Green transportation will spur Kampala metropolitan carbon neutrality and net-zero generation

Mar 26, 2024

Exponentially, transiting from fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles will potentially save Uganda and mother earth from the impacts of environmental hazards and climate catastrophes.

Green transportation will spur Kampala metropolitan carbon neutrality and net-zero generation

Admin .
@New Vision


By Robert Kigongo

A few weeks ago, a relative of mine lost his life to cancer as a consequential effect of pathogens emitted by toxic gasses from Auto mobility use.

Unfortunately, that’s how climate-catastrophic greenhouse emissions from automobility cum fossil fuel vehicles lead to circumstantial early graves courtesy of road transport.

Exponentially, transiting from fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles will potentially save Uganda and Mother Earth from the impacts of environmental hazards and climate catastrophes.

My cancer-deceased relative is just a statistic of thousands of deaths caused by toxic emitted greenhouse gasses from the automobile industry.

“Around 28,000 people per year die as a result of air pollution in Uganda” according to the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP). 

As a victim, have witnessed firsthand climate and environmental catastrophes posed by toxic pollution through emissions from over 1.5 million vehicles that rely heavily on finite fossil fuels and congestion of over 1.7 million people;

I strongly believe transiting to electric vehicles from fossil fuel vehicles will bolster green transportation and health-wise minimise cancer-related death.

According to sources at the Uganda Revenue Authority (U.R.A) approximately One thousand (1000) fossil fuel vehicles are every week, what is absurd, most of these imported vehicles in Uganda are Second Hand used vehicles producing higher tans of toxic greenhouse gasses than new cars.

According to statistics “a typical passenger car emits 4.9 metric Tans of carbon dioxide per year” imagine how many metrics tans are produced by our second-hand cars on the Ugandan highways and Kampala roads?

According to the 2021 World Air Quality Report “Kampala is ranked the most toxic polluted City in the World, seven times higher than World Health Organisation’s safe standards, for one to stay healthy wise safe from pathogens and toxic emitted gasses, one must wear a clinical mask similar to that of COVID-19 times.

Kampala the bustling traffic-prone city seasoned with unpaved roads, dust, potholes, wood fuel use, industrial emissions and burning of waste has promoted me too often times ponder on solutions that could alleviate these environmental hazards and climate catastrophes, while paving the way for a cleaner and more sustainable green future for the city given its significance to the national economy with a contribution of over 60% GDP and 80% GDP from its radius according to World Bank.

Little did I know, that my thoughtful climate action crusade and climate information dispensation would lead me to embrace green transportation in particular electric mobility as a just transition and catalyst for change.

In Uganda, the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) from Fossil Fuel Vehicles is not just a trend but a movement reshaping the transportation sector and energy landscape across the country. 

From the bustling streets of Kampala metropolitan to the rural landscapes of Gomba and Masaka the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs)is gaining momentum, driven by a desire for cleaner, more sustainable green transportation solution.

At the heart of this green transformation are Ugandan companies like Tondeka of Rotarian Peter Kimbowa, and Kiira Motors Corporation, pioneering the development of electric vehicles tailored to Uganda's unique needs. 

Based in Kampala metropolitan, Kiira Motors and Metro are at the forefront of designing electric buses and utility vehicles, offering a glimpse into a future where sustainable green transportation is the norm.

Kiira Motos joins Companies like Tondeka, Zembo Motorcycles, Solar E-Cycles, and Eco bodas are also as much making waves in the electric mobility sector. 

Specialising in manufacturing electric motorcycles and E-Boda Boda powered by solar energy, these companies are providing affordable, environmentally friendly green technology solutions that pave the way to green transportation. 

In urban centres like Kampala metropolitan and its neighbouring districts, Wakiso, Mukono, and Mpigi the hum of electric motorcycles, or e-bodas, has become a familiar sound thou relatively very down. 

Subsequently, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-powered bikes are transforming the way people commute on crowded city streets.

Riders zip through traffic, powered by clean energy, reducing fossil fuel emissions and fuel costs.

The adoption of E-bodas is not only contributing to cleaner air in the city but also providing economic opportunities for riders who save money on fossil fuel expenses.

Even in rural areas from Gomba, Masaka and Jinja, Mbale to Busia, the shift towards electric mobility is evident.

Off-grid solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations are emerging, providing access to clean energy for electric vehicles. 

