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Environmental problems that are facing East Africa includeovergrazing,deforestation, water shortages, loss of biodiversity and urban-industrial pollution.Whileenvironmental authorities remain weak, Civil Society in the region lacksadequate resources and know-how to effectively intervene in promoting viable local solutions and influencingchange.As men and women are affected differently by these problems,taking a gender perspective into account in environmental policyand practice isequally critical.

Kenyan National Assembly on 23 June 2020, passed the 2020 Finance Bill that will result in the introduction of a 14% Value AddedTax (VAT)on off-grid solarproducts. Theadopted Bill removed the current VAT exemption for“specialized equipment for the development and generation of solar and wind energy, including deep cycle batteries which use or store solar powerupon the recommendation of the Cabinet Secretary responsible for matters relating to energy.”This in effect meant that, likely effective 1 July 2020, the status of solar equipment and accessories which were exempt would be subject to VAT at the rate of 14%.

The Kenya’s Tax Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was published on 30 March 2020. The Bill proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, 2013, Excise Duty Act, 2015, Tax Procedures Act, 2015, Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act, 2016 and the Kenya Revenue Authority Act, 1995. The Bill contains a raft of changes to the tax laws that will have a significant impact on taxpayers. Some of these changes will directly lead to an increase in the prices of both Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) due to taxation of supply of liquefied petroleum gas which is currently zero-rated, Kerosene; Solar and other clean energy cooking technologies.

Uganda meets more than 93% of its energy demand from biomass. The demand for firewood for cooking exceeds supply, leading to deforestation. fuel wood is largely used for cooking in rural areas while charcoal mostly provides for the cooking needs of the urban population. High demand for fuelwood used inefficiently results in overuse and depletion of forests. Uganda is facing a significant threat to its forest cover that has declined from 24% (or 4.9 million ha) in 1990 to 9% (1.83 million ha) in 2018, accounting for a loss of (loss of 3 million ha) in just 25 years (ENR CSO Network, 2018). As the land available is becoming scarce, households prefer to use the land for food crops rather than planting trees.

According to UNECA (2020), Africa remains at the forefront of the impact of climate change, which could lead to a 15 per cent reduction in GDP in West and East Africa by 2050. Governments must prioritize fiscal stimulus that is focused on low-carbon development pathways. Emissions must decline substantially between

As Corona Virus (COVID-19) sweeps across the world, it has put to test not only existing national health systems, but is wreaking havoc on economies and ordinary lives. Furthermore, it is bringing to question the level of readiness for many countries including East Africa, to ably respond to such shocks (availability of intensive care beds, supply of drugs, masks and accessories).

SusWatch Kenya organised a civil society coalition meeting attended by representatives from eight organizations, academic institutions, government ministries and departments on February 12, 2020 in Nairobi.

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is considering the Lake Victoria Basin Commission Bill (2019) with the aim of enacting the Lake Victoria Basin Commission Act which will be an act of the East African Community (EAC). The object of the Bill is to provide for the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) as an institution of the EAC, and is premised on Chapter Nineteen of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC, particularly Article 114, under which the Partner States agreed to cooperate in the management of their water and marine resources, and specifically, to establish a body for the management of Lake Victoria.

This year’s annual UN climate conference, COP25 in Madrid, became the longest on record when it concluded after lunch on Sunday, following more than two weeks of tense negotiations. It had been scheduled to wrap up on Friday December 13, 2019. Delegates from nearly 200 countries struggled to reach agreement on key issues on the framework underpinning the Paris Agreement.

Over fourty participants from across Africa attended a Civil society policy dialogue meeting prior to the seventeenth regular session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) organized by the Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and OXFAM, that took place from 11 to 15 November 2019 in Durban, South Africa.

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