Our work

We engage in climate policy processes, information generation through research, and facilitate active dialogue among the youth and environment practitioners

Research

Understanding environmental sustainability

  • Climate Change adaptation
  • Agro-ecology and sustainable food systems
  • Renewable energy
  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Forestry

Uganda prioritized Rooftop Rainwater Harvesting (RRWH) as one of the key technologies for adaptation to climate change under the Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) project supported by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Danish University of Technology (UNEP-DTU), which was led by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology.

On recommendations from the TNA project, STEPUP worked on a DANIDA supported project called TEMARIN (Technology, Markets and Investment for low carbon and climate resilient development) to accelerate market deployment of RRWH in Uganda. Under this project, strengthening of private sector engagement was prioritised as a way of catalysing RRWH technology deployment. Through three consultative meetings with stakeholders including market actors, government, NGO, research and academia, various actions for strengthening private sector engagement in RRWH technology deployment were considered and barriers to their implementation analysed. The following were prioritised for implementation during the project period.

  • Formation of a market-led multi-actor Alliance for deployment of RRWH technology
  • Raising awareness on RRWH technology for climate change adaptation
  • Building on previous/ongoing initiatives on deployment of RRWH technology
  • Mobilising private companies to co-invest in deployment of RRWH technology

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is running a project worldwide, termed Technology Needs Assessment (TNA), where governments prioritise sectors, for which they identify appropriate technologies to use to adapt to or mitigate climate change. Stakeholders in Uganda identified water, agriculture, forestry and energy. We are facilitating the assessment of technologies that address Uganda’s climate adaptation needs in the agriculture and water sectors. This project is implemented by the UNEP DTU partnership, Denmark and coordinated by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST). The government of Uganda will write proposals at the end of this project, to seek support in implementing these technologies.

We are coordinating a regional task force to implement this study in partnership with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). Various studies have been published in peer reviewed journals on the potential to increase crop yield while minimizing environmental trade-offs through ecologically sustainable agricultural practices (integrated land use or land sharing) on the one hand; and through agricultural intensification on land segregated from that intended for conservation (land sparing) on the other.  In this study we seek to make such information accessible to decision makers in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania by synthesizing it in ways that respond to questions policy makers ask. It was kick-started with knowledge needs assessment meetings with stakeholders in each country.

The 4 per mille target is a global aspiration to sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere into soils. This can contribute substantially to climate mitigation and reduce global warming.Through photosynthesis, CO2 is taken from the atmosphere to produce plant biomass and by returning plant and animal residues into farmlands and minimizing soil disturbance, it can be stored in the form of soil organic carbon for many years. It is said that African degraded lands have a large potential to sequester carbon. This research sought to generate evidence that this is possible, to inform policies in East Africa. It was done together with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

Young people are equipped with insight on the global and national development agenda so that they can participate meaningfully in issues surrounding environment management and sustainable development

Courses

Propelling the individual and their organisation towards:

  • Professional writing, communication and presentation
  • Relationship building and partnerships

Soft skills for job seekers and career growth in:

  • Job search, CV and application writing
  • Self presentation
  • Proactive self knowledge update
  • Resource mobilisation and management

Aimed at:

  • Producing job creators
  • Project conceptualization, design and implementation
  • Enabling project proposal pitching for partnerships and funding.

Skilling young people in environmental and sustainable development to:

  • Take measurements and build evidence
  • Track change under initiatives by government, NGOs, academia.

Trainings done

STEPUP Standard Limited was contracted by the Norwegian University Of Science and Technology to conduct a Tracer Study Activity and build capacity of energy and petroleum (EnPe) graduates regarding sustainable energy transitioning. The study probed how transitioning from Fossil Fuel Energy to renewable energy affected human employment. This was done through a survey that was shared by former EnPe students to gauge their knowledge in energy transitions and how they were affected by the ongoing sustainable energy transition trends.

The graduate students underwent context specific training- that is Professional self marketing, after which they were attached to institutions for relevant apprenticeship.

Establishing and strengthening partnerships in;

  • Climate change adaptation
  • Renewable Energy
  • Rainwater Harvesting
  • Apprenticeship

A light hearted convening for knowledge transfer, idea generation and incubation towards sustainable environmental management:

  • Topical presentations
  • Debates
  • Collective initiatives
  • School clubs
  • Essay competitions

A multi stakeholder alliance in water harvesting for climate change adaptation:

  • Research
  • Technology deployment

Young people supporting busy professionals with their work load

Busy professionals mentoring young people

Activities

STEPUP organised two meetings in which a longlist of topics was presented. Participants brainstormed and made a short list of three key topics; 

  • Environment
  • raising a boy child and inclusion of men
  • Security

In the second meeting, participants prioritized one topic for action based on the following criteria

  • Issues cared about on the topic- things very much cared about and something can be done about them through collective action
  • The main thrust – Entry point

Participants include primary and secondary school students, tearchers, business owners, Researchers, lawyers, doctors NGOs, CSOs among others

Members of the alliance were recently invited to a parliamentary committee on WASH meeting as stakeholders, to discuss the rainwater harvesting and storage bill. The inception meeting included participants from members of parliament, private sector, and CSOs. Several things were discussed regarding the feasibility and the objectives of the bill, its operation, institutional arrangements among others. Questions on design and capacity of tanks, scope of the bill and target audience, and financing of the bill were raised. The meeting concluded with the mover of the bill, Hon. Yeri Apollo and his legal person promising to integrate acquired information in the new draft that they would be making.

