In spring 2022, an oeoo project started in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, to rid Lake Victoria of plastic waste.
Kampala is the capital of Uganda – located on Lake Victoria. Around 30 million people live on the lake, which is the third largest in the world in terms of area, about the size of Bavaria. The lake provides water, it supplies fish and serves as a transport route. But unfortunately, Lake Victoria is threatened by water pollution, plastic waste and other causes, such as the excessive spread of water hyacinths.
Together with our local partners, the Uganda Junior Rangers, we are launching a new project in Kampala. Their stated goal is to rid Lake Victoria and the Nile of pollution and to expand and improve access to sanitation for coastal communities on Lake Victoria, the Nile and other water bodies. We will support them in this effort.
We have already worked with Junior Rangers, a non-profit conservation organization that promotes environmental protection and the preservation of Uganda’s cultural heritage through volunteers, as part of the Nile Coalition and the International Solidarity Cleanup in March 2022.
Cleanup activities Measures to prevent plastic waste discharges into Lake Victoria in the Kampala region.
Uganda has a major waste problem. According to estimates, around 500 tons of plastic waste are generated every day, of which only a small part is properly disposed of and recycled. The Kampala region is facing an ever-increasing population and economic growth with a waste problem that overwhelms the current waste management system The Kampala municipality with 1.5 million inhabitants is not able to recycle and dispose of this waste properly. As a result, residents often burn the waste in their gardens or it finds its way into the rivers and the neighbouring Lake Victoria. This lake has had a massive waste problem for years, which is very problematic because the lake is the livelihood of the people in the region. Rubbish washed up by rivers threatens the entire ecosystem in and around Lake Victoria.
In collaboration with the Uganda Junior Rangers (UJR), One-Earth-One-Ocean (OEOO) is implementing project: “Clean Kampala” with the support of GIZ’s Natural Resources Stewardship program. They will ensure that by the end of the project, through the use of a catamaran specially designed for the collection, there will be 120 tons less waste in the Kampala environment especially in Lake Victoria and the rivers.
The aim of this project is to contribute to the solution of the litter problem and to relieve the burden on nature as well as to create sustainable solutions to face the problems in the future. In addition, the project identifies the ways in which litter enters the lake and creates an awareness of how to deal with litter.
Our project partners on site are the Uganda Junior Rangers, which consist of 9 men and women who work every day to do something about the waste problem. They are also strongly committed to creating more awareness on the issue for future generations.
As concrete measures, the UJR has carried out various collection campaigns. They travel to places with particularly high levels of pollution, collect the waste and take it to their sorting area in their tricycles locally known as TukTuks. There, the waste is then separated according to different types of plastic, the following sorting lines are formed: Fishing gear, HDPE, LDPE, PP and PE. After sorting, the materials are cleaned and prepared for further transport. A pressing machine supports this process and ensures that PET is pressed and prepared for sale to a bottle-to-bottle factory, where the PET is then further processed.
To support the local partners, OEOO ensured that they received 2 TukTuks for waste transportation, a catamaran for waste collection on the water and a compactor with a matching generator for waste compression. Through the efficient use of these resources, the UJR has already been able to make an important contribution to solving the pollution by trash.
To ensure that a long-term and sustainable solution is also created, an educational program has also been set up to ensure that children in the region learn more about waste disposal and thus become more aware of how to deal with waste. A course on proper waste disposal is offered at schools so that the new generations are educated on the extent and solution of the problem.
Through the measures of education and the provision of the necessary equipment, important steps for a sustainable improvement of the waste problem have been initiated and through further support, Uganda, especially the Kampala region, has the chance for a healthier ecosystem.
This project shows what changes can be achieved in a short period of time and how positive it is for the environment and the people who live in it.
In order to ensure that the problem is taken seriously in the long term and that something changes, OEOO will do many more projects with the UJR. This project is only the beginning of a sustainable partnership with the prospect of great success.
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