Bursting the banks

25 May, 2014 | andrewocama
Categories: Safe Water, Uganda

This week, we completed our protocol for mobile water testing, a procedure we plan to implement in the near future. Periodically we shall be getting into the field and routinely testing water sources for all the parameters that meet with the national standards for safe water as required by the Directorate of Water Resources Management. Their staff will guide us and work with us to further improve our protocol and for all our water sources, including the recently selected new sites in Kaliro, we shall ensure without a doubt that the communities receive safe water. The hall mark of a successful project is that lessons are learnt at each stage and it is modified to improve at each successive stage. Eventually at an “equillibrium” it reaches a stage where further improvement means a lot more than correction and more of innovation to improve performance. We pride in efficiency of our products as well as the performance of our projects and are glad to be contributing to the improvement of environmental quality for even more citizens of Africa’s pearl.

There has always been an argument for incentives for companies promoting sustainable development. Indeed, the government of Uganda promotes renewable energy by waiving import taxes on equipment for generation. This has had a massive impact on the solar industry. By reducing the cost of procuring implements, it has eventually brought down the cost of solar power, now a major source of power in the offgrid areas. For many a carbon company, most of the income will come in through carbon finance and through consultancy work. Everybody who has registered a carbon project understands the rigorous and long process we have to go through to be able to certify the carbon credits produced. There have been attempts to ease the process but it still involves a high amount of money which is a limitation for many especially in sub-saharan Africa. The companies that have been successful like co2balance are still faced with a long period before returns on investment. In this regard, carbon management is still a business risk that brings grounded benefits to many and should be promoted. It is my sincere hope that in #MyAfrica, our governments will offer greater incentives to enable greater participation in carbon finance and the carbon offset initiatives available.

When I started to write this article, my mind was firmly on an area I recently grew fond of. It is a homely place that my friends and I made our “retreat”. In Western Uganda is a small community in an area called Kilembe. This was once a bustling mining town that even hosted an office for the defunct Uganda Airlines, our old national carrier. It is (was) a self sufficient town with its own water supply and electricity off the national grid. As recently as early 2012, we would go there on weekends, off social media and away from good communications and just listen to the calming sound of the river that flowed through, the River Nyamwamba. Due to the recent excessive rain spells, a clear sign of climate change, this river has burst its banks twice in the last two years. Our little paradise though still a haven has been destroyed by mother nature’s anger.  

I hope the next time I talk of burst banks, it will be green business, innovation and a spirit of compassion bursting the banks of conventional business and supporting sustainable development the 21st century way.