The day started on a bright note with everyone being able to sleep in until 9:30, what a treat. The first activity of the day was a personal choice between a fire department, museum and the Uganda Stock Exchange. When we split up I traveled to the local Kampala fire department with Nate.
At the fire department we met with the Inspector General and Assistant Inspector of the department, Mr. Egwedu and Mr. Munguacel. In Uganda their department is part of the police force. They firefighters must first go through 9 months of police training and then an additional 3 months of firefighter training. This is very different from the U. S. where our firefighters are not part of the police. Sense they are apart of the police they have the same power to enforce laws, but mainly they will only testify in court. In addition to having firefighters on the grounds there were also armed police officers and officers in riot gear.
To tell the fire department about a fire citizens must call 999, but many are unaware of this number. When calling this number people first connected to the local police department, and then must be transferred to the fire department. This process can be time consuming, and when they are contacted it can be hard to locate where the fire is because not all the streets have names, and most buildings are not numbered. To try and accommodate for these problems the department has many maps of the city showing unmarked streets, and also the locations of the fire hydrants. They have maps of the fire hydrants because they are underground and in certain areas be hard to find, if t he area even has one.
Once the fire department is informed of the fire they then start their process of getting ready to leave fore the fire. This is very different from the U. S. where most fire departments where they try to arrive at a fire with they try to reach 80% of the fires within 8 minutes. In Uganda they don’t have a standard time that they try and reach the fires. They didn’t mention a reason as to why they do not have their uniforms laid out like they do in the U.S., but to my knowledge it would be because that is not how they were trained. There is a noticeable difference between the training in Uganda and the training in the U.S. because in the U.S. they have training on a regular basis, usually monthly, and in Uganda regular training is rare.
Once the department leaves for a fire they face more problems with traffic and road names. In Uganda they lack many road signs, and traffic lights are usually ignored because during the day traffic officers are used to direct traffic. When going to a fire the officers must look at many maps to locate the fire, and the hydrants underground. The street sizes and composition also pose a problem, because many are very narrow and lined with businesses and people are all over the street. Also most streets are made of dirt and gravel rather than concrete, and are covered in pot-holes that drivers try and dodge because there are no designated lanes.
Being a firefighter in Uganda is a very unsustainable environment, because it changes day to day and they have little regulations. I think it could become a successful part of the economy if it was separate from the police, because too much time is spent on focusing on the police, and little funds go towards the fire department.
During the day students also visited the largest Ugandan museum. The museum was started in 1908 and has had 2 previous locations. There are only 3 total museums in Uganda today. While at the museum students were able to learn about 6 different sections of Ugandan culture: history, culture, nature history, ethnography, science and industry and exhibition.
Students received a personal tour from a knowledgably guide named Adolf and learned about fumigation. Which is a process of burning grass over milk in order to make the milk smell and taste better.
Students that visited the Ugandan Stock Exchange learned about how stock in general works, and how it works in small third world countries. In Uganda they only have 14 stocks, which started in 1998. One special trait about stocks is that the brokers have to wear red in order to make a stock exchange, and the employees must wear green to make the stock exchange.
This shows how Uganda is still very much developing, because of the low number of stocks that are available. In the U. S. there are tens of thousands of stocks that people are able to invest in with help from brokers.
The stock exchange showed how primitive this department of the economy was and how much more development can take place. I think it is possible to make the stock market a sustainable market in Uganda, but they need to be very analytical about where they advance from here and what fields that they invest into from this point.
In the afternoon the class attended a meeting with the Ugandan Investment Authority and learned about how the Ugandans try to attract many people into their market to create industry and jobs. They try and attract them in many fields: manufacturing, agribusiness, transportation, ICT, energy, mining, petroleum, services, and tourism.
They work as the main agency for the country trying to attract investors from Uganda and the world to invest in different markets. They try to attract them by highlighting how many natural resources are here, how much land is available, how malleable the people are to learning new jobs, and how new the market is.
The company’s goal is to increase jobs in the market place fore Uganda and increase the sustainable development. They do a good job in many ways by attracting new businesses to the country, but they are not able to attract everyone to the country. I do feel that they need to me environmentally aware with their projects, and make sure that when they open these new factories and business that they are environmentally friendly. Many of the people would tell us that they are taking environmentally friendly practices, but until they are seen in the country it is hard to trust anything that people tell us when we see so much pollution on an everyday basis.