Urban expansion and environmental threats in one decade of oil and gas exploration in Albertine Graben, Uganda: a case study of Masindi Municipality, Masindi District
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The study was carried out in Masindi municipality to assess urban expansion and environmental threats resulting from oil and gas industry. It was guided by three objectives which were: Examining environmental management in Masindi municipality; Finding out local perceptions on environmental threats on Masindi municipality; and Analysing the municipal preparedness for the threats affecting Masindi municipality. Methods used included interviews, observations using a checklist and secondary data. From the study, urban expansion is accelerated by human factors like good environmental governance (50%) and natural factors such as discovery of minerals (37.7%). The research also found out that central division had expanded at a higher rate in the past four years. Environmental management and governance is very good with municipal waste collection (40%) as the most practiced in the area and tree planting (17%), very good sanitation, and good drainage which is mostly natural, the research also found out that urban expansion is associated with high population growth rates as perceived by the residents,(84,156 people by 2002 and 107520 by 2012) according to the to higher local government statistical abstract. From the study all these factors are accelerating environmental threats such as population growth and environmental degradation like pollution which was perceived by the respondents with (35%). The research also found out that the municipal council is prepared for these threats by having in place standards for emerging plans and training on built environment, provision of training at lower levels especially schools, information sharing and initiation of awareness and safety programs. The study concludes that the municipality has greatly expanded and there exists environmental threats.