My name is Kusiima Kaheesi Samuel studying PhD Environment and Natural Resources at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Science (CAES), Makerere University, Uganda. I  received funding from RUFORUM under the Social and Environmental Trade-offs in African Agriculture (SENTINEL) Project for my research entitled: Land Use Land Cover Change (LULCC) and its Implications on Ecosystem Services in the Albert Water Management Zone, Uganda. The aim of my project is to unravel the relationship between LULCC and human well-being through alteration of ecosystem service supply in the dynamic landscape famous for being a biodiversity hotspot, oil and gas industry activities, agricultural activities, and an exponential population growth.

The project is great significance because of inter alia reflection of the situation in terms of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2,3,6,7,11,12,13; accounting for land use sector in Nationally Determined Conditions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement; Forest Landscape Restoration opportunity of Uganda; Detect the level of compliance and effectiveness of elaborate environment and natural resources laws; understanding ecosystem services synergies/trade-offs; and explanation to the environmentalists paradox.

Samuel (center) with a Sentinel Faciltator and Fellow Sentinel Students at the RUFORUM AGM in Cape Coast, Ghana

My proposal was accepted by the Doctoral Committee and since then I have spent most of the time doing intensive literature review to inform my review paper (yet to be submitted), instrumentation, and working on objective one which is basically GIS and RS thus requiring nominal fieldwork.  

Since my scholarship award by RUFORUM – Sentinel Project, I received loads of benefits which have translated into high velocity for my project. The Ghana trip in December 2019 was an opportunity for me to interact/network with fellow Sentinel Students, acquire knowledge and mentorship from highly qualified and seasoned Sentinel facilitators. Aside, I have received mentorship from a cocktail of seasoned dons/researchers both physically (at RUFORUM and Makerere University) and Virtually (RUFORUM organized zoom trainings). This has remarkably enhanced my PhD candidature and preparation for the afterlife in terms of capabilities and belonging to a big/vibrant network.

Kusiima Kaheesi Samuel

Whereas the going looks awesome, COVID-19 scourge has compromised my work rate for instance I have that fear for passenger service vehicles (public transport) meaning minimal mobility. Aside, the study area has been a COVID19 hotspot hindering primary data collection activities. However, religious adherence to COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Ministry of Health and better nutrition is helping us to cope. In the next couple of weeks, I will be out in the field to collect data.

This thing must come down!!

For more details, please contact Mr. Kusiima Kaheesi Samuel via email: skkusiima@gmail.com

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