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REMA Acquires Electric Vehicle To Support Rwanda’s Environmental Protection Efforts

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Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has aquired an electric vehicle that will be used to support the institution’s mandate of environmental protection.

The first of its kind, the car has a charging station installed at the REMA office in Kacyiru.

The acquisition of a Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) aims to demonstrate the potential of low emissions technologies and encourage public and private institutions as well as individuals to transition to electric vehicles.

According to the International Energy Agency, transportation is responsible for 24% of global direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fuel combustion.

Road vehicles – cars, trucks, buses and two- and three-wheelers – account for nearly three-quarters of transport CO2 emissions and are a leading contributor to climate change and air pollution, especially in cities.

Globally, more than 90% of us breathe polluted air and approximately seven million people die from air pollution related causes every year.

The 2018 Inventory of Sources of Air Pollution in Rwanda showed that vehicle emissions are the leading cause of air pollution in Kigali and other urban areas. Using electric vehicles in its daily work is, therefore, part of REMA’s long-term plan to contribute to Rwanda’s green growth, according to Juliet Kabera, Director General of REMA.

“Vehicles powered by petrol and diesel contribute to climate change and pollute the air we breathe. Electric vehicles are part of the solution and the Rwanda Environment Management Authority is now taking advantage of this emerging technology to mitigate air pollution and walk the talk on reducing emissions,” she said.

Rwanda has a long-term goal to be a carbon neutral nation as articulated in its Vision 2050. In the short term, Rwanda aims to reduce emissions by 38% compared to business as usual by 2030 and electric vehicles are estimated to represent 9% of potential energy-related emissions mitigated under the country’s climate action plan (NDC).

REMA encourages public and private institutions as well as individuals to shift to electric vehicles and join the effort to beat air pollution.

REMA is also mobilizing companies which supply electric vehicles to install more charging stations around the country, to facilitate institutions and individuals outside Kigali to acquire electric vehicles.

Vehicle owners are requested to have their vehicles serviced regularly and ensure their vehicles are inspected in a timely manner by the Rwanda National Police Motor Vehicle Inspection Centre.

Drivers are also encouraged to switch off the engine when parked rather than idling, which produces dangerous pollution for pedestrians.

For more about the car visit https://www.mitsubishicars.com/outlander-phev/2020#compare

 

East-Africa

Uganda Forests Risk Depletion Due To Rapid Population Growth

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Ugandan experts have revealed that the country’s population is expected to rise to 75million in the next decade warning this could directly and negatively impact on forests.

The revelations come at a time the world is celebrating World Wildlife Day observed on 3 March in order to celebrate the flora and fauna of the world and also raise awareness about them.

The theme for World Wildlife Day 2021 is ‘Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet’. The United Nations aims to highlight the significance of how forests give a livelihood to many communities, especially indigenous and local communities.

Robert Bitariho, Director of Uganda’s Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation said on Wednesday that use of forests is by large unsustainable in Uganda because of high population density. If in 2031 the Ugandan population is at 75 million how much forests are we going to lose?

“On average 75% of forest produce is consumed at the household level with only 25% being traded. This indicates how much forests mean to the survival of the local community,” he said.

Tom Obong Okello, Executive Director National Forestry Authority submitted that “whatever effort we are doing to address sustainable forest management we must manage forests outside gazetted forest protection areas.”

According to Obong, Forestry in Uganda is being recognized as a primary growth sector and a contributor to the goal of sustainable industrialization for growth, employment and wealth creation.

Meanwhile, Sam Mwandah, Executive Director of Uganda Wildlife Authority says “Forest loss greatly derails Uganda’s efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change and without forests, our survival is in jeopardy.”

David Duli, Country Director WWF said that the population is overwhelming as we have seen in Bwindi natural forest area. There is the demarcation of boundaries but the gardens are going up to the edge of the forest.

Uganda’s forest cover includes tropical forests, woodlands and plantation forests.

According to Matthias Schauer the EU representative in Uganda,”The damage done to forests and woodlands in Uganda in the past 25 years has been dramatic. We destroy unique biodiversity and intruding natural habitats hence fueling future wildlife conflicts.”

The UN plans to introduce forest wildlife management models and practices on World Wildlife Day 2021. Celebrating the livelihoods that are based in forest, the UN aims to promote practices that can help in sustainable development, including traditional practices and knowledge.

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Business

French Firm Acquires 100 MW Solar Power Plant In South Africa

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 A South African-French multinational electric utility company, ENGIE, has signed a deal to acquire from a Spanish counterpart, Abengoa, a 40% equity stake in Xina Solar One, a 100 MW Concentrated Solar plant, as well as 46% of the Operations & Maintenance Company.

The plant is equipped with parabolic trough technology and a molten salt storage system that allows for 5.5 hours of energy storage to provide reliable electricity during peak demand.

Power is contracted through a 20 years Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom (South African Electricity Public Utility). 

Xina Solar One is supplying clean energy to more than 95,000 South African households and prevents the emission into the atmosphere of approximately 348,000 tons of CO2 each year.

The plant is located in the Northern Cape of South Africa, which is also the location of ENGIE’s 100 MW Kathu CSP plant.

Xina Solar One increases ENGIE’s renewable footprint and is a further step to cementing its position as the leading Independent Power Producer in the country.

Synergies between Xina and Kathu will be developed to further enhance the operational efficiency of both plants.

“With the acquisition of this project, ENGIE is pursuing its low carbon strategy. Xina augments the country’s installed peaking power and reduces its dependence on coal-fired electricity. The 100 MW CSP plant also contributes to ENGIE’s geographic rationalization by expanding its footprint in South Africa, where it is the leading Independent Power Producer with 1,320 MW of installed capacity.”  says Sébastien Arbola, CEO of ENGIE MESCATA.

Mohamed Hoosen, CEO of ENGIE Southern Africa said: “ENGIE is valued as a highly-skilled IPP and a long-term player in the South African power industry. We are adding an innovative high-performing plant and are increasing our CSP capacity. This investment will create value over the lon- term while accelerating impact on the energy transition of our customers.”

Co-shareholders on Xina Solar One include Public Investment Corporation, a pension fund manager and a shareholder on ENGIE’s Kathu project (20%); Industrial Development Corporation, a development finance institution wholly- owned by the South African Government (20%); and Xina Community Trust, funded by the IDC (20%).

Xina Solar One, which started commercial operation in August 2017, was built by Abengoa.

Completion of the transaction is subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions including merger control clearance from relevant competition authorities.

In South Africa, ENGIE has interests in a CSP plant (100 MW Kathu), a wind farm (94 MW Aurora), 2 solar photovoltaic plants (21 MW), and 2 thermal power peaking plants (670 MW Avon and 335 MW Dedisa).

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Environment

Poisoned Fish Spotted Floating On Lake Victoria

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Tanzania has warned its lake shore population against eating fish that is reportedly floating on the vast lake Victoria.

Authorities in Kagera Region have warned residents to avoid eating dead fish found floating on the lake.

Kagera Regional Fisheries officer, Efrazi Mkama said on Saturday that his team was closely following up reports from a neighbouring country, showing that some dead fish had been washed up ashore on lake Victoria as well as lake Kyoga and the Nile.

Lake Victoria is shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

“We have taken necessary precautions. Preliminary investigations show fish poisoning. So, people are warned to avoid eating dead fish if they see them floating, instead they have to burry,” he said.

Mkama said last month dead fish stocks were spotted floating on Bugabo and Nyabesigwa sites, adding that the cause might be a drop in oxygen levels.

Nile Perch fish species is believed to be very sensitive to oxygen levels below 2mg/litre of water.

 

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