Imagine farmers in Gomba using a solar-powered tractor to tend to their fields or entrepreneurs in Jinja industrial city operating electric taxis to transport goods and passengers.

These initiatives are not only reducing reliance on fossil fuels but also promote economic development and energy independence in rural communities.

In districts like Yumbe, Nwoya, Lira, Soroti, Masindi and Kabale, Karamoja where access to hydroelectricity is slightly limited, the adoption of electric vehicles offers a unique opportunity to leverage renewable energy sources. 

Imagine farmers in Masindi using solar-powered irrigation systems to water their crops or students in Kabale riding electric bicycles to school, all powered by the sun. 

By integrating off-grid solar solutions with Electric Vehicles (EV) charging infrastructure, these districts can overcome energy access challenges and promote green transportation.

Despite the promising outlook for electric mobility in Great Lakes region, significant challenges remain. 

Limited infrastructure, including a lack of charging stations and grid capacity constraints that poses barriers to widespread adoption, the high upfront costs of electric Vehicles (EVs)may deter some consumers, particularly in rural areas where purchasing power is limited;

For example, Tondeka company had a good proposal of setting state of art terminals as station infrastructures to enable green transportation. 

However, these challenges also present opportunities for innovation, Artificial intelligence technologies and investment.

Public-private partnerships can play a crucial role in developing   Electric Vehicles (EV)charging infrastructure and expanding access to clean energy solutions;

For example, a partnership between Kampala Capital City, Uganda development cooperation and Kiira Motors has easy operations.

Initiatives supported by local governments and private investors are already underway, demonstrating a commitment to driving the green revolution forward.

From urban centres to rural communities, the adoption of electric vehicles in Kampala metropolitan being the gateway to the Pearl is reshaping the transportation sector and energy demand landscape. 

“Embarrassing electric vehicles (EV)technology and investing in supportive policies and infrastructure, Uganda can reduce toxic greenhouse emissions, improve air quality, and enhance energy security and good health for all its citizens”

Installing sensors to track air pollution in commuter tax parks which are vulnerable hot spots and public utilities, schools, markets, and worship centres will curb greenhouse emissions for carbon neutrality.

Partnerships with Multi-national development partners like the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation(FAO), the Swedish Embassy and the European Union Investment Bank have expressed commitment to climate financing under the arrangement of the Global Gateway, Ugandans are poised to own the green revolution and drive the country towards a brighter, greener future.

The best way to master the art is by those who have done it before, copying and pasting eco-friendly green transportation practices from other countries like Sweden that use Bicycles and electric bikes for simple deliveries in neighbourhoods. 

Green transportation can flourish is by democratizing access to hybrid vehicles, and electric vehicles as means of public transportation to reduce environmental hazards as a result of Auto-mobility. 

Recently during the Uganda and European Union meeting, the EU representatives from Brussels requested Ugandan government officials to consider a prioritise constructing a new modern railway line that will enable green trains and modern electric trains which are environmentally friendly, in order to minimise fossil fuel cars using road transport as a major contributor to greenhouse emissions.

It’s only in Uganda where a family with five cars opt to use all five cars for a walkable distance instead of walking that has zero emissions of any greenhouse.

Carpooling is another cost-effective mechanism to reduce cars on the road network producing greenhouse emissions, but it’s also another way of equally saving money and minimizing traffic.

Categorically, the major hindrance of green transportation is the affordability of electric vehicles but this is where government intervention and commitment towards the Paris Agreement comes of maintaining the 1.50C comes into play by subsiding electric cars.

Alternatively, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) should offer tax breaks for a specific period on use of green technologies and electric vehicles in particular to enable green transportation to take over traditional transportation.

Green transportation will require hybrid vehicles, electric bikes, electric bicycles, and electric vehicles with a favourable infrastructure to attain degrees Celsius (1.50C) of the Paris Agreement, and carbon neutrality that will spur Net zero generation.

Conclusively, green transportation will enable Uganda to a sustainable green economy by 2040 and attain Sustainable development goals (SDGs) 11,13,17,3 and 8 by 2030.

Robert Kigongo is a sustainable development analyst, an environmentalist and a climate action crusader.

Help us improve! We're always striving to create great content. Share your thoughts on this article and rate it below.


No Comment

More News

More News

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});