TotalEnergies EP Uganda Reinforces its Commitment to Sustainability Initiatives in Road Safety, Biodiversity & Cultural Heritage conservation in the Albertine Region
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | TotalEnergies EP Uganda has today reaffirmed its commitment to sustainable development initiatives through the signing of four agreements aimed at enhancing road safety, cultural heritage and biodiversity conservation in the Albertine region. The company signed the following agreements with implementing partners:
Speaking during the launch, Philippe Groueix, General Manager TotalEnergies EP Uganda said, “TotalEnergies has made clear commitments towards ensuring that its activities are conducted in line with best environmental and social practices. We are committed to working with partners who are experts in implementing sustainable projects aimed at achieving positive outcomes for conservation, culture and communities.”
“These agreements are just the beginning of a much bigger programme of partnerships for the implementation of our actions for sustainability,” he added.
The launch was attended by representatives from Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Petroleum Authority of Uganda and the Joint Venture Partners: UNOC and CNOOC and is part of the company’s ‘Action for Sustainability’ Campaign which aims to showcase concrete actions that the company is taking towards sustainable development.
The programmes are:
Enhancing Road Safety with SWRW
Traffic in the Albertine region is predicted to double over the coming years due to increased oil and gas activities; more vehicles moving equipment and materials for the project coupled with newly upgraded infrastructure leading to more risks on the road. TotalEnergies EP Uganda inline with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) pillar of ensuring people’s wellbeing through Road Safety initiatives will be implementing the ‘VIA Road Safety and Mobility program’ in schools in order to provide solutions to this challenge.
The program themed Road Safety at Heart prioritizes road safety sensitization and awareness in schools with a specific emphasis on young children and youths in the Albertine Region. It seeks to reach 100 schools, and over 38,000 students in Buliisa, Hoima, Kikuube, Nwoya and Kampala in the first phase of the program. The program involves a train the teacher model to educate teachers who in turn educate their students on fundamentals of road safety and mobility followed by practical demonstrations.
Groueix said, “Safety of our community is at the core of our activities as we develop the Tilenga project. The road safety program will help to create awareness of the increased risks associated with the developments in the Tilenga area and instill a road safety culture among the young generation. The initiative is being undertaken in line with the UN Decade of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals and National Development Plan which aims at reducing road crashes by at least 50% by 2030 and 2040.”
Promoting Cultural Heritage partnership with CCFU
The Company has also partnered with the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda to implement a one-year project dubbed ‘Culture for Livelihood’ to safeguard and promote culture in Bunyoro, Bugungu, Alur and Acholi sub-regions. The project aims to promote culture as a key to improving community and individual livelihood, particularly through capacity building and intercultural collaborations in artistic initiatives, crafts, and traditional music, with more focus on women, youth, and children.
Key activities to be undertaken under this program include identifying, safeguarding and promoting traditional knowledge, facilitation of value addition in crafts making and traditional music, building the capacity of traditional music troupes and crafts workers in organization management, publicity, and marketing. As well as promoting intercultural collaboration and diversity of goods and services in the creative industry in turn deepening awareness about the importance and role of the crafts industry and traditional music in promoting livelihoods of communities
“Culture is a catalyst for social and economic development and therefore we hope to play a vital role in promoting cultural income generating activities through skill development, creativity, and innovation, that will in turn empower the communities for further development and preservation of the beautiful cultural heritage,’ Groueix said.
Supporting Improvements of Patrol Effectiveness in Murchison Falls National Park with WCS
The Wildlife Conservation Society, Uganda Wildlife Authority and TotalEnergies EP Uganda has had a long standing partnership on the elephant monitoring program. In support of the company efforts to achieve measurable conservation outcomes for biodiversity and communities, this partnership is being extended to include specific activities designed to help reduce human pressures and increase the ecological resilience of the park one of the pillars under the Tilenga Biodiversity Program launched in Kampala on 8th June 2022. The activity will involve supporting existing efforts of the Uganda Wildlife Authority to increase the effectiveness of patrolling activities focused at reducing illegal activity within the park as well as rolling out a series of anti-poaching awareness campaigns with communities in the area. The program will run for 12 months initially and encompasses a detailed needs assessment, equipment provision and refresher training on the use of Spatial Monitoring and Reporting software. This support will allow for targeted patrolling, increased intensity and effectiveness whilst providing a sound basis for accurate reporting and analysis of patrol data. This program is specifically designed to supplement the existing law enforcement efforts of UWA to deal with increased activity brought about by the Tilenga project.
Conservation Education and Awareness around Budongo Central Forest Reserve with the CSWT
Under the Tilenga Biodiversity Program, the company has committed to conserving and restoring forests and forest connectivity. In support of this pillar, The Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust shall be rolling out an educational program with communities located around Budongo Central Forest Reserve. Budongo Central Forest Reserve is the largest Mahogany Forest in East Africa and is home to the largest remaining population of critically endangered Eastern Chimpanzee. The program shall focus on the roll out of 30 episodes of a radio drama which will focus on chimpanzee habitat restoration, behaviour and the co-existence of communities with other wildlife. The program will run for one year and shall also have a school educational element which will involve designing learning sessions, teacher training and provision of educational materials for children.