Uganda possesses adequate and appropriate policies to aid equitable access to education, and to sustainably conserve the natural environment.
However, poverty in Uganda is on the rise. The number of poor people increased from 6.6 million (2013) to 8 million (2017). This heightened level of poverty and hunger in the country is a huge threat to the green environment and access to education.
Apart from hosting approximately 1.3 million refugees, Uganda’s population is growing at 3.03%. The booming population threatens to derail the country from achieving its education and environment targets.
The need for firewood, timber, settlement and infrastructure development, have caused uncontrolled felling of trees. This poorly regulated activity has reduced the national tree cover from 24% (1990) to 8% (2018). Most importantly, they have made Uganda susceptible to floods, drought and landslides.
Moreover, wetlands have become commonplace for settlement, agriculture, and industrialisation. Wetlands, in Uganda, are being degraded at 2.5% annually. Little wonder, the wetlands cover declined from 15.6% (1994) to 8.4% (2018).
In Uganda, the most dominant economic activity is agriculture. Unfortunately, 69% of Ugandans practice subsistence agriculture, and often employ conventional farming approaches such as bush burning, deforestation and excessive use of chemicals. These methods have harmful effects on the agricultural products and the environment.
The use of plastics, polythene and fossil fuels, in Uganda, is poorly regulated. As a result, the soil, air and water, are exposed to dangerous poisonous chemicals, and consequently reduce the quality of the environment. The 2019 WHO report shows that deaths from air pollution in Uganda increased from 70.5 (2012) to 155.7 (2016) per 100,000 people.