25 (about sh3,000) per day.


Five percent of workers had no formal education, 14% studied to primary education 48% had secondary education certificates, 16% had a college education and 17% a university degree. Only 62% of informal workers are paid above the poverty line compared to 97% of the most formal workers.


Workers in trade, transport and hospitality are most at risk of poverty with 30% paid less than a dollar a day. Public servants are best paid. At least 92% earned above the poverty line.


Labour State minister Rukutana Mwesigwa recently revealed that Cabinet is considering creation of a wage board and a minimum wage.


The Government last set a minimum wage of sh6,000 in 1984. In 1975, the Minimum Wage Advisory Council recommended a sh75,000 minimum monthly wage. It remains on paper.

Why are the poor citizens of Uganda receiving money that is accounted for as a national pension for the elderly of this country?

Photo by Fred Muzaale

By JOSEPH KATO


Posted  Tuesday, July 5   2016 

The Senior Citizens Grant in Uganda is given to the elderly aged 65 and above to help them live decent livelihoods; however, in some districts, it is the young, energetic poor that are being given the money.

Over 110,000 persons aged 65 and above in 141 sub-counties, towns and 6,028 villages in 15 districts are beneficiaries of the Senior Citizens Grant (SCG) that was started in 2010. SCG is one of the essential modules of the Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE), financed by government and development partners such as DFID and Irish Aid.

SCG is aimed at enhancing access to basic needs such as food security, better nutrition, health care and improving housing among others which is legal onus of the state to provide wellbeing and upkeep for the elderly.

David Lambert Tumwesigye, advocacy advisor at Expanding Social Protection (ESP) at the Ministry Gender, Labour and Social Development (MGLSD) calls upon the new MPs to join the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Social Protection (UPFSP) so that they can advocate care for the elderly.

What do MPs say?

Agnes Taka, Bugiri Woman MP, appreciates the services that have been offered to the elderly through SAGE. However, she calls upon the government to be open and involve grassroots leaders when selecting beneficiaries saying it will help to avoid issues of segregation.

“We need to know what criterion is followed when choosing SAGE beneficiaries. It is perturbing to learn about activities being done in your constituency from locals. Leaders need to be involved,” argues Taka.

She wonders why majority of the 15 districts where SAGE has been enrolled and the next 20 districts targeted to benefit from the programme are not from poverty stricken areas.

She asks her colleagues to push the government hard so that there can be transparency in the enrollment.

Rtd Lt Cyrus Amodoi, MP Tonoma County, Katakwi district, marvels at why the programme in some districts has been shifted from the elderly to the poorest people.

“What I have seen is that there is political interference in some parts where SAGE has been enrolled. In some places they target the poorest people instead of senior citizens,” says Amodoi.

In response to MPs queries, Drake Rukundo, Policy and Monitoring and Evaluation, UPFSP, says they have on ground people who gather information for the befitting citizens. He encourages the MPs to advocate countrywide enrollment for the elderly.

Rukundo says they want government to commit resources as a priority towards social protection to help the elderly live decent livelihoods because they are the bridge between the past and the future.

He applauds the 9th Parliament for being instrumental in ensuring the survival of the SAGE programme and extending it from 15 districts to additional 40 districts in the next five years.

In the FY 2015/16 Budget process, Parliament made a resolution where the SAGE programme was to be rolled out to the whole country covering 100 oldest persons in every sub-county.

Tumwesigye says the 10th parliament and the government did their work and it remains critical that all districts get covered for fairness and equitable development. The new MPs are expected to enlist to become members so that advocacy on social protection is boosted.

The forum undertakes to provide information and create spaces for engagement on issues touching social protection.

The cabinet passed the social protection policy which proposes a myriad of progressive interventions that if implemented will significantly contribute to the journey from third world to middle income status as envisaged in the Vision 2040.

However, even with the current roll-out plan, only a total of 55 districts will be reached leaving out 57 districts. To maximise pressure on government, the Forum has conducted regional consultative meetings that bring together Members of Parliament, District Chairpersons, District Community Development Officers and the civil society.

Reports from the Ministry

Reports from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development indicate that the senior citizens grant is increasing productive investment where 32 per cent of the beneficiaries use the money to buy livestock or engage in petty trading while 27 per cent of the beneficiaries invest their money in hiring additional labour to work in their gardens.

“At least 16 per cent of the beneficiaries save their month’s payment purposely to cover emergencies, 17 per cent use the gratuities to support productive investments, cultivation (15 per cent and meeting the educational needs of children and/or grandchildren taking 14 per cent,” reads the report on expanding social protection programme for senior citizens grant.

