DGGCS Staff Hold a Retreat

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The Department held a retreat on February 17 – 24, 2017 at Mbale Resort Hotel. The purpose of the retreat was to review the Department’s vision and the achievement made so far and refocus the Department for the future. The retreat was graced in attendance by the Deputy Principle of College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), Prof. Gorettie Nabanogga and several other guest speakers including Prof. John Stephen Tenywa, the Chief Editor of African Crop Science Journal.

BSc. Meteorology Students Graduate

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On Tuesday February 21, 2017, the third Cohort of BSc. Meteorology Students graduated. The excitement filled the Freedom square when the students were joined by Dr. Nimusiima to congratulate them upon their success.

Newest PhD harvest by GGCS

Newest PhD harvest by GGCS

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On February 21, 2017, the Department’s flag flew high when our very our Dr. Alex Nimusiima graduated with a PhD in Climate Science. Dr. Nimusiima is the Coordinator of the Meteorology Unit in the Department.
Dr. Nimusiima’s research was on, “The Impact of Climate Change and Variability on Maize Production in the Central Cattle Corridor of Uganda.”

GGCS Chairs End of Year Message and 2017 Outlook

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Dear Colleagues,

I pray that this message finds you in good health and best wishes to you and your family. I want to congratulate you for the achievements registered in 2016 and thank you for the support and services you render to GGCS and Makerere University at large. Enclosed herewith is a seasonal greeting card.
As we end the year, i want to share with you some highlights of the challenges and successes we registered in 2016 as well as some outlook for 2017. 2016 has been a very challenging and yet we have also registered great successes.
 –
Challenges 
1. Loss of family members and relatives: Death robbed us of our loved ones. Alex Nimusiima, Jamiat Nanteza, Fredrick Tumwine, Goreti Namirembe, Phoebe Tumwesigye, Victoria Mwaka, Joy Tukahirwa, George Magawa lost family members and close relatives. I want to thank members for relentlessly supporting the affected colleagues by (i) contributing Mabugo (ii) attending church services (ii) attending burial ceremonies.
2. Results submission: At the higher levels (School and college), we performed well. However, i still believe that we can improvements at the departmental level especially prior to the External Examiners
3. Delayed promotion of staff: We have 6 academic staff members who applied for promotion to various ranks. We had expected that their promotions would yield by the end of 2016, but this has not been realised. We hope that 2017 will be more kind in this regard. As a Department, we will continue to help, advise and recommend qualifying members for promotion to higher ranks. This however requires hard work at the Department, School, College and University at large.
4. Geography space: We invested a lot of resources to recover our space which is being occupied by CHUSS. We are yet to fully recover the offices but we are continuing the discussions with management and other stakeholders.
 –
Success Signatures of 2016
1. AARSE2016 conference: Organising AARSE2016 was a great challenge. In the end we managed to pull it off courtesy of your great efforts and support. It was more successful than AARSE2014 in Johannesburg demonstrating our organisational capacities. A big thank you to all who assisted (will not mention names) at the Departmental level, School level, College level and University Management.
2. New Staff PhD Graduates: Three staff members i.e. Dr. Peninah Twinorugyendo Mugisha, Dr. Jamiat Nanteza and Dr. Geofrey Sabiti obtained their doctorates this year. This increases the strength and capacities of the department. We once again congratulate them.
3. Hosting international Scientists: We hosted 3 international scientists (Dr. Oluwaranti, Dr. Phyllis and Dr. Johnson) for 1 year with support from the African Academy of Sciences; and two scientists supported by the Carnegie Foundation for one month each (Prof. Henry Bulley and Prof. Tonny Oyana). They came through competitive processes and worked closely with colleagues and students.
4. New research projects: We have about 12 new projects that have started or have been approved in 2016. I am extremely happy that many members have actualised our strategic appeal of grant writing as one path of developing the department and university at large. Keep it up!
5. New Book: Through a collaboration with UNDP and the Office of the Prime Minister, we were able to publish an inaugural book entitled: “Disasters and Climate Resilience in Uganda: Processes, Knowledge and Practices”. This is a contribution to knowledge management, bearing in mind that there was on DRR book before. Whilst there were challenges in developing the inaugural issues, i am optimistic that the next issue will be smoothly developed.
6. Renovation and upgrading of facilities. Together, we have mobilised funds from various sources which have been utilised to improve facilities in the Department including the Mountain Resource Centre, the Library, the new HOD office, the four offices on Lower Block, painting LT 1, computer room and the corridor. We have not reached were we want to be in terms of upgrading and improving facilities but we will continue our efforts. I want to pay tribute to staff members who have contributed funds from their projects in this direction. I will continue coming to you so that we build together.
7. International trainings and competence building courses. We held 9 international trainings and competence building courses that benefited staff, students and other stakeholders both in Uganda and outside.
8. Confirmations in service: Four members of staff were confirmed in service
9. Memorial lecture: We successfully held a memorial lecture in honour of the Late Dr. Festus Bagoora.
10. Improved collaboration and partnerships: Our collaborations and partnerships both within and outside have further improved and these have come with greater benefits. We have 6 members who are on international committees carrying the flag of the department and the university at large.
11. High level dignitaries for our activities: It was a great honour to have the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda opening the AARSE conference and also launching our book. Equally we also had the Minister of State for Environment Hon. Dr. Goret Kitutu Kimono as Chief Guest for the Memorial Lecture as well as the AARSE conference Dinner. The EU Ambassador to Uganda HE Kristian Schmidt also honoured us by giving a high level presentation at AARSE. GGCS was also visited by the VC, DVC (FA), DVC (AA), Principal, Deputy Principal, Dean and the University Librarian to familiarise with our work, ongoing developments and existing challenges.
 
