Ambassador launches Centre of Excellence in Waste Management
17 years of fruitful collaboration between Sweden and Makerere University has contributed to establishing the first Centre of Excellence in Waste Management in Uganda. The Centre seeks to address local needs by using locally produced knowledge to contribute to sustainable development and green growth in Uganda. It was launched on the 17 th of February at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute by Ambassador of Sweden Per Lindgärde.
Waste accumulation in urban areas is a large environmental issue and creates socioeconomic, health and pollution problems. A majority of the waste is uncollected and is normally burnt or dumped in unauthorized sites. Realizing the importance of waste management, the Centre was formed with the main objective of utilizing biowaste through innovative research and technology development. By using methods in vermicomposting, bacteria and green chemicals, organic waste can be turned into biogas, animal feed and soil replenishment. Through Sida’s long-term collaboration with Makerere the Centre is equipped with 8 PhD level staff and state of the art equipment.
Dr. Constantin Katongole is one of the 8 PhD students trained in the collaboration between Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He explains that the Centre is already engaging with local farming groups, focusing on women an youth, in order to teach them how to work with soil, feed and biogas. They hope that research information will inform future policies on organic waste management.
“The next step is to design special trainings for local leaders, members of Parliament and the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), initiate collaborations for research and research extension, engaging with the media to sensitize the public on how to sort garbage” says Dr. Katongole.