Uganda, through the Ministry of Water and Environment, will join the rest of the world to celebrate World Wetlands Day at Kololo Ceremonial Ground on February 2nd , 2023.
Engineer Christopher Tumusiime, the Commissioner of the Water Regulation Department in the Ministry, while addressing the press about the Second Appropriate Technology Centre (ATC) at the Uganda Media Center revealed that Ugandans have knowingly or unknowingly waged war on wetlands, clearing them for settlement, business, and other socio-economic activities.
He said this year’s celebration will be under the theme “It’s Time for Wetland Restoration” and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is expected to be the guest of honor.
Tumusiime revealed that the second Appropriate Technologies Expo is organized by ATC, which is the research and development arm of the ministry.
“Wetland cover has reduced from 15% in 1994 to 8% as of 2022,” Tumusiime said.
The expo is organized in partnership with Makerere University.
He also blamed Ugandans for insensitively cutting down trees in need for construction materials, firewood, and charcoal, which has resulted in related consequences of forest cover reduction.
“This is a very dangerous trend.Wetland are home for aquatic life, they also act as water sinks. The stress we have exerted on wetland has led to an almost irreversible reduction of water sinks, a reduction in fish species, and the total disappearance of some aquatic life,” he added.
Tumusiime noted that the key objective of the expo is to showcase a wide range of technologies that can be adopted to advance the country’s development agenda as expressed in the National Development Plan III (NDP III) and Vision 2040.
“The Appropriate Technologies Expo provides us with an opportunity to learn about technologies that can be used to foster sustainable water supply, groundwater management, and sanitation management,” Tumusiime noted.
He added sustainable and clean energy, food security and nutrition, healthy lives and wellness, climate smart technologies and natural resources management, and the circular economy (reuse, repurpose, and recycle).
He said that the establishment of the Appropriate Technology Center was solely to undertake action research, promotion, and dissemination of appropriate technologies and approaches for water, sanitation, and the environment.
The ATC carries out capacity building for sector actors that include water resources management, sanitation, and environment professionals and technicians.