Outlook for 2017
1. Finalising the strategic framework: We need to finalise the strategic framework of the department. We plan to solicit for funds for a retreat to enable us finalise this.
2. Cartography room and masters: The cartography room and masters room need to be further upgraded into decent rooms. We will slowly work on them.
3. Increasing the research portfolio: We need to further elevate the research portfolio by increasing publications. There is a lot of ongoing research by members. You need to work on the data, develop manuscripts with the potential to translate into papers.
4. Upgrading of infrastructure: As and when we get some funds, we will continue the upgrade of the infrastructure at our disposal including procurement of relevant equipment.
5. Approval of new programmes. We have four programmes that are awaiting approval at various levels. These include DRIM, BEGS,Climate Change and Applied Meteorology. We expect that some of them if not all will be approved in 2017.
6. Recovery of offices: We will continue efforts geared at fully recovering our offices
7. New PhD staff graduates: I expect three staff members to obtain their PhD’s in 2017.
8. Hosting international scientists: The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) will again send us three scientists whom we will host in 2017.
9. Visit of the Langlands family: The relatives of the late Prof. Langlands wrote to me indicating their desire to visit the department in 2017. This will most likely be in June 2017.
 –
I may have forgotten somethings, but in general thats where we are.
I wish you and your families good holidays and the best of 2017.
PELIBIGO project Research Planning Workshop hosted at Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, 11-13/July/2016

PELIBIGO project Research Planning Workshop hosted at Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, 11-13/July/2016

The Department of Geography, Geo-Informatics & Climatic Sciences (DGGCS) is coordinating a multi disciplinary project titled Capacity building to promote sustainable governance of petroleum resources, biodiversity and livelihoods in East African communities – PELIBIGO which brings together partners from University of Dodoma(UDOM)-Tanzania, Norwagian University of Science and Technology(NTNU)-Norway and Norwagian University of Life Science(NMBU)-Norway.The project is funded by the Energy and Petroleum Programme (EnPe) of NORAD,Norway.

The project was motivated by the ongoing oil and gas exploration in Uganda and Tanzania for commercial production to spur socio-economic growth and development. Of concern are criticisms from the current and future oil and gas activities from environmentalists, human rights activists and livelihoods due to the numerous socio-ecological challenges which if not addressed may lead to marginalization, environmental degradation and increasing poverty levels. These challenges are exacerbated by weak institutional capacities and lack of skilled workforce. Thus, through this project new education and research programs will be designed to address the often conflicting claims between biodiversity conservation, livelihood security and petroleum exploration and production.

At this meeting, partners as well as beneficiary Masters and PhD students discussed a range of issues pertaining research themes and processes.See Attached

20160711_120213
Prof. Goret Nabanoga, Deputy Principal- CAES and Gender Focal Point for the PELIBIGO project shared tips on how to engender the project activities.


Project Goal
Strengthened Higher Education Institutions (Makerere University – MAK and University of Dodoma – UDOM) with strengthened educational systems and research capabilities in the oil and gas sector in East Africa.

Project Objectives

  1. Capacity building through Masters, PhD and Post Doctoral training at MAK and UDOM
  2. Library and Institutional capacity building at MAK and UDOM through Staff training/exchange and infrastructure
  3. Project administration and capacity building at UDOM
  4. Gender mainstreaming as an integral part of all project activities

Achievements to far

  • 4 Masters’ students (2 from Uganda and 2 from Tanzania) admitted at NTNU starting academic year 2016/17
  • 1 Masters’ student supported under the postdoctoral research at Makerere University
  • 1 PhD student supported and admitted at Makerere University
  • 2 PhD students supported and admitted at UDOM
  • Refurbishment of DGGCS library
  • Research Focus Areas

  • Governance/Transparency and CSR issues
  • Socio-economic/livelihoods impacts (direct and indirect)
  • Environmental impacts (land use, biodiversity – flora and fauna, water and air pollution)
  • Gender issues within the oil and Gas sector
  • Doreen Mrimi
    Ms. Doreen Mrimi, a PhD student at UDOM presenting her proposed research focusing on “the impact of gas and petroleum exploitation to livelihood security in Mtwara and Lindi regions of Tanzania”
    Paddy B Kinyera
    Mr.Paddy B Kinyera, a PhD candidate from the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS) at the University of Bayreuth -Germany, who is mentored by Dr.Frank Mugagga and currently hosted at DGGCS sharing tips on how to manage a PhD research project. .
    CAROL AbodaCarol
    Ms. Caroline Aboda (PhD candidate at MAK) presenting her proposed work focusing on “vulnerability of women under the current oil and gas development in Albertine region of Uganda”
    Leonida
    Ms.Leonida Tibakunirwa (MA.Geography student at MAK) is also supported under the postdoctoral research component of the project.