According to the report, majority of the senior citizens grant beneficiaries spend the large part of their transfers on food leading to increased frequency, quantity and quality of meals eaten by beneficiary households.

The report further shows that SCG beneficiaries especially women consistently report improved participation in community affairs, sense of self-esteem and empowerment. Older people report feeling less discriminated against in their communities and more valued by their families on account of their ability to make social contributions to community-based social support mechanisms which are based on reciprocity like contributing to funerals and weddings.

About SAGE

SAGE is a financial support programme for people aged 65 years and above. Currently, the programme is covering 15 districts. A total of 40 more districts have been lined up to benefit from SAGE by 2020.

In the 2015/16 budget, over Shs30b was expected for the national rollout where 100 persons per sub-county were to benefit but government committed Shs9 billion only.

jkato@ug.

nationmedia.com


In the United Kingdom, one better watch out for cold-calling racketeers, who are selling carbon credits:

The regulator has also warned:

 
15 September, 2019
 
Toby Walne for The Mail 
 

Fossil fuel vs renewable / future clean alternative energy concept : Petroleum pumpjack, crude oil drum barrel and solar panel, green battery with leaf on a simple wood balance scale in equal position

 

Fossil fuel vs renewable / future clean alternative energy concept :

Petroleum pumpjack, crude oil drum barrel and solar panel, green battery with leaf on a simple wood balance scale in equal position.

 

The idea of buying carbon credits as an investment for a future where they have become the norm and are traded regularly may sound exciting – but for most people they should be avoided. 

The industry is not regulated by City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority, so you cannot seek any redress from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if your investment goes wrong.

The regulator warns people to steer clear of anyone who contacts them out of the blue to invest in carbon credits – via phone, email or letter.

 

a hand holding a remote control: Be careful: The industry is not regulated by City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority, so you cannot seek any redress from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if scammed© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Be careful: The industry is not regulated by City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority, so you cannot seek any redress from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if scammed

Crooks lure in victims promising double-digit annual returns that are simply not true. 

They often use false claims such as schemes having Government support. 

Advertisement

In recent years, The Mail on Sunday’s own ‘Readers’ Champion’, Tony Hetherington, has reported on dozens of scams that have swindled victims out of many thousands of pounds – money that they never see again.

Our planet Earth is at risk of entering ‘hothouse’ state from which there is no return, scientists warn:

7 August, 2018
 
By Josh Gabbatiss
 
 

In a summer marked by global heatwaves, wildfires and drought, scientists have warned that things could get considerably worse under a future scenario dubbed “hothouse Earth”.

Even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, there is a chance human-induced global warming could trigger other processes which will lead to uncontrollable warming, the team at the Stockholm Resilience Centre said.

As Amazon rainforest is destroyed, Arctic permafrost thaws and Antarctic sea ice melts, these natural feedback mechanisms that currently help store Earth’s carbon will instead begin emitting it, scientists at the Swedish institute warned. 

Entrepeñas - a reservoir located on the Tagus River in the Alcarria Baja region of Guadalajara, Spain

Entrepeñas - reservoir located on the Tagus River in the Alcarria Baja region of GuadalajaraSpain

 

 

While it is unclear how likely this scenario is, experts agree that were it to happen the runaway warming after this tipping point would be an existential threat to humanity.

 

“These tipping elements can potentially act like a row of dominoes,” said Professor Johan Rockstrom, Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. “Once one is pushed over, it pushes Earth towards another. It may be very difficult or impossible to stop the whole row of dominoes from tumbling over.”

The prospect of such a situation has been laid out by Professor Rockstrom and his colleagues in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

“We address tipping elements in the planetary machinery that might, once a certain stress level has been passed, one by one change fundamentally, rapidly, and perhaps irreversibly,” explained Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

“This cascade of events may tip the entire Earth system into a new mode of operation.”

Melting ice hangs over a river of glacier water at the foot of the Hornkees glacier on August 26, 2016 near Ginzling, Austria.

Melting ice hangs over a river of glacier water at the foot of the Hornkees glacier on August 26, 2016 near Ginzling, Austria.

 

Global average temperatures are currently 1C above pre-industrial levels and under the Paris climate agreement world governments have agreed to keep total warming below 2C.

 

In the worst-case scenario, the researchers predict the Earth’s climate would stabilise at around 4-5C higher – hotter than any point for 1.2 million years – and with sea level increase of up to 60m.

“Places on Earth will become uninhabitable if ‘hothouse Earth’ becomes the reality,” Professor Rockstrom said. 

