Every so often, I get fed up of our city – Kampala, that is.
I loathe it’s traffic jams. I hate the bad roads, especially the one to my home now. I hate that only a few of our streets are lit.
I still have the basic fear that someone will creep up to the car and grab my gadgets or that someone will try to sell me mosquito nets and chargers and toilet papers and under garment shorts all in one go.
So I take all the trips I can out of the city. And my friends know this. One of them, Athan, decided to get married in these last weeks. I don’t know if it was to help me get away from the city but it has an element of it, if you look closely.
Athan strong point is dancing, even Melvine, the bride knew that.
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This isn’t to the mechanical graduate whose dream was to be an engineer but to the graduate who realizes soon or later that this degree isn’t what an achievement/satisfaction he hoped for. Most of us have been sharp children through our school time until we got to sit in the same class and realize we were beating fellow “unsharp” students, but is really life about beating the other? In a period of 17+ years of school for the cream dela cream to graduate and be jobless “sighs” what is life really! Have you posed and thought that the ways we were taught to get there were wrong, that’s if getting a job is your definition of making it!?
I wonder why out of the 17+ years we tend to only focus on using only that paper /degrees to ‘have a life’, is it really the only thing we learnt, if it’s then my friend we were not educated ,we just went to school. Leaving π as π, I just think this whole education purpose is a distraction; it keeps you from being the extraordinary you. Somebody said you had to study to make it in life and you send 17+ years to prove yourself. We already know a degree isn’t enough, so a master’s degree is now a concern. I don’t think if one can’t be employed with their 1st degree a Masters will solve the mystery, my point is there is always going to be another certificate another credential.
Many people have gone much further with sheer hard work and determination than with a mere piece of paper that tries to measure your retention skills according to guidelines from colonial times. Dust yourselves off and take this opportunity to prove this system wrong. Look within and ask yourself, what am I really good at, what am I passionate about? Work hard on that.
The gift this failure/success gives us is that you cannot take anything for granted, and you must work hard to find your own path. It might be unconventional but then, no one discovers a new road by going down on the well-trodden one. God has undoubtedly put something unique in you, now you know it’s not “academics” so go find it. There will always be one more thing for you to fit in, decide to stand out.
You don’t have to compromise conviction to be compassionate. This struggle maybe a moral one: or it may be a physical one; or it may be both; but it must be a struggle that can’t be ignored. What’s not on paper is what people remember, the impressions we leave behind, and that’s the true measure of a man. What’s the engineering in that job, yeah I know it pays bills, live for more than just paying bills.
Otherwise congratulations to your strangers, kudos we’re mechanical engineers by curriculum, though I leave you this; whichever class you’re in, thank God and hold it as dearly as your first class, appreciate your capability first. It’s easier to lie to the world than being honest with yourself, please don’t live a lie the rest of your life.
Yours truly fish
Continued Waste-d resource
Globally, poor sanitation is one of the main causes of ill health and socio-economic problems. Poor sanitation is also a major development obstacle in most developing countries like Uganda (Mara 2003, UNICEF and WHO 2010). However, prioritisation and investments in solid waste management by individuals and governments in most developing countries is limited, creating an imbalance between the population’s needs and the available services. In this case, waste refers to the solid waste generated from households, markets, and commercial establishments, and human excreta from the population.
In Kampala city, solid waste is managed by Kampala Capital City Authority in collaboration with private companies. Available information shows that each household in Kampala generates approximately 1.5 kg of solid waste per day. Going by Kampala’s population estimated at 4.5 million (UBOS), it is predicted that about 50,000 tonnes of waste are generated in Kampala per day. However, on average, only 40% is collected. The rapid population growth and changing lifestyles in urban centres are important drivers to the increasing quantity and changing composition of the waste.
The increasing quantity of waste in urban towns of developing nations coupled with inadequate sanitation services is of a growing concern to the deteriorating urban environment, where the population size varies exponentially with time as a function net growth rate. Because of limited funds and inappropriate priorities, it is only the business districts and affluent neighbourhoods that have adequate solid waste collection. The informal settlements are characterised by heaps of uncollected solid waste, no sewerage system and poorly operated and maintained on-site sanitation. This pollutes water sources and poses health risk to the public.
The quantity and composition of waste generated are the basic information for designing sustainable waste management systems. A sustainable waste management system must meet environmental, economical, technical and socio-political goals, and resilient to changes. The central hypothesis is that waste generation rate in a defined system should be lower than the rate at which it is absorbed
Approximately 20,000 tons day-1 of the solid waste is disposed in the sanitary landfill at Kitenzi, which is 40% of the total solid waste generated. From these, about 200 tons month-1 of recyclables such as plastics, metals, and papers and cardboard are scavenged. The solid waste disposed in the landfill is mainly from the business districts and the affluent residents where Private Service Providers are actively involved
The low-income residents rarely receive full solid waste collection services due to inability to pay for the waste collection services. This would therefore require the full support of KCCA to work with the communities in managing the solid waste in the low-income residents.