    Future activities- Competence Building Activities

  • Reviewing of MA (LURD) programme
  • Short courses focusing on oil and governance
  • Development of a Regional Masters’ programme in Oil and Gas Governance, hosted at UDOM
  • 2 more students from UDOM to be admitted to Masters programme at MNBU in 2017/18 academic year
  • Project Team:
    >> Dr. F. Mugagga -MAK
    >> Prof. G. Nabanoga – MAK
    >> Dr. C. Nakakaawa – MAK/NTNU
    >> Prof. J. Nyahongo – UDOM
    >> Prof L. Haakon – NTNU
    >> Prof E. Roskaft – NNTU
    >> Prof P. Vedeld – NMBU
    >> Joanna Boddens –Hossang – NMBU

    Project Partners:

    MUK NTNU NMBU UDOM

    Agreement Partner: DGGCs, Makerere University
    Coordinator: Dr. Frank Mugagga

    An Automated Weather Station installed at MUARIK

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    A team from the Department of Geography, Geo informatics and Climatic Sciences (GGCS) installing the automated weather station at MUARIK. Up on the ladder is Hosea Opedes, a Geomorphologist at the GGCS

     

    The Department of Geography, Geo informatics and Climatic Sciences (GGCS) has donated and installed an automated Weather station at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo (MUARIK).

    The automated equipment was procured through an arm of DAVIS Company in Uganda using part of the SIDA project funds extended to the GGCS mainly to facilitate climate related research and agricultural training at the University farm. Data collected can go to the national database and used to improve on forecasting.

    The equipment was handed over to the Director MUARIK Assoc. Prof. PhinehasTukamuhabwa and installed by a team from the GGCS department comprising Dr. Saul Daniel Ddumba, Alex Nimusiima and Hosea Opedes on 26th April, 2016.

    The Director MUARIK Assoc. Prof. Phinehas Tukamuhabwa (R) receiving the equipment from Alex Nimusiima.
    The Director MUARIK Assoc. Prof. Phinehas Tukamuhabwa (R) receiving the equipment from Alex Nimusiima.

     

    Also present were the Ag. Farm Manager MUARIK Ahangaana Julius Peter, Assist. Farm Manager Chrycestom Tweyambe and Eng. Tibaku-Zira Ernest from the Department of Agricultural engineering who is the in-charge of the weather station.

    Receiving the equipment, the Director MUARIK Assoc. Prof. PhinehasTukamuhabwa described the equipment as an important asset for agricultural research and production.

    “Weather affects crop growth and animal wellbeing. So, all people doing research will be able to know the weather conditions such as sunshine and rainfall. It will help us to have weather conditions well established and recorded. We are very grateful for the equipment”.The Director remarked.

    Dr. Tukamuhabwa thanked the GGCS Department for considering MUARIK pledging to avail the facility to everybody for training purposes and research at the institute.

    The Ag. Farm Manager, Julius Ahangaana (R) looks at the weather elements recordings from the receiving device: L- Geographers Hosea Opedes and Dr. Saul Daniel Ddumba explaining how it works
    The Ag. Farm Manager, Julius Ahangaana (R) looks at the weather elements recordings from the receiving device: L- Geographers Hosea Opedes and Dr. Saul Daniel Ddumba explaining how it works

     

     

    He said the institute had an old and well established weather station dating as far as 1970’s.From history and books,Dr. Tukamuhabwa recalled that Kabanyolo, was one of the weather stations they used to read about during their early school times.

     

    “Unfortunately over time the equipment ran out and there was no equipment. In the few years that have past, there have not been weather records taken here in MUARIK. So, we are happy we have gone back to the state of affairs when we can record data for Kabanyolo.”  Said Dr. Tukamuhabwa.

    Ag. Farm Manager Julius Anagaana (L) and the Director Dr. Tukamuhabwa (Center) being guided by the Geomorphologist Hosea Opedes on how the receiving devise works.
    Ag. Farm Manager Julius Anagaana (L) and the Director Dr. Tukamuhabwa (Center) being guided by the Geomorphologist Hosea Opedes on how the receiving devise works.

    The Director implored other CAES departments to emulate GGCS, support and own MUARIK to make it more vibrant and useful that CAES and Makerere University as a whole can be proud of.

    “For example this weather station that has been established by the Department of Geography will be used by the Department of Agricultural Production, Food Science and technology, by the farm, foresters and schools and colleges that come here to learn and in so doing, we develop the capacity of those institutions.” He added.

