What new policies has Uganda passed to combat the climate change effects
Because 80% of Ugandans rely directly on land, agriculture, and fishing for their livelihoods, Uganda is highly vulnerable to climate change. in particular, climate change is likely to mean increased food insecurity; shifts in the spread of diseases like malaria; soil erosion and land degradation; flood damage to infrastructure and settlements and shifts in the productivity of agricultural and natural resources.
Recent studies 11 indicate that over a period of 25 years from 1990 to 2015, Uganda has lost about 63% of its forests at an annual rate of 2.5%. Wetlands declined from 18% to 8% during the same period. The level of Lake Victoria is also highly sensitive to changes in climate.
What is being done?
The Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy recognises the strong dependence of the economy on natural resources. The UGDS envisages that the transition to a green economy will cost an estimated US $11 billion over thirteen years. However, there is still low prioritization and funding to key strategic sectors, such as Water and Environment, Agriculture, Energy, Transport and others. All play a catalytic role in accelerating Uganda’s transition to a green economy.
These are present strategies to address Climate Change in Uganda:
The Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project, implemented by the Ministry of Water and Environment, has improved management of trans-boundary natural resources of Lake Victoria basin for shared benefits of East African Community through reduction of pollution and enhanced climate resilience in selected hotspot areas. The project is funded by a $90 million International Development Association credit.
The Uganda Clean Cooking Supply Chain Expansion Project – In 2016, the Bank approved $2.2 million to the project, which seeks to reduce the negative impacts of inefficient use of solid biomass fuels for cooking and to relieve communities from the environmental and economic burden of using solid biomass fuel.
Climate-smart Agriculture Support Project – Under the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund, the Bank is also supporting the implementation of the $130 million project (2016–2020), which is enhancing adaptation to climate risks, improving agricultural productivity and providing effective response in the event of a crisis or emergency.
The Agricultural Technology and Agribusiness Advisory Services (ATAAS) Project – With a $120 million IDA credit and 7.2 million Global Environmental Facility Grant, the country’s national agricultural research and extension systems were strengthened. Farmers were supported to improve productivity and incomes, and to strengthen their capacity to better adapt to climate change through promotion of improved technologies and sustainable land management practices.
Uganda Regional Pastoral livelihood Resilience Project ($40 million) – There is ongoing support for improved livestock health and improved livestock breeding techniques and to mitigate the effects of drought by improving access by pastoral communities to sustainable water resources using valley tanks and community boreholes.
Uganda Green Incubation Programme This is a major attempt to implement the principle of inclusive green growth and equity is still at the pilot phase. The programme is aimed at creating green employment, enhancing productivity, reducing poverty and ensuring environmental sustainability. It is spearheaded by the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development with support from the UNDP. Under this programme, Uganda is attempting to adapt the Songhai Model. The pilot area has already been selected at Kampilingisa, in Mpigi district, Central Uganda.
The Renewable Energy Business Incubator. This private-sector initiative that was implemented by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Makerere University in close cooperation with The Royal Norwegian Society for Development (Norges Vel). The mission of the ‘incubator’ is to build and stimulate renewable energy businesses that are financially and environmentally sustainable. The aim is to increase access to clean renewable energy, thus mitigating the causes of climatic change.
Government needs to take more action
Despite the above projects and initiatives aimed at transitioning Uganda to a green economy, the country is experiencing a declining natural capital base, resource productivity and diversity. More input is needed from the Government to address the looming Climate Crisis in and for Uganda to meet its commitments to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 22% by 2030.