Related:  These Terrifying Photos of Weather-Related Chaos Show Earth’s Climate Crisis First Hand (Provided by Esquire)

a man standing in front of a sunset: One product of our surreal age is that the all-consuming maelstrom of news swirling out of Washington, D.C. - or wherever else the president is at any given moment - has essentially buried the fact that the world is on fire. No, really. It's on fire. The West Coast is on fire. Greece is on fire. Also, Myanmar is drowning in floodwater. A powerful typhoon slammed into Japan. India is wading through the remnants of a monsoon's deluge. Turkey is flooded. Laos is flooded. Ukraine is flooded. The earth beneath Germany is cracking up, starved of water amid a persistent drought. A heatwave swept through Russia and sent temperatures soaring above 100 degrees. It hit 90 in Siberia.Attribution science, which ties exacerbated weather conditions to changing structural forces due to climate change, is still emerging as a field of study. But it seems inevitable now that we will learn all of these developments were made that much worse by our warming climate. There is a very real risk that the defining issue of our time - a unique threat to human civilization as we know it - will have taken a back seat through this entire era as we discussed porn-star payoffs and The National Debt. How will you explain it to your children?In the meantime, have a look at some of the most captivating photos showcasing the diversity of chaos that has engulfed much of the world.

 

These Terrifying Photos of Weather-Related Chaos Show Earth’s Climate Crisis First Hand

Other scientists acknowledged the situation laid out in the new PNAS paper as uncertain, as it is somewhat speculative and not covered by most existing climate change predictions, but they nonetheless admitted it was plausible.

“In the context of the summer of 2018, this is definitely not a case of crying wolf, raising a false alarm: the wolves are now in sight,” said Dr Phil Williamson, a climate researcher at the University of East Anglia who was not involved in the work.

Pointing out that evidence from geology shows Earth’s climate system is “inherently nervy”, he said human processes to the mix could well exacerbate this.

 

a view of a city at sunset

 

© Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited To avoid catastrophe, the researchers behind the new work said there was a need to move “from exploitation to stewardship” of the Earth, and not only reduce emissions but create new carbon stores – by planting forests, conserving biodiversity and creating technologies to remove carbon dioxide form the air.

However, they noted their runaway threshold may well be within the Paris target, they suggested 2C as a point beyond which the risk of hothouse Earth could increase sharply.

As for whether staying below this target and maintaining a “stabilised Earth” is possible, climate scientists Professor Chris Rapley of University College London, who was also not involved in the study, did not have much hope.

He said in the face of “right wing populism” and climate change denial, drastically tackling the problem in the ways described seemed highly unlikely.

“The future habitability of the planet thus appears to rest on chance,” he said. “That the sensitivity of the climate system to greenhouse gas emissions and other human disruptions is fortuitously very low – or that some other global scale social calamity dramatically reduces human emissions before any runaway planetary threshold is breached. The latter offers cold comfort.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Uganda, Solar energy is reviving villages very near the Queen Elizabeth National Park so that wild life can live in harmony with the human residents:

Solar energy reviving villages Queen Elizabeth National Park

Installed. Kayanzi solar mini-grid. PHOTOS BY GILLIAN NANTUME 

By GILLIAN NANTUME

 

A long and bumpy drive on the Kasese-Bushenyi highway will suddenly land one into the quaint but neat community of mud-brick houses that make up Hamukungu Landing Site on the shores of Lake George, Kasese District.
The landing site is mostly abandoned now because of the army operation to curb illegal fishing. The only visible economic activities are a number of bars.

There are a few permanent buildings, and since the landing site is located deep inside Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP), the lack of electricity poles is quite conspicuous.

It was only in June 2018 that the residents of Hamukungu got to see electric power. But then, the lights are only at Hamukungu Health Centre II. At night, the rest of the village lies in total darkness.

Since it was built by the community in 1984, taken over by the government in 1990, and renovated by Medicin San Frontiers (MSF) in 2017, the health centre had no electricity until World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) recently installed four solar panels to the buildings.

Bringing a health centre back to life
And what a world of difference solar energy has brought! For the first time, proper laboratory tests are being carried out, patients are treated at night, and the maternal ward will soon be operational.

Ms Joy Kisembo, the nursing assistant, recalls that before the solar panels were installed, the facility would close before sunset.
“No medical personnel would risk an attack by wild animals to come and treat a patient at night. But now, we have security lights all around.”

The health centre also carries out routine immunisations because the refrigerator in which the vaccines are stored is permanently switched on. “Previously, we were using gas cylinders to power the refrigerator,” Ms Kisembo says, adding, “To replenish the empty cylinders, we would travel 30kms to Kasese Town. Some of the vaccines in the refrigerator would go bad.”
The health facility receives Shs500,000 as primary health care funds from the government every quarter, 10 per cent of which is used for equipment maintenance and repair.