Current urban waste management, particularly the solid waste in Kampala is inadequate and lags behind due to inadequate enforcement officers, low composting and recycling. The “proper management” scenario should show the best waste management options in improving the environmental quality as well as resource recovery. Most of the available options reduce the negative impact but are not sustainable in terms of implementation. The co-composting of organic solids with human excreta at household or community levels will lead to a centralised approach of urban waste management, so it’s high time we started practising sustainable engineering from architects to structural engineers. Thus, solid waste segregation and co-composting organic solid waste with human excreta, awareness and enforcement enhancement improves the urban environmental quality, and enhances resource recovery with public participation in regulating and monitoring waste generation. Thus, strategy that maximises recovery of organic waste would improve the urban environmental quality and as well as extend the life span of the landfill. Waste to energy should be one of the priorities to spear head the sustainability and extending the life span of the landfill. With the government expenditure on current energy projects and emphasis on fertiliser manufacturing, attention should be shifted to such sustainable far-reaching solutions. Cleaner sustainable solutions and improved environmental quality comes at a cost that soon or later will have to be paid.
what opportunities exist for youth to prosper in agriculture and agro-business? #Blog4Dev
Agriculture is the single largest income source for rural dwellers. Unfortunately, it cannot meet its potential if productivity isn’t increased and value chain opportunities aren’t explored and improved.
Uganda as a youthful country and agriculture based economy has by far a higher rate of youth unemployment. Working is a necessity for the young people to relieve the pressure on the economy; in the current structure such situations create a high dependence burden.
Currently efforts in subsequent steps are being put in place in agriculture as a business rather than a development platform in Africa. Quick fixes are being prioritized rather than paying more attention to the rural development which is by far sensitive to the migration of youth to urban areas.
Each agricultural system represents a different combination of markets, environment, land, labor, capital and other inputs. A holistic approach that provides technical, business, entrepreneurial, financial and life skills that will change the agriculture perspective in Uganda from subsistence farming to economic prosperity and entrepreneurship should be promoted.
Data collection is one of the key and sensitive areas that should be emphasized as we talk of sustainable agriculture development. Different regions have different practices and disciplines in agricultural chains. Digging deep enough for unique insights, fighting the mind set of accepting risks without knowing much. This should be the first step in rallying youth into the field by being at the forefront of ensuring references in-case of any challenges, especially focusing on the rural out of school youth first.
Climate change presents real challenges and opportunities concurrently. Solutions being fronted and how to improve them cannot be done by the elderly but the new and innovative dare spirited youth. The irrigation outlook at large is a whole different complex environment which presents a range of prospects if well-structured and packaged according to the target markets cultures and capabilities.
Soil science is a critical aspect that should be focused on in each and every region. Amid the continued population growth, land is becoming scarce by day and this implies agriculture won’t be practiced only on a large scale as years pass. Organic agriculture will be an option thus low resource requirement, no high budget to start, hence doing a lot with small land pieces hence high production.
Community group systems should be initiated if relatively high prices for commodities are to be realized. The future belongs to the organized, currently middle men enjoy a high profit margin compared to farmers. These groups create solutions, from building their bargaining capacity, contract market agreements with buyers, working favorable loans to jobs in the whole chain; financial experts, marketers, to market stalls and distribution.
The other sensitive resource is financial services; credit management, savings, and the whole value chain for agribusiness. This field requires experts putting into place favorable researched solutions. With the acquired education, have you been able to improve your parents’ agriculture practice/business in any way? This should be a challenge question to every learned youth with an agricultural background.
Current innovations improve production by only 3-5%, this is not enough to influence change in practices. Youth innovators should be groomed though they must appreciate each of the factors which represent constraints for agriculturalists. Improvements must apply to variables that drive the business model.
Agriculture has enormous potential for not only reducing joblessness rapidly but eradicating poverty through creating enough value to share across the full chain.
Originally published by Contributoria October 2014.
The Holocaust was undoubtedly one of the most significant events in modern history, one that continues to influence today’s geopolitical agenda. Its legacy is still hotly contested, precisely because of its political magnitude; the struggle for meanings ascribed to language and historical events is ultimately the struggle for power. Is the most pertinent lesson from the Holocaust that, as a historically subjugated people, anti-Jewish sentiment presents a slippery slope to genocide? Or is it that when the power of a militarised state is directed at a group of people based on something as arbitrary as ethnicity, this can lead to genocide and therefore should be curbed? Need there even be any polarisation of these positions and are they mutually exclusive? Of course not. But the Holocaust is repeatedly invoked by both supporters and critics of the Israeli state.
In recent weeks a number of…
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