The Petroleum Authority of Uganda,(PAU) together with the licensed Oil Companies operating in Uganda have launched the annual World Environment Day(WED) celebrations focusing on environment safeguards for the Oil and Gas(O&G) sector. Beat Plastic Pollution, the theme for the celebrations was synced with the one for the international WED celebrations held on 5th June 2023.
Speaking at the inaugural celebrations in Hoima District recently, Mr. Dozith Abeinomugisha, the Director Midstream at the Authority, who represented the Executive Director, PAU, implored the oil companies to continue taking proactive steps towards mitigating plastic waste in their day-to-day operations.
“You are encouraged to collectively work towards reducing plastic footprint by cutting down the use of single use plastic and support the use of innovative recycling technologies and practices to help reduce the burden of plastics on the environment,”he said.

Mr. Philip Katahoire, the Minister for Diaspora Affairs in the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, who represented the Prime Minister urged all stakeholders including Government Agencies, the oil companies, contractors, suppliers, and the community at large to rise and take action to combat plastic pollution by ensuring use of recyclable plastics and restoring degraded areas to avert biodiversity loss, enhance socio-economic transformation, and to promote sustainable development.
“Everyone has a responsibility in this regard. let us learn to walk the talk,” he said.

A panel discussion including various sector players from Government and the private sector was held to raise awareness on the interventions on environment management in the O&G sector. In addition, to the planting of trees in Buliisa and Hoima, some of the Districts within the project footprints.
According to National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), Uganda generates approximately 600 tons of plastic waste daily. Due to its poor management, it forms 5% of the total waste generated daily. Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of this waste is collected and recycled, the rest ends up being burned, in landfills and the environment, including water bodies degrading the environment and leading to a loss in biodiversity and aesthetic beauty of our nature.
As the regulatory arm of Government, the PAU is required to ensure that development of the country’s O&G resources creates lasting value for the Ugandan society and contributes to the country being a sound investment destination. In line with these aspirations, the PAU has prioritized environment, health, safety, and social aspects of the country’s O&G sector as one of the key pillars of regulation. The overriding objective of this pillar of regulation is to ensure that the O&G activities are undertaken safely, and in a manner that does not harm the environment.
The Authority is cognisant of the fact that some of the O&G resources are within Uganda’s key biodiversity areas such as the national parks, and wetlands and therefore ensures that the O&G operators undertake biodiversity initiatives that promote harmonious co-existence of petroleum activities and biodiversity. Such initiatives that have been undertaken include avoidance of sensitive ecosystems, minimization of project footprint, restoration of the sites and implementation of Net Gain programmes to achieve biodiversity no Net Loss/Net Gain within the operational areas.

The annual celebrations that were inaugurated on 28th June 2023, will provide visibility on environmental compliance in the O&G industry, said Ms. Enid Turyahikayo, the Ag. Manager Environment, and Social Affairs at the PAU.
In addition to these planned engagements, Government of Uganda is already implementing other interventions to ensure that the environment is left as pristine as possible during, and after the O&G activities. These include the implementation of the National Oil Spills Contingency Plan and enhanced waste management initiatives for the O&G sector.