To make ends meet, the community used to levy one tilapia off every boat. The fish was sold and the money kept by the local council treasurer to fund the needs of the health centre and police post. Out of this levy, the community was able to build mud-huts next to the health centre, which serve as staff quarters.

The excitement of solar energy is quite contagious. Jockus Muhindo, the laboratory technician, says all the redundant equipment in his care such as the centrifuge and microscope, are now working. However, the facility is yet to find the money to install iron doors, so the equipment is kept at the police post 200 metres away.

“The centrifuge machine separates plasma from blood and we need it for liver function tests and serum CRAG testing when monitoring clients on anti-retroviral treatment (ART). Since the beginning of the month we have been able to transfer three blood samples to Kagando (Mission Hospital). Previously, we used to transport unseparated blood samples some of which got spoilt on the way.”

Spoilt blood samples meant Muhindo had to summon the patient for drawing another blood sample. This procedure was traumatic and a wastage of resources to the patient and facility, respectively. The facility is now planning to acquire a PIMA machine that analyses CD4 count of clients on anti-retroviral treatment (ART) who number about 300. In the community of 1,000 people, the HIV prevalence is high due to a myth on the landing site, according to Muhindo, that ‘a woman only belongs to a man when she is physically with him.’

Even before the facility opens its maternity ward, medical workers are already giving antenatal care to mothers. The community is also fundraising to buy mattresses for the delivery room beds.

Agnes Natukunda, a 22-year-old mother of one, is impatient for the facility to have an operational labour ward.
“I gave birth to my first child at home. Now, I am seven months pregnant and I have visited the health centre twice for antenatal care. There are challenges to delivering at home so to avoid getting complications, I plan to give birth in Kagando or Rugazi (Rubirizi District).”

Kagando is 30km away and the journey on boda boda costs Shs10,000, while Rugazi is 50kms away and a taxi charges Shs15,000.
Natukunda’s neighbour, 26, Joy Itungo, is also heavily pregnant with her third child. She plans to give birth in Kasese Town, 30kms away.

Using solar to conserve wildlife
Hamukungu came into the limelight early this year when 11 lions were killed in QENP, not more than 500 metres away from the landing site. At that time, residents used to go into the national park to harvest firewood for cooking food and lighting their homes.

Since the death of the lions, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) banned them from going near the animals. As a result, the residents buy firewood and charcoal from a truck that comes to Kasese Town once a week.

David Duli, WWF’s country director, says it is important to look at the drivers affecting wildlife, and these include markets, finances, populations and energy.
“Energy, a developing industry, brings out development in terms of industrialisation and domestic use. Energy has a large bearing on the environment, which is filled with wild animals and biodiversity. So you cannot conserve wildlife and forget about people and their needs,” he says.

Renewable energy such as solar, does not destroy the environment. Every time the villagers look at the development that solar has brought to them, through a company that is working on wildlife conservation, they will learn to value the animals around them.

Mini-grids are the future for rural electrification
About 20kms away from Hamukungu, on the other side of QENP, is Kayanzi Landing Site. In the middle of the trading centre is a solar mini-grid fitted with 20 solar panels, each 250W.
The impact of the mini-grid on development is almost tangible, because four years after its construction as a pilot, Kayanzi mini-grid connects 65 households, Kayanzi Primary School, a resort hotel and local video halls to solar energy.

Every household pays between Shs20,000 and 50,000 as down payment for the connection, while they make monthly payments of between Shs7,000 to Shs20,000 depending on their usage. The village has 320 households.

Unlike Hamukungu, Kayanzi is congested with many houses next to each other. According to Duli, a mini-grid system is good for such a settlement instead of an individual system for every house.
“In a mini-grid, only one centralised unit is installed to distribute power to more than 200 homes. It can power equipment such as fridges and TVs, and this being a fishing village, this is good for development because the fishermen can store their fish in fridges, and salons and juice makers can operate.”

The mini-grid is managed and operated by one man, Sadik Baluku.
He says before installation, the community was sensitised on the benefits of solar energy by the district resource officer. “The solar system is made in Germany and the batteries have a lifespan of 10 years. There is also reliability of sufficient light even without sunshine.”

The grid is now owned by the community, the local government and the Ministry of Energy, with the support of Rural Electrification Agency (REA). However, not all households in Kayanzi are connected, with the main complaint being that installing solar energy is expensive.

Duli agrees that the price is a big challenge and discussions are ongoing to make it more affordable. “The mini-grid has a large capacity but the problem is with the tariffs. The system is highly automated and if you do not pay, you are disconnected.”

Another reason for the few clients is that being a fishing village, when there is a lull in the fishing season, the fishermen migrate to another landing site. In that season, the landlords do not renew their connection to the grid until other tenants come in.

