Uganda First To Earn $ 215,135 in Climate Change Mitigation Program

Climate change is a phenomenon that has been forecast to cause devastating effects to developing countries such as Uganda due to high dependence on nature. Developing countries contribute 3% to the total world greenhouse emissions. Through negotiations, parties agreed to pay developing countries carbon credits for absorbing greenhouse gases absorption.

Under this arrangement, Uganda has become the first country in Africa to earn $ 215,135 in the climate change mitigation program. Through implementation of the Municipal Waste Composting in eight municipalities started, Uganda has absorbed 16, 549 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide thereby earning $$ 215,135 from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

The first 16,549 carbon credits were issued (equivalent to USD 215,137) by the UNFCCC to the first 8 project urban council (Mukono, Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Lira, Fort-Portal, Kabale, and Kasese) to prove that they have lowered greenhouse gas emissions. These carbon credits are being sold to the World Bank’s Community Development Carbon Fund, creating a revenue stream for the programme. This program of activities in Uganda becomes the first of the kind to receive certified emission reductions in Africa under the “waste handling and disposal” sector.

NEMA coordinates this program in partnership with 17 urban councils in the management of their solid waste. NEMA has done this through construction of one solid waste composting plant in each of the twelve urban councils, provision of equipment such as skip lifters (garbage trucks), skips (garbage containers), wheel loaders and training of Municipal staff amongst other responsibilities. Composting plants have not been constructed in each of the urban councils of Entebbe, Tororo, Busia, Mityana and Gulu.

Since 2005, NEMA has set up a network of municipal councils which are participating in a program that collects solid waste and instead of letting it decay to release methane into the atmosphere-the municipal solid waste is aerobically composted thereby avoiding emission of greenhouse gases that causes climate change, the waste turns into compost manure which is sold to farmers to improve crop yields. This in a way protects nature, helps slow climate change and improves livelihoods.

The program has significant sustainable development benefits, including a positive health impact and a well-managed dump that can be sustained by the revenues generated from the sale of compost and emission reductions. Making waste profitable also helps improve the collection of municipal solid waste in Ugandan towns, which is a general problem in many poor countries. Beyond the unsightliness of mountains of waste, it pollutes water ways and carries disease. 

In Mbale, Mukono, Lira, Kabale, and Front Portal the compost program is also supporting community benefit activities by providing access to clean and safe water through the construction of shallow wells, rainwater harvesting tanks and sinking and rehabilitation of bore holes and training on water management that comes with it.

In Soroti and Jinja improved charcoal cook stoves for homes and schools have been given out and now have improved access to sustainable energy

In Kasese, funds from the carbon credits and from the Municipal Council are being used to build a health center to improve access to health and medical care.