The Swedish Ambassodor H.E. Per Lindgarde (R) cuts the tape to open the centre. Left is the Principal CAES-Prof. Bernard Bashaasha and MAK VC Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu

  • Centre established with support from Sida, AU/EU, GoU through Bank of Uganda and Makerere University
  • 10 PhDs trained and a number of publications produced
  • State- of -the -art equipment secured
  • Centre to be used to train farmers how to sort, compose, make biogas and set up demonstration plots on how to use agricultural waste.

Makerere University College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences has officially opened the first Centre of Excellence in Waste Management in Uganda at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo. The Centre is to be used to train farmers on how to sort, compose, make biogas and set up demonstration plots on how to use agricultural waste.

The centre was established with support from Sida, the African Union (AU) European Union (EU), Government of Uganda through Bank of Uganda and Makerere University. The state- of –the- equipment has been secured for the centre. These equipment worth $ USD 48, 000 from UK, Switzerland, , Italy, Singapore, USA and China include:

  • Incubators (will help in culturing samples under controlled temperature
  • Oven ( for dying samples)
  • Biogas analyzer ( for analyzing components in biogas)
  • Microscope (observation of specimens)
  • Centrifuges ( aid separation of liquid samples)
  • Spectrophotometer ( analyzing of micronutrients in soil and water)
  • Laboratory balance (for weighing samples)
  • PH meter ( determining acidity and alkalinity of different samples of soil and water)
  • Cooled incubator) for culturing and can vary temperature-low system organisms)
  • Bio gas (portable solar biogas digester)

The centre was launched by the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Per Lindgarde as Chief Guest on Friday 17th February 2017 under the theme, “Investing in Waste for a Green Future”. The function was also graced by the Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. John Ddumba SSentamu and Vice Chancellor Bishop Stuart University and the Secretary for Research at the Swedish Embassy Dr. Gity Behravan. Others were the Principal CAES, Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, the Director DGRT Prof. Mukadasi Buyinza, and Dr. David Owinyi and other university staff.

The Chief Guest and other participants touring the centre

The initiative was championed by Prof. Elly N Sabiiti with support from the Swedish International Development Aid (Sida) and other funders including Bank of Uganda, Makerere University, African Union and European Union.

The main objective is to become a centre of innovative research and technology development utilizing bio waste (agricultural/ organic wastes) in enhancing sustainable agricultural production and a healthy environment.

Specifically the centre will optimize and promote compositing of biodegradable waste for improved agricultural production; Develop livestock feed protocols based on market crop waste; Develop bio gas technologies for use by small scale households; offer training, knowledge sharing and advisory services in waste management and create linkages with the private sector in technology development.

The centre will also promote the adoption and diffusion of viable waste utilization technologies and products through use of incubation facilities; promote regional and international research collaborations and linkages and create community awareness and training through linkages.

Some of the equipment a the centre

While opening the centre, the Swedish Ambassodor to Uganda H.E. Per Lindgarde said Sweden is a global frontrunner in the energy and environment sectors offering state – of- the -art technologies and services.

The Ambassador said, being a leading nation in waste management including waste-to-energy systems, Sweden imports almost one million tons of waste garbage from nearby countries to use as fuel.

“More than 90% of household waste is recycled. In total, the waste-to-energy plants produce electricity to about 250, 000 private households and provide heating to about 810, 000 households”, he said.

Ambassador Per Lindgarde reported that the Swedish collaboration with Uganda was initiated in 2000 with the objective of promoting research and research training and to develop sustainable institutional capacity in an effort to strengthen higher education and autonomous university system within the framework of national policies and plans.

H.E. Per Lindgarde addressing the participants during the launch

He underscored the importance of research in production of new knowledge and driver for innovation and economic development. He described the Sweden and Uganda collaboration as fruitful bringing the relevancy of research to the forefront.

“The creation of this centre is a spin-off of the Swedish –Makerere collaboration and cooperation between the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the Swedish Agriculture University (SLU) in Uppsala. This is a result of locally produced knowledge as a response to local needs in developing new techniques for sustainable agriculture production system through ecological resource management and value addition”. The ambassador remarked.

Participants and the chief guest looking at the bio digester yet to be installed

The ambassador told participants that waste accumulation causes significant health and environmental problems in Kampala city and many other cities in Uganda. He expressed hope that the centre’s activities will contribute to both handling of organic waste in Kampala city and transform the agricultural sector.

The Vice Chancellor Makerere University Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu observed that Waste Management has become a global challenge at all levels of society both in the home and in the public space, especially the emerging cities in developing countries.

The Vice Chancellor said the centre was the outcome of an initial research project on the utilization of urban market crop wastes in crop/livestock production systems, which was funded by Sida/SAREC between 2000 and 2005.

In 2007, Professor Ddumba reported that the idea to establish the Centre was conceptualised by Prof. Elly Sabiiti and was supported by the Sida/SAREC Faculty Steering Committee. To support the process the VC added that the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), incorporated the operationalisation of the Centre in its strategic plan 2010-2015, in collaboration with Swedish Partners.

MAK VC- Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu making his remarks

On behalf of University Management, the VC extended appreciation to the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda and the Royal Government of Sweden for supporting Makerere University to fulfill its mandate.

“We are therefore very proud to be the first ever Centre of Excellence in Waste Management in Uganda, following over 15 years of research on waste management”. The VC went on to say that:

“Since 2000 to date, Sida has supported us through three phases to produce eight (8) PhD academic staff and over ten (10) Senior Scientists specializing in Waste Management and Utilization as well as lab equipment, chemicals and computers. Several scientific publications on the subject have been produced, thereby contributing to generation of new knowledge. We have further established a strong international network in Waste Management”.