Solar to improve academic performance
Kitabu Primary School in Kyerumba Sub-county on the western part of QENP, is easy to miss. Located in a valley, at the foot of a steep hill, 22kms out of Kasese Town, the school has 630 pupils and 12 teachers.

The student population is made up of children whose parents are subsistence farmers or poachers in the national park. When they fail to raise the school fees of Shs5,000, the parents offer the school chicken and goats in exchange.

Until recently, most of the female students dropped out in Primary Six to get married. Some boys also drop out to start businesses, such as selling and buying beans. However, the head teacher, Laurence Muhindo Mubatsi, says with the installation of a solar system at the school, some of those who would have dropped out will be compelled to continue with their education.

“We have 37 pupils in Primary Seven now and 36 of them joined the boarding section we introduced a few weeks ago, after we got solar energy. Collective revision of study notes in the night and early morning is now possible, and we are hoping for our first batch of students in Division One.”

The solar system lights the Primary Six class, and two others which were converted into a dormitory for boys and girls. The cost of installation was Shs7m and every child had to pay Shs3,000 to meet part of the down payment. Members of the community also supported the school.

The solar system is also used as a learning aid. Previously, when students were taught about electricity they could not grasp the meaning and uses of electric light and energy.
“We hope to purchase a laptop, printer, and photocopier so that we do not have to travel to Kasese Town to set and print our exams,” Mubatsi says, adding, “Besides, pupils will learn how to use a computer when they see one.”

On a brighter note, teachers who used to escape to Kasese Town to charge their phones can now charge them at school and this has increased the amount of time they spend with the pupils.

Reducing inequality within and among nations has always been a global goal if sustainable development is to be achieved, and one way to do this is to make available renewable sources of energy to the least developed areas. Sustainable development goal (SDG) 7 talks about ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Off-grid electrification will go a long way in helping the country to meet its electricity access targets in rural areas, such as Kasese, where previously, the district had a 10 per cent coverage of electricity.

 

 

 

 

 

Substandard solar products on market: Players need to step up:

 

Substandard solar products market Players need step up

Mr Willette is the managing director, Fenix International Uganda Ltd. COURTESY PHOTO 

By Daniel Willette

 

Solar energy experts are acutely aware of the growing number of low-quality solar products on the market. The Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA) highlighted this challenge and its consequences in the recent Daily Monitor story titled, ‘Four out of 10 solar systems substandard’.

This is an obstacle for the off-grid solar industry at large. More importantly, the distribution of substandard products negatively affects the customer the most - customers who want and deserve access to modern and reliable energy services, such as durable, high-quality solar systems.

To solve this issue, the solar industry, together with regulators, needs a system of checks and balances where high-quality products can be distinguished from the substandard products, and these items denied entry into the market.

Secondly, we need to work closely with our peers and government organisations to create a market space where consumers are aware of good quality products and are guaranteed such when they make the investment to access modern energy services.
This is important because solar energy providers not only need to ensure customers enjoy their experience with solar products, but also appreciate the importance of having high-quality hardware and service.

As energy experts, together with government partners and regulators such as Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development (MEMD), Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), Ministry of ICT, UNBS, Uganda Solar Energy Association (USEA), and others, we need to implement and enforce a code of conduct to ensure that consumers are guaranteed good quality products.

While there may be many other factors at play that explain the prevalence of substandard goods in the market, it is our role as energy experts to clean our house. We need to provide high-quality, affordable solar technology with an exceptional customer experience.

Despite strong demand for solar, 95 per cent of off-grid households in Uganda cannot afford the up-front cost of a system. But quality costs money, so a good solar system will cost much more. Because of the cost difference, a low-cost, but substandard product may be initially attractive to a customer looking to buy a solar solution.
To address the issue of upfront cost and make quality more affordable, innovative approaches using a unique combination of technology and financing have become a proven method.

For example, at Fenix, our customers can finance their ReadyPay solar systems with payments as small as 700 UGX per day, paid for completely via MTN Mobile Money. With such a model, we can match customers’ expenditure on energy, lighting, and charging while simultaneously providing a high quality, clean solar system.

Furthermore, if the government were to support the solar industry by removing applicable import duties and taxes, the sector could have room to reduce pricing for the end customer even lower, consequently making quality products more cost-competitive with substandard alternatives.

We should sensitise the customers to, among other quality checks, identify a warranty on any product purchased and clarify how and where the retailer provides support or service in the event the customer has a challenge.
Many of the substandard products in the market today come at a lower total cost, which may be attractive to a customer at first, but without a legitimate warranty and accessible service, when technical issues arise, the customer will face a poor experience and a costly replacement.