     

    Assist. Lecturer GGCS Alex Nimusiima ,who is also the Co-ordinator Meteorology Unit said the department offered the automated weather station to assist in climate related related research on the university farm.

    Mr. Alex Nimusiima lifts the machine as it is being mounted on the pole
    Mr. Alex Nimusiima lifts the machine as it is being mounted on the pole

    This machine records weather information including rainfall, temperature, solar radiation, humidity and are key to agricultural production that is why we thought a station like MUARIK needed a weather station. This machine was purchased from part of the funds from SIDA project.

    “Sida is funding the GGCS and we thought in our outreach mission we needed to reach out to other units other than our own. The automatic weather station was procured through DAVIS which has a company in Uganda and such an automated weather station is estimated to be between USD 1.5-3.5 million.” Said Nimusiima.

    Nimusiima described the weather station as an important instrument in climate research and crop production.

    “You cannot produce crops and animals if you do not have data on climate/weather. You need to know rainfall patterns, humidity, temperature, when to plant because even incidences of pests and diseases depend on weather. ” The Don said.

     

    Mr. Hosea Opedes and Dr. Saul Daniel Ddumba fixing the bird trap wires on the equipment before it was mounted
    Mr. Hosea Opedes and Dr. Saul Daniel Ddumba fixing the bird trap wires on the equipment before it was mounted

    The Assist Lecture, GGCS Dr. Saul Daniel Ddumba explained that the DAVIS Automated Weather equipment has an in-built rain guage, the stevensons screen where all delicate instruments are kept, it has a minimum and maximum thermometer, equipment for measuring humidity and sensors for measuring radiation.

    “It does not require you to work manually and pick your data. It has solar panels and battery that can last for 10 years; it sends the signals to the receiver about 300 meters away from the installation point and then, at the receiver, it has a USB cable which connects to the computer. You can down load data and then use it for research”. Dr. Ddumba narrated.

    Dr. Saul Daniel Ddumba explaining how the machine should be positioned in a the weather station
    Dr. Saul Daniel Ddumba explaining how the machine should be positioned in a the weather station

    He added that the machine is delicate installed at 2metres above the ground. The equipment installed according to Dr. Ddumba is not for synoptic Weather records . The weather information to be collected is specifically for agricultural work and most of agricultural plantations are around 2 metres above the ground.

    Dr. Ddumba expressed excitement to have the equipment saying, it is going to transform climate research in the CAES as it is very important in doing agronomy work to keep track of the weather.

    “The equipment has been set up in a very nice place fully enclosed so that there is no encroachment by people and animals and that is very critical for a weather instrument. However, we need to calibrate it.” He said.

    A team from the Department of Geography, Geo informatics and Climatic Sciences (GGCS) installing the automated weather station at MUARIK. Up on the ladder is Hosea Opedes, a Geomorphologist at the GGCS
    Fixing the last knuts. Ag. Farm Manager fixing the Windvane as he is being directed by the Geographers

    By calibration, Dr. Ddumba explained that just nearby the weather station installed, they were going to put a manual rain guage, study it for about one month recording data and compare it with data from the automated weather instrument, then see how to adjust it and prepare it to ensure it records the right data required.

    Aerial view of the DAVIS automated weather station
    Aerial view of the DAVIS automated weather station
    Side view of the DAVIS automated weather station
    Side view of the DAVIS automated weather station

     

    Report Compiled by

    Jane Anyango

    Communication Officer, CAES.

    Communicating the findings of the economic assessment of the impacts of climate change in Uganda

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    Theme: Economic impact of climate change: What does it mean for Uganda’s development?

     

    An outreach event/workshop has occurred today to communicate the results of a study on – Economic Assessment of the impacts of climate change in Uganda. The high level national outreach event is due to take place on Tuesday 24 November 2015 at Protea Hotel, Kampala, Uganda. For a detailed program, please visit here.

    The project team is led by Baastel and includes Makerere University, Metroeconomica, and the Centre for International Development and Training at the University of Wolverhampton.

    uganda-365x365
    Western Uganda

    The key note speaker for the event was the Honourable Minister of Water and Environment. Representatives from the central and local governments, business community, civil society, academia and development partners are expected to attend will respond to the findings.

    The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) has been supporting the Government of Uganda to conduct a study on the Economic Impact of Climate Change and the study was concluded in October 2015. The study has already generated a high level interest in Uganda and elsewhere, and without further investment in a phase of outreach/communications, there is a risk that the significant investment made in the study will not achieve as great an impact.  CDKN is supporting outreach activities to communicate the findings of the study which include, among others, a high-level national outreach event. The outreach involves policy-orientated discussions about the study results, to spread the messages wider in society and how the Government of Uganda can use the results to invest in climate compatible development.

    The reports for findings can be accessed at the following links.

