The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has Tuesday donated monitoring and analytical machines worth $8m (approximately Shs288bn) to government agencies and ministries that were part of the environmental management for the oil sector activity (EMOS).
The materials donated include four vehicles to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the Government Analytical Laboratory and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
In addition, other biodiversity equipment worth $900,000 that will help in measuring noise, radio activity, extracting of samples of water and soil and storing of animal parts were also donated.
Speaking to journalists, Jones Ruhombe, the Chief of Party USAID EMOS Activity said the materials will be used to promote biodiversity activities, research and education purposes in areas of environmental management, especially in the Albertine Rift.
“For the last four years, USAID has been working with government agencies, high institutions of learning, and district local governments to address the impact of oil and gas development on Uganda’s environment, ecosystems and biodiversity. The goods handed over today are to help in the continuation of the work that these agencies started,” Ruhombe said.
He continued; “We have also worked with NEMA in partnership with Makarere University to build a biodiversity ecosystem data bank that will help in research and teaching purposes.”
While officially receiving the equipment, the State Minister for MEMD, Simon D’ujang who represented the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda thanked USAID for the technical and financial support offered in the last four years.
He also lauded the agency for the support in the health and education sectors.
The Minister further pledged government’s commitment to preserving the environment while the extracting of oil is going on.
“As government, we have already put in place laws and regulations that will protect the environment especially in the oil areas. We are committed to this cause because we do not want to cause a catastrophe in the name of developing the economy,” he said.
Ambassador of America to Uganda, Deborah Malac who presided over the function at Speke Resort Munyonyo, asked the government to put in action all the environment protection regulations so as to preserve the future of the coming generation