This is why it is our responsibility as an industry to ensure we provide good quality hardware with exceptional service, work closely with regulators and government partners to minimise substandard products on the market.
Mr Willette is the managing director, Fenix International Uganda Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 

In Tropical Uganda, it looks like the low-income earners in Africa have all to gain, from solar energy generation technology:

30 July, 2018

Written by Justus Lyatuu

One of the biggest contradictions in Uganda’s energy sector is the low demand for electricity yet 80 per cent of the country has no access to it.

To understand the illusion, you have to look at the alternative sources of energy and the obvious one is solar energy, which is gaining a foothold in rural areas. A recent visit to my home village of Kirongero in Bugiri district after several months opened my eyes to the immense impact of solar energy and how it has transformed communities.

To start with, there is hardly any electricity pole in Kirongero or any sign that electricity will reach there. But there is hardly anyone agitating.

On that Saturday afternoon, the World Cup season was about to reach its climax and the fever was palpable among the youth, who analyse the stars and flops as they look forward to the final. I wondered how nearly everyone here could be a football expert in this remote village.  It didn’t take long to understand the enigma.

Solar panels at Soroti solar power plant

Belgium was due to play England later that afternoon but everyone was sure of where to watch from. “We all have access to football here,” said Daniel Mafabi, an England supporter who operates a pub.

“You people from Kampala think you have it all but we are also up to date with whatever goes on in the world.”

It soon dawned on me that several households have access to solar power, which they use for lighting at night on top of powering televisions as well as charging phones. This settled the worries I had before setting off for the journey.

GAME CHANGER

In the past, such privileges used to be in the hands of a select few people in the area.

Indeed, I watched the match from Mafabi’s pub, crisp clear like I was in Kampala. How times change! Only a decade ago, this was unheard of in the area. “Solar has greatly empowered us to do business here,” Mafabi says.

“I got this solar package and it includes two solar panels, led lights, charger and even this television. My business depends on solar to attract customers,” he says. “Can you imagine I paid only about Shs 200,000?”

I was left bewildered but Mafabi couldn’t hide his excitement. He says he bought the set just four months ago and whereas it cost Shs 2.3m on the market. But then again, I wondered how he could afford it.

“You see, I have an arrangement to pay in instalments. I only pay a daily rate of just Shs 3,000 and within two years you own the whole set. I make the Shs 3,000 within minutes and I don’t feel the strain at all.” This sounded too good to be true.

Later in the night, a quick observation in the area shows that solar power has gained a foothold. Several homes can be seen with security lights.

justuslyatuu89@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Red Moon Meets Red Planet in Longest Total Lunar Eclipse of the Century 2018:

Not only will the Moon will be totally eclipsed this Friday, but Mars will be at opposition and shine in tandem with the red Moon all night!

 

104 minutes. That's the length of the longest lunar totality of the 21st century. And it happens Friday, July 27th, when the Moon creeps into Earth's umbra like some thief in the night.

 

Just going through phases

During a lunar eclipse, Earth's shadow envelops the Moon, as shown in this sequence taken through a small telescope on September 27, 2015.
Jamie Cooper

 

If my dad were still alive, he'd probably watch for 10 minutes and be done with it. "Enough's enough," he'd say. But for his son and fellow skywatchers, staring down the length of Earth's shadow is never a waste of time.

How lunar eclipses happen

 

A total lunar eclipse occurs during a full Moon when the Sun, Earth, and Moon line up exactly in that order. Light from the Sun passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, which refracts the red and orange colors into the umbra to tint the Moon. The outer part of Earth's shadow, called the penumbra, is only partially dark because it's a mixture of shadow and sunlight. It's visible as a gray smudge on one side of the lunar disk starting about 20 minutes into penumbral eclipse.
Starry Night with additions by the author

2018 began with a total lunar eclipse on January 31st nicely split between Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Friday's eclipse is primarily an Eastern Hemisphere affair, visible from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and parts of South America . Unlike a total solar eclipse, a total lunar is visible across half the planet wherever the Moon is up in the sky. Just wish my half of the planet was included!

Moon meets Duluth

The author photographing the total eclipse over the Duluth, Minnesota, skyline at dawn on January 31, 2018. A low Moon makes for scenic sweetness. 
Mike Sangster

From far western Europe, the Moon rises in total eclipse around sunset and will be difficult to see at first in a twilight sky. As darkness deepens, contrast will improve, and the Moon will become a stunning sight against the deepening blue. Have your camera ready to capture a scene that includes the local skyline or a special landmark alongside our colorful satellite.

