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The session was chaired by the Environment Parliament Speaker, Robert Turyakira, an environmental and climate activist

To tackle climate change, the Environment Parliament has issued a call for a substantial increase in investment in waste disposal research. 

The inaugural sitting on Friday, 26 May 2023, at Parliament, brought together young people, policymakers, environmental scientists, concerned individuals and Members of Parliament to explore viable solutions to environmental challenges in the country, with a particular focus on waste disposal.

The session was chaired by the Environment Parliament Speaker, Robert Turyakira, an environmental and climate activist.

During the sitting, Professor John Kaddu, the board chairperson of the Climate Change Adaptation Innovation (CHAI), emphasised the urgency of investing in research to develop sustainable and efficient waste management solutions.

Kaddu highlighted the existing challenges associated with the current waste disposal systems, including air, water, and soil pollution. These challenges not only harm the environment and compromise ecosystems but also pose risks to public health.

"Climate disasters and waste management are intricately linked, demanding a concerted effort to invest in data generation to inform policy action," Kaddu stated.

Kaddu further acknowledged the positive impact of private entities' involvement in waste collection, particularly in the capital, Kampala. However, he pointed out that the volume of waste generated exceeds the capacity of the available collection vehicles, necessitating additional resources to effectively manage the escalating waste production.

Climate disasters and waste management are intricately linked, demanding a concerted effort to invest in data generation to inform policy action. Hon. Jacinta Atuto, the Deputy Chairperson of the Committee on Climate Change in Parliament, echoed the call for funding in waste disposal, emphasising that inadequate waste management directly contributes to disasters and exacerbates climate change.

Atuto, also Kapelebyong District Woman Representative, cited the overcrowded Kampala City, where waste is scattered across the streets, obstructing drainage systems.

To address these waste management challenges, Atuto revealed that the committee has devised measures, including decommissioning the Kitezi landfill and providing support to small enterprises engaged in waste income-generating activities.

"The Government should review and streamline waste management and recycling policies, enhancing their implementation," recommended Atuto.

"Furthermore, the government needs to intensify waste management campaigns and public education on proper waste handling and disposal," she added.

Diana Kibuuka, a media personality who covers environmental issues, drew attention to the problem of waste disposal in Lake Victoria, highlighting encroachments on wetlands and widespread dumping as major concerns. She emphasised the need to protect wetlands and called for efforts to educate fishermen on responsible waste disposal, discouraging them from abandoning their tools in the water.

Expressing her concern, Hon. Linda Auma, the Lira District Woman MP, lamented the inadequacy of environmental laws that have enabled the continued destruction of the environment.

Hon. Miriam Mukhaye, the Mbale District Woman Representative, highlighted the profound impact of climate change on the Bugisu sub-region.

Referring to the 23 May 2023 landslides in Bulambuli District that killed over six people, Mukhaye called for robust mitigation policies to ensure the safety and well-being of all citizens in the face of such tragedies.

Prior to the afternoon sitting, the stakeholders held a seminar that was opened by David Ivan Masajjage, Assistant Director for Communication and Public Affairs at Parliament. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.

Zhao Leji, chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, meets with visiting President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 26, 2023. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

BEIJING, May 26 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislator Zhao Leji met with visiting President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo here on Friday.

Zhao, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, said that China and the DRC enjoy profound traditional friendship and fruitful cooperation.

"China is ready to work with the DRC to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, consolidate political mutual trust, advance practical cooperation, strengthen coordination in international affairs, and push bilateral relations to a higher level," he said.

Zhao said that the NPC of China is willing to strengthen exchanges and mutual learning with the DRC parliament and jointly promote the building of democratic politics suited to national conditions.

For his part, Tshisekedi said that the DRC side attaches great importance to developing relations with China and is willing to further deepen cooperation with China in various fields to improve the well-being of the two peoples.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liu Ning) Xinhua

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - There are 241 bodies found so far of followers of a Kenyan sect, buried in mass graves in the Shakahola forest, in eastern Kenya, on a ranch in Kilifi county, near the city of Malindi (see Fides, 3/5/2023).

Autopsies of the first 129 bodies show that most of the victims died of starvation, having followed instructions to fast to death "in order to meet Jesus" by "Pastor" Paul Mackenzie Nthenge of the Good News International Church".

Some victims, including children, were strangled, beaten or suffocated, according to the coroner. So far, the police have arrested 39 people, including "pastor" Paul Mackenzie Nthenge, and have rescued 91 members of the sect found still alive in the forest.

Most of the followers are Kenyans, from the western, northern and eastern parts of the country and from some parts of the coast, but there are also citizens of other African countries, Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki told the “Ad hoc Committee on the Proliferation of Religious Organizations”.

An assessment that is far from definitive if one takes into account that experts on the spot have discovered new mass graves. However, the excavations were suspended due to logistical problems at the time of the autopsy of the bodies of the 129 exhumed victims.

The Minister reported other disconcerting details, stating that "the Shakahola massacre is a well organized, well planned and perfectly executed crime." Among the 91 followers who have been rescued and hospitalized, some - says the minister - "refuse to eat", while one hospitalized patient has died. In addition, cult leader Mackenzie had recruited a team of beaters to kill those who took too long to die or changed their minds.

