Uganda hosted a one-day cooperation exchange as a participant of the Global Biodiversity Finance Initiative, BIOFIN. Joining the workshop were representatives of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) among many others.
And UNRA, a key stakeholder committed to aiding a project that seeks to address the biodiversity finance challenge in Uganda.
This was revealed on Tuesday by the roads body’s Environmental Specialist, Mr. Brian Karugaba during a High-Level Dialogue on Biodiversity Financing (BIOFIN) at the Serena Hotel, Kampala. “I am going to inform the Executive Director (Ms. Allen Kagina) so that we take one of the lead roles in organising the next dialogue,” Mr. Karugaba told stakeholders in the dialogue.
This was after presentations on entry points for the Private Sector in Environment and Biodiversity financing and a panel discussion by chief conservators, political leaders and representatives of the private sector on financing biodiversity conservation in Uganda.
“UNRA may not be in position to directly finance biodiversity in Uganda but is on a full scale working with its contractors right from setting the environmental management requirements at bidding stage, working hand in hand with the project consultants and punishing those who don’t meet the requirements,” Mr. Karugaba told TheUgandan at the sidelines of the Biodiversity Financing Dialogue.
About the issue of offsetting, Karugaba said UNRA has for instance considered realigning the Kampala-Jinja Expressway at Mabira rain forest and Kasenge in Mukono and was careful not to suggest new roads in sensitive ecosystems like national parks and swamps.
“One of our biggest projects is going through a massive swamp. That is the 1.5km Nambigirwa bridge (pictured above) along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway. It has been conserved and protected very well,” Karugaba proudly said.
He said, UNRA has and continues to instruct its contractors on greening of the ‘Right of Way’ by not just planting trees along highways but also adding herbal scrubs and constructing road viaducts.
“We endeavor to reduce traffic jam in Metropolitan Kampala which has been frustrating business. We have projects Kampala Flyover, Kampala-Jinja Expressway, Southern Bypass, Nakasero VVIP and Entebbe Expressway,” Karugaba added.
UNRA is expediting plans to commence the much-anticipated Kampala Flyover Construction and Road Upgrading Project at a cost of $147M.
The ambitious infrastructure development scheme that will see flyovers erected at Kitgum House, Garden City and Clock Tower junctions.