UNIDO HANDS Over a Shs 60m X-Ray Instrument to NEMA

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has handed over to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) an X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF) worth $22,000 (more than Shs. 60Millions) as part of project equipment for the National Implementation Plan (NIP) for Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemical substances that resist environmental degradation, bioaccumulate through the food chain, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment. 

An X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer is a non-destructive and reliable x-ray instrument used for routine, chemical analyses for the determination of the chemical composition of many types of materials. 

The XRF Spectrometer is designed and calibrated to detect presence of bromine (Br), cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) in polyethylene analysis. Among the newly listed industrial POPs are the Polybrominated diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs).The XRF Spectrometer will be used in the inventory of PBDEs to detect the presence of bromine in the second hand electrical and electronic equipments and also in end of life vehicles. This will further improve the inventory of POPs-PBDEs in Uganda and inform decision makers on appropriate action plans to address these issues.

While handing over the equipment at a ceremony in the NEMA House Boardroom, the Head of UNIDO Operations in Uganda, Mr. Otto Bruno informed the NEMA team led by Deputy Executive Director (DED), Dr. Gerald Sawula, that UNIDO was pleased to be partnering with Government of Uganda in achieving inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the country through aiding the pursuit of its own development priorities and plans. 

“The only way UNIDO can achieve it vision is through partnerships with the related stakeholders," Mr. Otto, said. He commended NEMA for the good working relationships it had with UNIDO and encouraged the Authority to approach UNIDO whenever it required her assistance, before handing over the equipment to Dr. Sawula.

While receiving the equipment, Dr. Gerald Sawula thanked UNIDO for supporting the Government of Uganda through NEMA in its efforts of sustainable management of the environment in Uganda. He also noted that the XRF spectrometer will provide rapid, real-time, relatively low cost analysis of the periodic elements detected in samples at contaminated and hazardous waste sites.

NEMA on behalf of Government of Uganda is executing a project entitled, “Enabling Activities for Review and Update of the National Implementation Plan (NIP) for Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).” The project is funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as an implementing agency. The Project seeks of review and update the National Implementation Plan (NIP) to include the plans of action for the 10 newly listed POPs.

POPs exist in Agricultural Pesticides, Industrial Chemicals and By-products/Unintentionally produced POPs, which have been listed under Annexes A (for elimination), B (restricted use) and C (unintentionally produced POPs from anthropogenic sources) of the Convention text.