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Sci-Afric Journal of Scientific Issues, Research and Essays (SJSIRS)

Sci-Afric Journal of Scientific Issues, Research and Essays Vol.3(2) Pp. 616-628 February 2015 Copyright 2015 Sci-Afric Publishers.

 

An Assessment of the Capabilities and Gaps in Urban Air Quality Management in Uganda.
 

Amin Tamale Kiggundu.

 

Department of Architecture and Physical Planning, School of Built Environment, College of Engineering Design Art and Technology (CEDAT), Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062 Kampala, Uganda.
 

*Corresponding Author’s E-mail: akiggundu@cedat.mak.ac.ug  

      

Accepted February 5th, 2015.

Abstract

Large cities across the globe are today facing a pervasive problem of air pollution. Also according to the 2014 World Health Organisation Report, in 2012 about 3.7million premature deaths occurred across the globe due to exposure to particulate matter of 10 microns or less in diameter (PM10). The purpose of this study is to assess the capabilities and gaps in urban air quality management in Uganda as well as propose strategies for curbing air pollution in various local towns and cities. To achieve its objectives, the study applied face to face interviews targeting key informants such as the environmental experts, urbanisation researchers as well as officials from the lead agencies such as the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). Existing literature on urban air pollution was also reviewed. Results show that rapid motorisation, continued dependence on fossil fuels, open waste burning, biomass burning for domestic use, industrialisation, bush fires and urbanisation are the key causes of air pollution in Uganda. Among the key gaps identified are: incomplete and fragmented legislation on air quality management, lack of emission inventory, lack of restrictions on the age of imported vehicles, lack of stations for air quality monitoring, lack of air quality strategic plans for both local and central governments, lack of a specific legislation on clean air programme as well as lack of a clear strategy to promote cleaner fuels. Recognised also is that the existing environmental laws have not been adequately enforced due to institutional fragility. Various stakeholders such as the mass media are also rarely involved in local air quality management programmes. To reduce air pollution and improve urban air quality in Uganda, it is critical that a more feasible strategy is adopted to promote mass transit and non-motorised transport, increase access to electricity among households, introduce bye laws to regulate open waste burning, establish fully equipped laboratories to test and analyse samples, strengthen local research and training capacity on air pollution, promote regional and international collaboration on air pollution, introduce more fuel efficient vehicles, introduce regular and periodic vehicle inspection as well as carry out campaigns to raise public awareness about air pollution. Recommended also is the introduction of cleaner fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas, compressed natural gas, unleaded gasoline and ethanol. It is further critical that the institutional capacity required to monitor air quality is established and strengthened through training and providing necessary equipment.


Keywords: Urban, Air, Management, environmental laws


 

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