Recently, the media reported that Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) has taken its second version for road test of the Kiira EVS motor vehicle. This is a good step towards reducing the exportation of cars. Uganda spends about $550m in foreign exchange annually through importation of cars. Besides, at a time when global warming is threatening our future, Uganda is moving closer to start production of vehicles.
However, this is not the first time KMC is launching its cars in the country. On November 24, 2011, KMC launched its first electric vehicle, Kiira EV POC. In 2014, it launched its hybrid electric vehicle Kiira EV Smack. In 2016, launched the Kayoola Solar Bus.
Greenhouse gas emissions primarily come from burning fossil fuel for our vehicles. With all these achievements, there is fear that Uganda is moving back to produce fossil fuel vehicles. Recently, international bodies adopted a common agenda to ban fossil fuel vehicles to reduce on the impact of climate change.
Uganda is signatory to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the objective is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.
Around the world, people are experiencing both the subtle and stark effects of climate change. These include gradual changing weather patterns, rising sea levels and more extreme weather events. All these are clear and devastating evidence of a rapidly changing climate.
The impact of climate change affects all countries in the world. The increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions such as drought, threaten food supplies, drive people from their homes, separate families and jeopardise livelihoods. And all these effects increase the risk of conflict, hunger and poverty.
In Uganda, 80 per cent of the population rely on agriculture for survival. Seven out of 10 ordinary Ugandans rely on agriculture and natural resources for life sustenance.
Therefore, any escalation of the effects of climate change will worsen water and food availability. Every year, many farmers in Uganda cope with the hunger gap, a period when the year’s food stores get depleted, while the next harvest is not in sight. Climate change has lengthened the dry season, and with it, the time when families must go without food.
I will recommend that Uganda and KMC should focus on producing electric and solar vehicles. This will go a long way towards reducing the impact of climate change.