The minister added that Mackenzie and his team of assassins watched the starvation of the fans from a special facility where they could eat abundantly. The Kenyan press has reported that a detailed menu reserved for Mackenzie has been found, showing how he feasted on copious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Minister has also reported that there is evidence of sexual abuse of some of the children found dead.
There is still a suspicion, advanced by a criminal police report but denied by Kindiki (see Fides 5/10/2023), that organs were extracted from some of the bodies found in the forest pits, not so much for transplants as for "magic rites". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides


A man has died after he was crushed by a train in Athi River, Machakos County.

Mavoko chief Nzau Komo said the man was pronounced dead while being rushed to Machakos Level 5 hospital minutes after the incident.

The tragedy occurred in Tusky’s area within Athi River town on Friday.

The incident happened near the Athi River railway bridge at around 1.00 pm.

Komo said the man was walking along the Meter Gauge Railway when the incident happened.

He said the man lost his legs in the incident only to die moments later.

“The deceased is a well-known resident of Athi River town. He works at a local company within the town a few metres of the Nairobi – Namanga road,” Komo told the Star at his office premises in Athi River town on Friday.

The body was moved to Machakos Level 5 Hospital mortuary. 

An eyewitness said the train didn’t stop after it ran over the deceased.

“The man sustained serious injuries. We were shocked that the train that was headed to Nairobi didn’t stop. It was a hit-and-run case,” the eyewitness said.

Other sources revealed that the scene was cleared by officers from the Kenya Railways police unit.

Komo told residents to be careful while using not only the rail track but also roads in the Athi River subcounty to avoid unnecessary deaths due to accidents that could be avoided. - GEORGE OWITI, The Star

Tanzanias President Samia Suluhu (L) claps as Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni unveils the Kikagati-Murongo Hydropower Plant in Isingiro District, Uganda on May 25, 2023. PHOTO | IKULU YA TANZANIA

President Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu yesterday commissioned the 14-Megawatt Kikagate-Murongo Hydro power project that is expected to bolster development between the two countries.

The $100m power project was constructed by the Berkeley Energy company under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the two sister countries.

While commissioning the project that was powered on in Isingiro District yesterday, Museveni tasked African leaders and technocrats to stop being self-centred, saying this sabotages progression of the continent.

“Political and bureaucratic classes of Africa must wake up or be overtaken by the determined people who want development. The potential for development is there but most times these people are in arguments,” he said.

Kikagati-Murongo is located along the Kagera River at the border of Uganda and Tanzania.

The project that started in 2017 will benefit 60,000 homes in the two countries as Berkeley collects tariffs for the next 20 years before handing over the facility for further management by the two governments.

Museveni said the project should have started in 2005 but the two countries could not agree on how the electricity would be shared among themselves.

Read: Uganda’s Owen Falls dam: a colonial legacy that still stings

He further said electricity helps in steering development across the East Africa region, but people get selfish when they start arguing on who takes what share of electricity.

“I’m not part of this argument of who takes more power; if Tanzania needs the power more, they can take it because they will not take it free. What is the problem? So, if they wanted two megawatts originally and now, they want four, I will grant them. If they want all 16 megawatts, they can as well take it but they will to pay.” he said.

Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu Hassan commissioned the Kikagati-Murongo Hydropower Plant in Isingiro District on May 25, 2023. The 14 Megawatts cross-border dam is located on the Kagera River, the largest tributary of Lake Victoria, which serves as the natural border between Tanzania and Uganda.

Museveni said the two countries had failed to utilise the potential of River Kagera for a long time yet there were opportunities to be exploited to develop the two countries, which attracted the government of Rwanda in a similar project.

This is one of the first cross-border huge infrastructural projects between Uganda and Tanzania.

“It’s good that we’re beginning to utilise the potential of the Kagera River,” Museveni said, adding: “The 11 miles downstream from the location is Nshungezi where there are 38 megawatts to benefit Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania.”

Read: Samia, Kagame discuss trade expansion deals

“It’s a big honour to have President Samia Suluhu Hassan come here for the first time in this area. You have been to other parts of Uganda, but never here. We are very lucky, and I welcome you here,” he added.

The plant will sell its power to the national grid and consumers will pay $8.5 cents per kilowatt hour for the electricity generated. The cost, according to Museveni, is too high if it’s to serve the intended purpose and implored the developers to make it cheaper for people.

“This price of 8.5 cents per unit is not a Christian idea because we’re insisting that power especially for manufacturing should be about 5 cents,” Museveni said, mentioning dams such as Karuma and Isimba where the production cost is 4.8 cents per unit and Bujagaali which started at 13 cents and has now come to 8.3 cents per unit.

In her remarks, President Suluhu was optimistic that the project will improve the historical relations and the bi-lateral trade between the two countries.

“I’m always happy to note that our historical fraternal relations continue to improve day by day and of course, there is wider room to further make improvements of our relationship and cooperation particularly in areas of trade and investment as well as cultural and social engagements,” she said.

She also applauded Mr Museveni’s vision of kick-starting the construction of a hydro power dam in Isingiro, which on completion, will contribute to the economic growth of the two countries.

“I must say that the power generated here shall improve a lot of things. It is going to improve trade and investment in this region. It’s going to improve transportation of people and goods, social services, sound health services, contemporary teaching modalities are going to be done here, because power is here,” he said.

She said her government is committed to strengthening and deepening brotherly friendship and cooperation with Uganda. The East African

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