    • Economic assessment of the impacts of Climate Change in Uganda_Infrastructure sector. Infrastructure sector report
    • Economic assessment of the impacts of Climate Change in Uganda_Agricultural sector.Agricultural sector report
    • Economic assessment of the impacts of Climate Change in Uganda_Energy sector. Energy sector report
    • Economic assessment of the impacts of Climate Change in Uganda_Water sector.Water sector report
    • Regional workshop for lessons learned sharing, organized on April 15th -16th, 2014 in Kampala, at Makerere University. More…
    • Lessons learned from previous economic assessments. Economic Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change in Uganda. Download full report
    • Regional-scale Climate Change Projections of Annual, Seasonal and Monthly Near-Surface Temperatures and Rainfall in Uganda. Economic Assessment of the Impacts of Climate Change in Uganda . Regional-scale Climate Change Projections

     

    PhD, Masters and Doctoral fellowships

    PhD, Masters and Doctoral fellowships

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    The Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training invites applications for admission to Graduate Programmes (Masters and Doctoral degree Programmes) for the 2015/2016 Academic Year.  Applicants should have obtained at least a first degree or its equivalent from a recognized and chartered university/institution. Get more details here.

    Please strictly observe the closing date of 27th November 2015 and interviews (where applicable) will be conducted 3rd – 4th December 2015. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.h, 2015.

    Sponsorship:

    The Makerere-Sida research programme has secured a grant to support graduate training at the different levels, namely, PhD degree (125), Master degree (147), and post-doc research fellowship (65).

     

    PhD. DEGREES BY RESEARCH ONLY:

    All Colleges offer PhD degrees by Research and Applicants for PhD by Research should have a Masters degree in a field relevant to their area of further studies. Applicants will be required to submit their applications to the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University,  Senate Building, Level Four, Room 410, with a Concept paper/synopsis, a statement of motivation; . For further information, please visit our website http://rgt.mak.ac.ug check on applying.

    It is obligatory that students admitted to the PhD by Research programme shall under take training in the cross-cutting courses.

     

    Masters Degree Programs

    All masters programs in the University are eligible. See a complete list from here.

    Application Procedure

    1. Hard copies of application forms are obtainable from the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, 4th  Floor, Senate Building, Room 410 after payment of an application fee of Ug.shs 50,000/= (Ugandan applicants) to any Stanbic Bank Branch and DFCU Bank using Makerere University paying-in-bank slips.
    2. Application forms can also be downloaded from our Website:http://rgt.mak.ac.ug/graduate-training/applications
    3. Completed application forms should be returned to the Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Makerere University, Senate Building, Level Four, Room 410 and must be accompanied by relevant supporting certified copies of certificates, and academic transcripts, and the letters of referees.  Please strictly observe the closing date of 27th November 2015 and interviews (where applicable) will be conducted 3rd – 4th December 2015. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews.h, 2015.
    4. All Applicants for Master of Business Administration (College of Business and Management Sciences and Makerere University Business School will do a GMAT test on dates to be communicated by College of Business and Management Sciences and Makerere University Business School respectively.
    5. In addition to the general admission requirements, applicants for Master of Public Infrastructure Management (MPIM) must have “Proven professional experience of at least 2 years at managerial/supervisory level or policy-decision making position in a government, parastatal organ, international organisation or non-governmental organisation” Applicants should attach a 2- page short CV and referee recommendations.
    6. For detailed information about the Programmes, content and regulations can be obtained from the University Website or contact the Principals of the respective Colleges and Schools.
    Training in Reference Management Software and Databases

    Training in Reference Management Software and Databases

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    You are invited for a training on the use on Mendley Reference Management Software. All research students (Bsc.Meteorology, MA.Geography and MA. Land Use and Regional Developent and CAPSNAC students are specifically invited for this training.

    Venue:Department of Geography, Geo-informatics and Climatic Sciences Computer Laboratory (COCIS – Building Block A)

    Date: Thursday 19th November 2015

    Time:  8:00am to 12:00pm

    BREAD PHD AND POSTDOCTORAL OPPORTUNITIES

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    The Partnership for Building Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods to Climate Change and Disaster Risks (BREAD) is a proposed 5 year SIDA supported joint project with the goal of building capacities and capabilities at Makerere University and Gulu Universities in the fields of resilience, disaster risk management under variable and changing climate. It is a partnership of four universities i.e. Makerere University, Gulu University, Lund University (Sweden) and Uppsala University (Sweden).Read More

    The Department holds a two weeks refresher course for Alumni of Netherlands institutions on Modern Satellite – based Digital Data technologies

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    Makerere University’s Department of Geography, Geo informatics and Climatic sciences (GGCS) conducted a two weeks refresher course (2nd to 15th August 2015) for people who studied in the Netherlands institutions 4 years and backwards in modern satellite technology.

    The participants were awarded certificates of attendance at a colourful dinner held at Sheraton Hotel Kampala. The training was held at the Computer Laboratory of the GGCS Department on second floor of the CIT building. The course titled, “ Earth Observation and Spartial Analysis for enhanced climate and Disaster Risk Management for Societal Benefit in Africa”, attracted 25 participants from six countries including Uganda, Kenyan, Tanzania, Rwanda, Namibia and Ghana and is a basis for a larger conference to be held next year 2016 in which Makerere is taking lead.