For a complete guide to lunar eclipse photography visit Fred Espenak's site MrEclipse.com. A digital SLR camera is best, but even mobile phones do a surprisingly good job. They work best in early to mid-twilight when moonlight is balanced with skylight in a deep blue sky, and you can still clearly see the landscape.

Where to go to see the eclipse

This map shows where the eclipse will be visible either in full or in part. 
Fred Espenak

 

The further east you go, the more of the eclipse you'll see with the Moon higher up in a darker sky. The entire event — from the first hint of penumbral darkening to the last shadowy stain — will be observable from the eastern half of Africa, Turkey, the seven "Stan" countries, India, and Madagascar.

A unique set of circumstances brands this eclipse with the longest totality of any total lunar eclipse for the rest of the century — 1 hour 44 minutes, or 27 minutes longer than January's eclipse. Though still 2 minutes shy of the July 16, 2000, eclipse, that time will hold until June 9, 2123, when totality clocks in at 1 hour 46 minutes.

 

Bulls-eye!

 

The Moon's central passage through the Earth's umbra ensures a longer-than-normal totality Friday. UT times are shown for the various phases of the eclipse. To convert UT to your time zone, use this handy converter.

 

So what makes Friday's eclipse so long?

 

First, the Moon crosses centrally through the umbra. The closer to a perfect bull's-eye, the longer the totality. Friday's Moon passes just a fraction north of center. Second, the farther the Moon is from Earth, the slower it moves. And the slower it moves, the more time it takes to cross the umbra. In a fortunate coincidence, lunar apogee (greatest distance from Earth) occurs on the very day of the eclipse. Third, Earth reached its greatest distance from the Sun or aphelion on July 6th. The farther a planet orbits from the Sun, the greater the diameter of its umbral cone and the more time it takes the Moon to ford it.

Moon hoax for real?

Mars and the Buck Moon will be in conjunction Friday evening. They'll also both be in "full" phase and at opposition. 
Stellarium

 

Add 'em up and you've got a memorable eclipse. But wait, there's more! The full Moon joins the planet Mars which reaches opposition the very same night, shining a brilliant magnitude –2.8 or better because of the current dust storm.

Now, it's one thing to see a bright Mars and another to see the Moon in totality, but the sight of the two ruddy bodies rising together just ~6° apart should be nothing short of amazing. Will someone fall for the Mars hoax and mistake the Moon for Mars as one reader suggested? I try to imagine what special significance our distant ancestors might have read into this rare pairing of colorful orbs. An omen of war maybe?

Astronaut view

This simulation shows how the Earth might look from the mid-northern latitudes of the Moon during Friday's lunar eclipse. The landscape is bathed in sunset colors from sunlight refracted by Earth's atmosphere. Stellarium with additions by the author (Well explained and illustrated dear)

 

There's nothing so dreamy, so 3D as seeing the Moon soaked in blood orange sunlight while surrounded by dozens of stars during totality. Robbed of its radiance, the full Moon stands on par with the stars. And that color! Sunlight seeping around the circumference of the Earth and refracted by the atmosphere sheds all its colors but the warm ones. These beam to the Moon and paint it with the light of countless sunrises and sunsets. If we could stand on the lunar surface during totality we'd look back to see the big, black disk of Earth, its edge vibrant red, slowly cover the Sun in a total solar eclipse.

 

Moon and Milky Way

The stars returned in full force when the Moon (lower left) was totally eclipsed on September 27, 2015.
Bob King

A total lunar eclipse is perfectly safe to look at and offers different viewing experiences depending on your instrument — naked-eye, binoculars, or a telescope. Have all three on hand! I enjoy watching the shadow slowly cover the disk through the scope but also pay attention to the first penumbral darkening and later, the first hint of umbral red, with just my eyeballs. Seeing the stars and Milky Way return as the Moon treads deeper into the umbra borders on the spiritual and remains a favorite aspect of eclipse-watching. That's why I recommend viewing the event from a dark-sky site.

Other observers use total eclipses to watch occultations of fainter stars that would otherwise be impossible to see in the glare of the full Moon. Dozens of stars in Capricornus will be occulted Friday night, with 5.9-magnitude Omicron (ο) Capricorni the brightest. For details, check out this sitecreated by David Dunham and Eberhard Riedel with the International Occultation Timing Association(IOTA).

 

Gianluca Masi

 

Eclipse aficionados in the Western Hemisphere and those socked in with clouds in the Eastern can still watch the eclipse via live streaming thanks to the efforts of Italian astrophysicist Gianluca Masi on his Virtual Telescope website and the folks at Bareket Observatory in Israel. Masi goes live starting at 18:30 UT on July 27th from the Roman Forum on Palatine Hill in Rome. Baraket starts at the same time and will stream for 5 hours. A reminder — those times translate to Friday mid-afternoon / early evening for the Americas.

