KAMPALA – The First Deputy Prime Minister of Uganda and Minister for East African Community Affairs Rebecca Kadaga has launched the 5th edition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) run in 2023.
The run whose proceeds will be dedicated to the installation of a Solar Power supply system for Buliisa Health Centre IV in Buliisa district is slated for October 27, 2023, at Kololo ceremonial grounds.
This year’s run is dedicated to promoting SDG 7 which calls for access to affordable and clean energy with participants taking on 10km, 15km, and 17 km.
“The proceeds from this year’s SDG RUN will be dedicated to the installation of a Solar Power supply system for Buliisa Health Centre IV in Buliisa district and planting trees in the same district to mitigate the impacts of climate change that may arise from oil processing in the Albertine region,” the Deputy Prime Minister said at Press Conference hosted at her office in Kampala.
“One of the key areas of focus for Uganda’s energy sector is expanding access to clean energy access to the countryside,” she added, underscoring that the journey towards SDG realization is a collective one, involving government, non-state entities, the private sector, civil society, and every individual in Uganda.
This year’s SDG RUN serves as a precursor to the Renewable Energy Conference & Expo, with a focus on SDG 7, ensuring accessible, affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all.
The deputy prime minister also emphasized the importance of collective efforts in achieving the SDGs and praised the collaboration among various stakeholders including the WWF Uganda, DTB Bank, and Uganda Communication Commission who have since committed to supporting the much sought-after activity.
Samuel Matekha, the Head of Communications and Marketing at DTB said the lender is boosting the promotion of resilient, green, and sustainable growth, a model he said is helping them to deploy green financing to deal with the after-effects of climate change.
“For green finance, our budget is big,” he said. “If a client comes, we access their investment and we are ready to give out as big as UGX 100 billion whether through groups or individuals.”
The bank contributed USD 5000 (Five thousand US dollars) towards the marathon promoting the implementation of SDG goals.
“As a financial institution, we know that we cannot survive without being part of the sustainability agenda. We are implementing an ESG strategy that is implementing various pillars of sustainability of Mother Earth, our community, and business,” said Matekha.
“We are looking at planting 2 million trees across Uganda and the purpose is to reduce the carbon emission coming from the communities we operate in. This and other initiatives will be deployed to support the work alongside like-minded partners to tackle climate change,” he added.
Ivan Tumuhimbise, the Country Director for the World Wide Nature Fund, said only 40% of households in Uganda depend on electricity, and the rest depend on biomass yet these are the ones that practice deforestation.
“Uganda is among the largest household black carbon emitter in Africa, with households accounting for 60% of emissions, with implication for climate change and the health of communities,” Tumuhimbise said, adding that run will provide a platform to advocate for strong energy policies that will strategically boost Uganda’s ability to tap into her renewable energy potential.
He said his organization its regional energy programs is going to work with national governments and regional bodies to review and enact policies and regulatory frameworks that promote private sector engagement and social inclusivity.
“We have got to work together to ensure that there are mechanisms that are able to disrupt dependency on biomass. Therefore through planting trees, we shall be able to curb these practices hence increasing afforestation,” said Tumuhimbise.
He emphasizes the need to work jointly to promote energy efficiency and other SDGs.
Mr Edwin Muhumuza, the executive director of the Youth Go Green said that this 5th edition has been dedicated towards SDG7 which aims at ensuring that all people can access reliable and efficient energy.