    The course was jointly run by Makerere University jointly with ITC university of Twenty in the Netherlands funded by NUFFIC – a Dutch funding agency that particularly focuses on education aspects.

    Instructors included Dr. Ben Maathuis from ITC university of Twenty in the Netherlands, Dr. Yazhidhi Bamutaze, Prof. Basaliwa, Dr. Saul Daniel Ddumba and Dr. Bob Nakileza of Makerere University.

    Presiding over the closing ceremony at Sheraton Hotel Kampala, the commissioner for Relief and Disaster Management in the office of the Prime Mister Martin Owor handed over the certificates of attendance to the participants.

    The commissioner observed that more than 80% of the society suffering is caused by climate and weather related events because majority of people depend on rain fed agriculture. He said studying the cause of climate change was in the right direction to reducing people’s misery.

    “You are a few people but with immense opportunity. One person can sit down and view and view the whole country, Satelite technology is interesting because it is difficulty to dispute and very easy to use it as evidence to influence policy because technology brings out facts”. The commissioner said.

    Commissioner Owori expressed the need to bridge the gap between the data sources and the policy makers and relating national development programs with research institutions and academia. He added that the office of the prime minister was more interested in risk and management to relief people.

    Mr. Owor appreciated Makerere University for the knowledge generation expressing commitment to frequently work with the university to increase her capacity to produce and store data.

    “The storage capacity at Makerere University is not enough and needs $ 6000 for 48 terabytes. We need to show that production can increase as a result of satellite technology. How do we make satellite technology lead to Operation Wealth Creation succeed. Let the farmer get the right information on rainfall patterns to guide him on when to plant”, Mr. Owori said

    The other way Makerere would like to work with the office of the Prime minister is to enter into a tripartite agreement with the telecom companies to install her equipment at an outside station say at Mt. Elgon to download, communicate and transmit data at a distance. This would cost $7000.

    The commissioner urged the participants to come together as a team when it comes to modelling and to tap into ICT experts and increase awareness on the subject of remote sensing as one of the effective ways of disaster management.

    Dr. Ben Maathuis from ITC university of Twenty in the Netherlands said the refresher course was trying to address the fact that in the last 10 – 15 years there has been enormous development in ICT and development affecting data dissemination.

    “I observed that we have an experiential capability but limited in linear capability to take up the technology hence the need to introduce once more what has been going on so that you get familiarized with new development so that you can apply them back home”, he said Dr. Maathius told participants that the Danish government was sponsoring the course to keep in context with what was going on in Dutch institutes. He said they started off by writing a proposal and were lucky to be selected this time.

    “We have been going through an experience of trying to integrate information currently at disposal. When we started the course, the problem was soft ware available, after software, data was not available”,

    He urged participants to utilise the software, data and facilities available to incorporate data in their systems saying, this is a moment where organisations have no excuse of not using satelite information.

    “ Geonet is offering you access to manage your data. If you cannot afford to set up such a station, then you better shut up the organisation because its a low level investment.

    Everything is basically locally available. Ensure that you support your services with data available, share with everyone available because it is meant to exist so that policy makers can make the right decisions” Dr. Maathuis went on and said:

    “ You have a beautiful Africa, I have visited more countries , you are leaving in a beautiful continent but with some challenges. What you have been given in two weeks is very critical for your governments and policy makers for a better Africa”.

    The head Department GGCS Dr. Yazidhi Bamutaze said the people who participated in the refresher course must have studied environment, climate, natural resource management and ICT in Netherlands or Dutch institutions sometime back and between the time when they finished their studies and right now, there are lots of things which have changed especially in terms of technology.

    “The assumption is that these participants are not abreast with those technologies. So the refresher courses are formulated and designed to bridge that knowledge and technological gap within that time period to make sure that when these people go back to their institutions they are able to operate in a more efficient and smooth way”.

    Dr. Yazidhi said the central idea of the refresher course is to be able to use software technology which was received through a system and be able to use and form a range of analyses which can be used to improve climate change and disaster risk reduction.

    All participants, according to Dr. Bamutaze, were picked from professional organisations and all working, and therefore, the knowledge and skills acquired will immediately be applied.

    The two weeks training was mainly practical with a lot of exercises. The participants also had to work on their individual projects in that each participant can take out an application which is directly to the job demand and is able to work on the problem.

    “The relevance is massive both in skills and knowledge also in accessing a range of dataset that is available that we are not familiar with particularly satellite based digital data for their countries and organisations.”

    The technologies included NDVI which looks at the vegetation index and can tell the greenness of an area and give the status of that area for instance the status of the crop health, the potential productivity one can get from an area shown in a particular NDVI range.

