Oil exploration and production the likely negative environmental impacts in Uganda

Oil exploration and production the likely negative environmental impacts in Uganda.

The world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things and a collective effort to save mother earth if we need it to survive because it doesn’t need us to survive. Our actions need to consistently work towards preserving and saving mother earth. Currently Since the dawn of civilization, humans have brought about the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants

Farmed poultry today makes up 70% of all birds on the planet, only 30% of the birds are wild. For mammals – 60% of all mammals on Earth are livestock, mostly cattle and pigs, 36% are human Just 4% are wild animals. To put this in perspective, the world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things. So all the havoc and destruction is caused by 0.01%.

Two-thirds of all proven fossil fuel reserves will have to be left unburned if global warming will be held to two degrees Celsius, according to the International Energy Agency. But with the current new explorations and exploitation of oil in most developing countries like Uganda, Kenya and others, we are definitely digging our own graves in the name of development, whose consequences we shall have a difficulty in containing if the all deservedly environmental impact assessment are not followed.

The world community has agreed a global warming limit of holding warming below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Small island states and the least developed countries have called for warming to be brought back to below 1.5° by 2100. The 1.5°C warming limit is now under review for consideration next Year by the UNFCCCC.

This does not mean, however, that long-­‐term warming of 1.5°C is locked in, or that achievement of the 1.5°C warming limit, as called for by the vulnerable countries, is no Longer possible. As is shown in the Turn down the Heat (TDTH) report, this message is a call for strong early action. And a further warning that time is running out. Limiting warming below 1.5°C by 2100 is still feasible. Climate projections based on energy–‐ economic emissions scenarios show that, in the best case, warming will peak close to 1.5°C by mid–‐century before slowly declining to below this level. With continuing negative emissions post 2100, warming levels would decline further.

In the very long term, a warming limit of 1.5°C requires total greenhouse-­‐gas concentrations-­‐plus the effects of aerosols -­‐ to be below a level of 400ppm CO2eq. As a sudden cessation of all emissions is unlikely, any mitigation pathway aiming at 1.5°C and below necessarily involves a peak-­‐and-­‐drop concentration profile. At present we can be confident of holding warming below 2°C with aggressive mitigation action. Another decade’s delay and we will likely be talking about lock-­‐in to impacts at 2°C or above.

This is exacerbated by irresponsible disposal of plastics by last person in use. In fact, some countries (Germany) have taken major steps in collecting plastics by encouraging last user to bring the empty one and get some money in return. In UK for example usage of drinking bottles/containers that are not disposable is being encouraged where a person uses a container which can be reused over and over especially when accessing drinking water.

It should be remembered that, As of January, China stopped allowing the import of recyclable goods from many countries including the United States. Now, these nations are struggling with excess amounts of recyclables with nowhere to send it.  “To protect China’s environmental interests and people’s health, we urgently need to adjust the imported solid wastes list, and forbid the import of solid wastes that are highly polluting,” reads the country’s WTO filing. If the challenge of plastic if not well thought of will greatly damage our environment immensely.

Most of viable commercial oil in Uganda, has been discovered overlap with wildlife and nature conservation areas with high biodiversity and sensitive ecosystems in the Albertine Grabben. Negative impacts on the ecology and integrity of protected areas including tourism have already been registered. These range from destruction of biodiversity and associated ecological processes to intrusive infrastructure that obstruct the pristine nature of the protected areas and with now into development stage that has a lot of infrastructure construction a kin eye is much needed. This therefore requires that petroleum developments in these areas are carried out with minimal impacts to preserve the integrity of these areas including sensitive ecosystems, breeding areas, animal corridors among other environmentally and socio economically vulnerable places.

The NEMA policy states that an environmental assessment should be conducted for any project that is likely to have adverse impacts on the socio-cultural, physical and biological environment.

The writer, Sam Mucunguzi

Programmes Coordinator

Citizens’ Concern Africa (CICOA).





Comments (4)

Most developments related to oil and gas in Uganda have been carried out without EIA and ESIA, many sites visited in Albertine have no these certificates pinned on their walls as the law requires. Absence on walls does not mean they are in shelves either.

Great piece Sam!

Thanks for appreciating Michael.

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