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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Environmental Management in the Oil Sector and ConDev (EMCO). Grants for Research on Environmental Management and Conflict

Uganda: Environmental Management in the Oil Sector and ConDev (EMCO) Grants

Texas A&M University Soil and Crop Science Department was a sub-contractor to Tetra Tech for implementation of the USAID Environmental Management in the Oil Sector (EMOS) project in Uganda. Three Ugandan Universities were partners in the project: Kyambogo University, Makerere University, and Mbarra University of Science and Technology. ConDev assisted in managing the TAMU part of the project. Well into the project, participating Ugandan faculty requested that they be better supported to conduct research relevant to the project goals. USAID/EMOS project managers agreed to a plan suggested by ConDev that the two organizations jointly support Ugandan faculty research. The Transformative Solutions model RFA was adapted to the goals of the EMOS project. Three competitive awards were made by ConDev, described below. 

Competitive Awards

Insecurity in War Affected Areas in Uganda:

A Study Case of Teso Region

Innovation: The purpose of the study was to identify indigenous strategies used in production to respond to food insecurity resulting from civil war-inspired conflicts in the Teso region, and improve upon those practices, and evaluate how those practices can contribute more widely in society. 

Key Learning: While indigenous technologies and strategies were found to predominate in the Teso Region, there was a need and opportunity to integrate modern practices into traditional food production systems. 

An ethnographic research design was adopted where qualitative and quantitative data was collected from a random sample of 200 respondents, plus 22 purposely selected informants. The data sources included: questionnaire, interviews, and focus, group discussions. A translator of Ateso Language was used when necessary. Indigenous knowledge dominates in managing soil fertility, pests and diseases management, harvesting and storage as well as animal husbandry. Indigenous knowledge practices needs to integrate into the modern strategies to use to cope with food insecurity. The study suggests that there is need to strengthen awareness among extension workers of indigenous knowledge, and integrate it with modern technology. Farmers need encouragement to appreciate their local knowledge and how it can enhance food security and cope with food scarcity.

Authored by: Sultan Juma Kakuba and Johan Mary Kanyamurwa 

Institution: Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda

Improving Opportunities For Youth Access To Employment In The Oil And Gas Industry In Uganda: A Case Study Of Buliisa And Hoima Districts

Innovation: Improvement of opportunities for youth employment in the oil and gas Industry in Uganda, particularly the youths from the Albertine Region in Western Uganda, through targeted vocational and technical training and the promotion of local enterprise to supply the workforce and service needs of the oil sector. 

Key Learning: Private oil and gas sector companies can be mobilized to help improve vocational and technical training to better fit youth into the roles needed by the industry. 

The project was guided by the following specific objectives: (1) Identify training needs for oil and gas industry in Uganda; (2) Assess the quality of Vocational Education Training in the Albertine Region; (3) Develop oil and gas education Training Modules; and, (4) Create networks between education providers, international oil companies (IOCs), employers and the Ministry of Education for the purpose of improving the quality of training in oil and gas education. The study collected, reviewed and analyzed qualitative and quantitative information and data from both secondary and primary sources. A total of 8 training institutions participated in the study, along with three international oil companies, Tullow Oil plc; Total Exploration and Production; and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). Specific revisions in curriculum at vocations and technical institutes were recommended for closing the large gaps in knowledge and skills needed by the industry.

Authored by: Charles Twesigye, William Epeju, Titus Watmon Bitek, Rosemary Nalwanga, Bakia Wamala Kezaala, Sammy Olal, Martin Baluku, and Joseph Katswera

Institution: Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda 

Natural Resource Management in the Northern Albertine Rift Landscape, Western Uganda: Agent–based Modeling of Household Land Utilization for Conflict Reduction

Innovation: Application of agent-based modeling of land use decision-making to build understanding of impact of extractive industries on land use and mitigate conflict over land use.

Key Learning: 

The discovery of oil in the Albertine Rift Landscape has increased pressure on natural resources and heightened the potential for resource use conflicts. Central to these natural resource use pressures are competing interests over land for agriculture, settlement and industrial development. This undermines people’s livelihoods, and threatens biodiversity conservation. In this project, the aim (embedded in the theory of change) is twofold: firstly, to increase our understanding of land utilization patterns and related decision-making through agent-based modeling, in order to fill knowledge gaps regarding how the negative effects of the extractive industries can be reduced. Secondly, to contribute to conflict mitigation over land utilization and access through solutions simultaneously generated through agent-based modeling. The project will employ mixed approaches including: remote sensing, social surveys, and multi-level computer-based simulation, culminating in the construction of the first (proof-of-concept) agent-based model of the landscape. The modeling process, including conceptualization, generation of model runs, and use of results will be undertaken in a participatory manner with local communities. This will enhance transparency of the model and inform decision making, for policy formulation and conflict management. 

Authored by: Ronald Twongyirwe and Eleanor Fisher

Institution: Department of Environment and Livelihood Support Systems, Institute of Interdisciplinary Training and Research, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda

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