    So if one is working in agriculture he /she can look at field related issues; those working in ecosystems or forestry camps, you can see the relevance of this remote sensing, and those working on water related or water stress and want to know more about issues of drought say in Karamoja, satellite technology will interpret all images for easy understanding of what is happening.

    According to Yazidhi, Makerere has software through which participants have been using in order to process and bring out information directly of use to a policy maker or field researchers. The department has a well installed satellite system connected to a well established computer laboratory.

    “What is also important is that the system we have gives more less real time data that is, within 15 minutes there is new data coming on. We are able to look at weather or climate related information, temperature overview of the whole country/ continent, relative humidity, wind speed etc. So in terms of simplicity and application, there are massive, whether you are looking at the possibility of flooding you are able to use this system and its a kind of tool that looks at the reception component of data but also its processing” He said the training is line with Makerere University, core mandates of training, research and outreach.

    “First of all we get imagery data which can be used by staff for their scientific purposes, could be used by students for their learning and project work, we have also put up a system that will enable us to disseminate and share these data with government agents”.

    The commissioner for relief and disaster preparedness and management attended the training at the university to understand what was going on. The department is in the process of developing strong linkages between the University and the Office of the Prime Minister particularly looking at disaster and hazard related issues. There are already on going discussions and as part of that the university also gave OPM an offer to bring on board some of their professionals who participated in training.

    Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Fellowships

    Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa: Doctoral Fellowships

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    The Next Generation Social Sciences program, launched in 2011, responds to an emerging dilemma within higher education in the global South caused by the extraordinary emphasis on increasing undergraduate enrollment without proportionate investment in faculty development. The program currently operates to strengthen tertiary education in Africa through a series of institutional and individual interventions, creating a pipeline for the development of faculty and research communities working on peace, security, and development topics. Currently the program operates in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda:. Learn More..

    Visit by the Executive Director of START

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    Dr. Hassan Virji the Executive Director of Systems Analysis, Research and Training (START), a Global Environmental Change program based in Washington visited Makerere College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences on Monday 21st September 2015 at 3:00 pm in the Forestry Conference room.

    START is a Global Environmental Change Program for capacity building in environmental change research. START has mainly
    focused on three regions of South East Asia, Latin America and Africa. Through various thematic research programs and Advanced Institutes, START has funded several scientists at Makerere. As START Almuni and all colleagues with research interests in Global Environmental Change, utilized this opportunity to have a one-on-one meeting with Dr. Virji for strategic discussions on the Global Environmental Research developments. These strategic discussions included an update from Dr.
    Virji about the Future Earth research initiative, Science and DG-Sendai-Post Paris accords, in addition to the the emerging capacity building initiative of the Trans-disciplinary Research led by ISSC-START and NRF on the African continent.

    Also in attendance was the HyCRISTAL Project Team members, Dr. John Marsham from University of Leads and Prof. Fred Semazzi from University of North Carolina. Prof Semazzi presented about the project overview and highlighted a number of on-going and concluded research projects and findings withing East Africa and Africa in general.

    HyCRISTAL Project in East Africa

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    The HyCRISTAL project Team was hosted by the Department of Geography, Geo-informatics and Climatic Sciences today, September 21, 2015 in the Forestry Conference Room and discussed the project. Dr. John Marsham a Co-PI of the project from University of Leads and Mr. Geoffrey Sabiiti who is a Co-PI from Makerere University presented the project overview.

    The Head of the Department congratulated the team behind the HyCRISTAL project and reiterated the Department’s and the University’s support to successfully support the implementation of the project.

    The meeting was attended by Geoffrey Sabiiti, Saul Daniel Ddumba, Fredrick Tumwine (PhD), Shuaib Lwasa (PhD), Yazidhi Bamutaze (PhD), Alex Nimusiima, Paul Mukwaya (PhD), Charles Basalirwa (PhD), Hassan Virji (PhD) and John Marsham (PhD).

    Project Abstract

    East Africa (EA) has one of the world’s fastest growing populations, with maxima around water-bodies and rapid urbanisation. Climate change is adding to existing problems increasing vulnerability of the poorest. HyCRISTAL is driven by EA priorities. EA communities rely on rainfall for food via agriculture. EA’s inland lakes are rain-fed and provide water, power and fisheries. For EA’s growing cities, climate impacts on water resources will affect water supply & treatment. HyCRISTAL will therefore operate in both urban & rural contexts.

    Change in water availability will be critical for climate-change impacts in EA, but projections are highly uncertain for rain, lakes, rivers and groundwater, and for extremes. EA “Long-Rains” are observed to be decreasing; while models tend to predict an increase (the “EA Climate paradox”) although predictions are not consistent. This uncertainty provides a fundamental limit on the utility of climate information to inform policy. HyCRISTAL will therefore make best use of current projections to quantify uncertainty in user-relevant quantities and provide ground-breaking research to understand and reduce the uncertainty that currently limits decision making.

