PGD. Cleaner Production
During the last decade, environmental issues have been of major concern at various levels of society and government. A number of legal and institutional frameworks have been put in place to cater for environmental management in Uganda. Notable among these is the National Environmental Statute of 1995 that led to the establishment of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in 1996. Since then, NEMA has taken a number of initiatives (including Cleaner Production) to manage and conserve environment and natural resources in the country. Cleaner Production has been part of the regulatory framework of the country since 1999 in Regulation 5 of the National Environment (Waste Management) Regulations (1999).
Cleaner Production (CP) refers to the continuous application of an integrated preventive environmental strategy to processes, products and services to increase eco-efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment (UNEP, 1994). The main characteristics of CP include pollution prevention, water conservation, waste minimisation, energy efficiency, ecological and economic benefits and cost savings to organisations that practice the strategy. The Uganda Government, with assistance from UNIDO and UNEP, has established Uganda Cleaner Production Centre (UCPC), based in Nakawa Industrial Area (details in Annex 3). The Centre started its operations in October 2001. The main objectives of UCPC include awareness raising, technical assistance (including CP in-plant assessments), training, cleaner production investment promotion, information dissemination, and policy advice on matters related to Cleaner Production. UCPC will supplement the efforts of NEMA in improving environmental management in Uganda.
The efforts of NEMA can only be rewarded if a sustainable management process of the environment can be achieved. Trained personnel in environmental issues, such as CP, are needed to achieve this goal.
UCPC has approached the Department of Chemistry (a member of the Executive Board of the Centre) to jointly run this course in order to train Ugandans in Cleaner Production. This will create a pool of CP experts that will assist in offering technical assistance in CP to organisations. The Centre will share its resources in jointly running this course for the benefit of improving productivity in various organisations in Uganda. Department of Chemistry already offers a course unit in Cleaner Production (ICH 313) and the proposed course will give an opportunity to expand the scope of the field in the department.
With recent trends in economic development and industrial rehabilitation and investment, there is increasing need to have well-trained personnel that will meet the challenges of CP. There is, therefore, need to establish a course in CP for Ugandans to take up this challenge. It is high time that CP is expanded in the curriculum at Makerere University. This proposal is geared towards this noble goal.
The main objective of the proposed Post-Graduate Diploma Course in Cleaner Production (PGDCP) will be to offer well-tailored courses to graduates so that CP experts with scientific and technical skills are trained to handle the enormous environmental problems that Uganda still faces now and in the future. The specific objectives of the course will be to:
- Train students in the concept, principles and make them aware of the financial and environmental benefits of cleaner production
- Assist students recognise the importance of cleaner production
- Articulate the relationship between development and environmental management
- Equip students with CP solutions to various environmental problems that are faced now and in the future by enterprises in Uganda.