 

Eclipse experiment

 

The Danjon Scale is used to estimate the color of the totally-eclipsed Moon. Astronomers and climatologists use that information to determine how clean or “dirty” the stratosphere is. 
Alexandre Amorim

Would you like to do some easy science during the eclipse? Using just your eyes, you can estimate the brightness of the fully-eclipsed Moon during totality. Astronomers rate lunar brightness and color using the Danjon Scale, numbered from 0 (a  dark, brown-red eclipse) to 4 (a coppery-yellow eclipse).

Danjon Scale

L=0: Very dark eclipse. Moon almost invisible, especially at mid-totality.
L=1: Dark Eclipse, gray or brownish in coloration. Details distinguishable only with difficulty.
L=2: Deep red or rust-colored eclipse. Very dark central shadow, while outer edge of umbra is relatively bright.
L=3: Brick-red eclipse. Umbral shadow usually has a bright or yellow rim.
L=4: Very bright copper-red or orange eclipse. Umbral shadow has a bluish, very bright rim.

Key in the Danjon scale on your cell phone and compare it to the Moon, then share your L-number estimate with me and other readers in the Comments area below. This seemingly simple exercise can reveal much about the state of the atmosphere, including contributions by volcanoes and forest fires to darker eclipses.

The next total lunar eclipse swings back to the western hemisphere on the night of January 20–21 with a brief, 62-minute-long totality. I suspect few will complain about its short duration given the time of year!

 
Nb

Blood Moon July 2018: Longest Lunar Eclipse In A Century Expected This Month

Look to the skies on the 27th July, 2018

By Thomas Tamblyn

 

For almost 2 hours on the 27th July, stargazers will be able to watch the Moon turn the colour of blood red in a phenomenon that usually takes place once every few years.

KACPER PEMPEL / REUTERS

What is a blood moon? A blood moon is essentially another word for a total lunar eclipse. This happens when the Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon.

During complete totality (the moment when the Earth is completely obscuring the light from the Sun) the Moon will turn a deep orange colour.

The reason for this is that the only light reaching the Moon will have been passed through the Earth’s atmosphere. The Earth’s atmospheric composition will then greatly determine just how blood-coloured the Moon becomes.

BY NASA

wWhat you’ll see during the whole phase of the lunar eclipse will be the Moon steadily getting darker and darker before it quickly turns a dark red colour.

Once it passes back out of the Earth’s shadow it’ll then switch back to being its normal colour and steadily increase in brightness again.

If you’re curious about what causes this, NASA has a really helpful video here:

When is the blood moon?

In the UK, the blood moon will take place on the night of Friday the 27th July 2018.

It’s believed that the phenomenon will start at 8:49 pm and will carry on for around an hour and 23 minutes depending on how east you are in the UK.

Those in East Anglia and on the east coast will have the best chance of seeing it for longest, while those in the west will still see it, but it’ll pass quicker.

If you’re in Europe then it’s likely you’ll have the best view, while those in America sadly won’t see the phenomenon at all.

If you miss this one don’t panic as there’ll be another long blood moon in around 80 years. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

 

 

 

 

 

In the Tropics of this planet earth, Solar Power Energy companies seem to want to reward those who want to tell others about the benefits of Solar Energy:

Solar systems in the house and Energy Generation for communities

The Independent, Uganda,

 

 

Solar Now has rewarded five people with bicycles for their contribution in helping the company grow by acting as referrals for more customers that have enabled them grow their customer base.

Speaking at the awarding ceremony at their offices in Kasanga Kampala, Mr James Banabe the Ag director energy resources at the Ministry Of Energy and Mineral development commended the company for rewarding their clients and contributing to the energy sector in the country.

He also called up on other companies to embrace the spirit of awarding and recognizing their loyal customers as brand ambassadors because it is one way of growing businesses in the country.

“As government we commend the work done by solar power suppliers for it is among the ways for achieving sustainable development goals such as poverty reduction, access to clean water, improved health among others,” Mr Banabe added.

 

Mr Banabe added it is because of such reasons that government has made energy a key sector for development with a lot of effort being put on increasing energy access through rural electrification.

According to Mr Andy pond the Country Director Solar Now if you recently had your own solar energy system installed, you know the benefits that come from having one.

He said because of that, you can tell others firsthand just how amazing your new system truly is.

“Now, you can take the power of the sun and get  us one more customer to convert to solar energy. One more is all it takes to start making a positive difference in the world around you. We pride ourselves on putting our clients at the heart of everything we do. We aim to serve every client’s energy needs for their whole life. Start today and upgrade with us for life,’ he added.