    HyCRISTAL will work with users to deliver world-leading climate research quantifying uncertainty from natural variability, uncertainty from climate forcings including those previously unassessed, and uncertainty in response to these forcings; including uncertainties from key processes such as convection and land-atmopshere coupling that are misrepresented in global models. Research will deliver new understanding of the mechanisms that drive the uncertainty in projections. HyCRISTAL will use this information to understand trends, when climate-change signals will emerge and provide a process-based expert judgement on projections. Working with policy makers, inter-disciplinary research (hydrology, economics, engineering, social science, ecology and decision-making) will quantify risks for rural & urban livelihoods, quantify climate impacts and provide the necessary tools to use climate information for decision making.

    HyCRISTAL will work with partners to co-produce research for decision-making on a 5-40 year timescale, demonstrated in 2 main pilots for urban water and policies to enable adaptive climate-smart rural livelihoods. These cover two of three “areas of need” from the African Ministerial Council on Environment’s Comprehensive Framework of African Climate Change Programmes. HyCRISTAL has already engaged 12 partners from across EA. HyCRISTAL’s Advisory Board will provide a mechanism for further growing stakeholder engagement.

    HyCRISTAL will work with the FCFA global & regional projects and CCKE, sharing methods, tools, user needs, expertise & communication. Uniquely, HyCRISTAL will capitalise on the new LVB-HyNEWS, an African-led consortium, governed by the East African Community, the Lake Victoria Basin Commission and National Meteorological and Hydrological agencies, with the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology as an observer.

    HyCRISTAL will build EA capacity directly via collaboration (11 of 25 HyCRISTAL Co-Is are African, with 9 full-time in Africa), including data collection and via targeted workshops and teaching. HyCRISTAL will deliver evidence of impact, with new and deep climate science insights that will far outlast its duration. It will support decisions for climate-resilient infrastructure and livelihoods through application of new understanding in its pilots, with common methodological and infrastructure lessons to promote policy and enable transformational change for impact-at-scale. Using a combination of user-led and science-based management tools, HyCRISTAL will ensure the latest physical science, engineering and social-science yield maximum impacts. HyCRISTAL will deliver outstanding outputs across FCFA’s aims; synergies with LVB-HyNEWS will add to these and ensure longevity beyond HyCRISTAL.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Conference-Debate on climate change -Thurday September 17th, 4 p.m

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    Today, we are privileged to hold a conference on climate change at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in the Lower Lecture Theatre. The program for the event can be accessed here.

    TOPIC: Climate change, let’s save the world together” , providing the opportunity to researchers, civil society organizations, public institutions, private sector, development partners and students, to discuss on climate change issues, to share best practices, to highlight innovative projects, etc.

    SPEAKERS: The visiting French Ambassador for Climate in Africa and the Middle East, Mr. Stéphane GOMPERTZ, and Mr. Bob NATIFU, Principal climate officer at the Ministry of Water and Environment, among others.

    VENUE: Makerere University, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (at the lower lecture theatre).

    DATE: Thursday 17th September 2015

    TIME: 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

    MODERATOR: Dr. Saul Daniel Ddumba

     

    PRESS RELEASE ABOUT THIS CONFERENCE

    French Climate Ambassador for Africa to visit Uganda

    Kampala, 9th September 2015 – Mr. Stéphane GOMPERTZ, French climate Ambassador for Africa and the Middle East will visit Uganda from 17th to 18th September 2015 in the context of the preparations of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change  (COP21), scheduled to take place in Paris from 30th November to 11th December 2015.

    Mr Stéphane Gompertz is a former Ambassador for Ethiopia and to Austria. He was also Director for Africa. Mr Laurent FABIUS, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development asked him to convey our views as future presidency of COP 21 and to listen to experiences and expectations of our partners.

    We must win the fight against climate change to tackle poverty and enable development in Africa. The planet is warming, species are disappearing, sea levels are rising and men and women are driven out of their home, because they have no more food, drinking water or arable land. These battles can only be won if fought together.

    In our capacity, as incoming Presidency, we are working with all countries to reach a Paris Alliance including a new universal and legally binding agreement to contain global warming below 1.5 or 2°C and set the framework for a transition towards resilient, low-carbon societies and economies.

    In addition, all countries are expected to present their national contribution ahead of the COP 21 and developing countries will have to be financially supported to manage this transition in the following years.

    The challenge is not to be tackled through diplomatic action only. The goal of the Paris Alliance for climate is also to involve all non-state actors which are implementing  concrete action.

    Ambassador Gompertz will participate in conference-debate on the topic “climate change, let’s save the world together”, alongside a representative of the Climate change department at   the Ministry of Water and Environment The conference, scheduled for Thursday 17th September 2015 from 4:00PM at Makerere University, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences ( at the lower lecture theatre) , will be followed by a brief Question and Answer session with the media.

    We look forward to your participation and coverage.

    For more information, please consult our website (http://www.ambafrance-ug.org/) and Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranceinUganda).

    Alfred ONEK  | Press Attaché | Tel. 0776 597 009 | Email: alfred.onek@diplomatie.gouv.fr

     

    The program for the event can be accessed here.