Kampala. Environmentalists have said pollution and industrial waste generated by factories are signs of inefficient means of production, meaning they are wasting resources that would enable them grow.
Speaking at the 9th African Round Table on Sustainable Consumption and Production, Mr Silver Ssebagala, the executive director Uganda Cleaner Production Centre, said since inception in 2000, the organisation which was established by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation to support industries develop efficient means of production, has noted that majority of them depend on obsolete technology and rudimentary means of production that promote wastage of resources.
“We have more than 3,000 factories in the country and so far we are working with about 120 of them to develop efficient and cleaner ways of production and those we have assisted have appreciated the effort because they have cut down on wastage,” he said,
He added that ignoring simple things such as leakages, generating industrial waste, leaving machines to run on electricity when they are idle, poor management of industrial waste, leaving water to run without use, are among the examples of bad practices that promote environmental pollution and encouraging unsustainable use of natural resources.
Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, the former Environment minister who opened the forum in Kampala on Monday, said because the environment is the cornerstone of development, the United Nations General Assembly came up with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at securing the environment so that future generations can consume the current natural resources.
“The environment and natural resources are the cornerstone of development and industrialisation and that means that we must exploit the natural resources today in a sustainable way for our grandchildren to enjoy in future,” he said.
Mr Almaz Gebru, the country director United Nations Development Programme, said as the agency responsible for overseeing implementation of the SDGs, they have conducted several studies on Uganda’s natural resources and the environment and forwarded recommendations to government for action.
Sustainable Development Goals number 13 (Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts), number 15 (Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss) are tailored towards environment conservation.
In Uganda, the Uganda Cleaner Production Centre is an initiative to help industries achieve operational efficiency.