There were over 30 students from 10 schools taking part in this event at CREEC. Some students who had participated in the essay competition also took part in answering a questionnaire so as to qualify for the drill session. The drill session was meant for selection of 6 top teenager students who would participate in the panel discussion on 16 November 2023, at the Renewable Energy Conference. The trainers had the students take part in several rounds of panel discussions. The two key selection criteria for each round was school and gender. About 12 rounds were done throughout the day and the audience had to vote the best panelists by show of hand. it was hard to vote for some of the panelists because they had exhibited great performance during their rounds. Finally, at the end of the day, the six panelists were selected. Teachers and parents showed great support to all students and also engaged in the activities of day such as asking question, giving comments and guidance during the drill sessions.

STEPUP Essay Competition

Participants in this competition are expected to review and cite literature on the following;

  1. Uganda’s position on developing its newly discovered oil and petroleum reserves on one hand; and its commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  2. Commitment by the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP 27) in Egypt, on accelerating clean and just transitions to renewable energy.
  3. Uganda’s current energy coverage and its energy sector strategy
  4. Uganda’s Nationally Determined Contribution (2022)
  5. Uganda Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan III (2020-2025).
  6. Any other relevant literature

The essay competition seeks to stimulate participants to provide proactive long term and lasting solutions for future energy transition.

Your arguments should give realistic supporting and counter-arguments.

Topic: IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR UGANDANS TO ADOPT CLEAN ENERGY IN THE TRANSPORT, COOKING AND INDUSTRY SECTOR. IS IT TRUE? DISCUSS

Requirements:

  • Essays should be well researched with evidence and listing where this evidence is coming from.
  • Use of illustration or diagrams is encouraged
  • Essays should be 1000-1500 words, in Times New Roman, Font 12
  • The document should be in word or pdf format
  • Conclude your essay with recommendations – what various entities (government, non-government, private companies etc.) should do.

 Who is eligible?

Secondary school students

Youth aged 20-30 years.

Ugandan women and men

Prize:

YouthSecondary school students
1st – 7500001st – 400000
2nd – 3000002nd – 200000
3rd – 1500003rd – 100000

ALL PARTICIPANTS SHOULD REGISTER  HERE OR WHATSAPP 0726606375 THE FOLLOWING DETAILS;

  • NAME
  • EMAIL ADDRESS
  • INSTITUTION/SCHOOL
  • CONTACT NUMBER

Submission;

Via email: africastepup@gmail.com

Deadline: 30th August 2023

FOR INQUIRIES: roy.nabasumba@stepupstandard.com

Mvua Water Harvesting Initiative Limited (MWHIL)

Under the TEMARIN project, one of the major outcomes was the formation of a Private sector led rainwater harvesting alliance consisting of government, civil society organisations and private sector institutions. its been operating since 2021 and these are some of the updates on its operations:

 MWHIL interim committee has been meeting on an approximately quarterly basis. Fund-raising was a major issue in the January 2023 meeting.

  •  The submission of the GCF concept note on rainwater harvesting is stalled due to government bureaucratic stages.
  • Through the Ministry of Environment, MWHIL has also just responded to a call from the African Water Facility – it mainly used the information in the concept note for GCF.
  • Private-sector fundraising is a possibility. For example, interest was expressed by the National Housing Company for installing rainwater harvesting facilities on its estates.  The Alliance is working out mechanisms to respond to such requests.

 

MWHIL participated in the Uganda National Environment and Water week 2023 and shared a poster about itself in a space provided by GIZ, and young ladies (including those from STEPUP) interacted with visitors about various technology options for rainwater harvesting. Here are some of the highlights:

  1.  Most of the visitors were middle aged or older. More men than women, though women showed keener interest.
  2. Main issues inquired about:
    •  Cost of installation
    • Connecting RWH facilities to house piping systems
    • Saving space when building storage – there was strong interest in the option of erecting a building on top of an underground RWH tank
    • Ensuring good water quality – especially about micro-bacteria since this is not effectively eliminated through first-flushing
    • Multiple purposes for harvested rainwater – domestic, agricultural (irrigation, aquaculture), institutional
    • Harvesting from grass thatched huts
    • Building a business out of RRWH – e.g., setting it up next to an institution with high water demands
    • MWHIL: Geographical reach and achievements so far.
    • Practical demonstration or models of rainwater harvesting technology options

  3. Expressed interest in  partnering with MWHIL:

    • Building RRWH in a smart city initiative for Mukono and Lubaga – a lady leading the initiative
    • Setting up Metered RWH in Refugee camps – UNHCR
    • Setting up RWH in a 100 acre farm in West Nile
    • Setting up RWH on a farm and house in Kabale

Interested in partnering with us for our next project ?