The climate change debate has globally continued to dominate the world agenda aims to finding the lasting solutions to the effects and impacts that is threatening the billions of lives in both developed and developing countries.
This week the Conference of Parties (COP) 22 will be taking place in Marrakech Morocco where negotiators around the world will convene and discus among others strategies in implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change that was formulated during the COP 21 in France. In Paris Agreement, countries committed to reduce their carbon a missions and establishes guidelines for international collaboration on climate change.
As the world leaders commence with the discussions in the COP22, Uganda is already battling with the impacts of climate change that has already driven three million people into famine in the cattle corridor; some of the worst affected districts include Isingiro and Kiruhura among others.
The prolonged drought that has mainly affected the cattle corridor stretching from south western to north eastern Uganda is primarily responsible for famine, as a result nearly Seven million more people are currently vulnerable to famine; the state minister for disaster preparedness Hon Musa Ecweru re-affirmed this last week during his interview on NTV Uganda show.
As much as government responded by delivering relief inform of food items to the worst affected households and further assuring the country that no person will this time die of hunger, these are temporary solutions that government needs to rethink and find sustainable ones.
It should be noted that, Uganda has persistently suffered from drought and flood that often result into famine for the past decade with Karamoja and Teso sub regions being the most affected with loss of lives and livestock evidenced.
As the country continues to grapple with the challenges of climate change, and negotiations take off in Morocco, it is important for the government of Uganda to reflect and focus on finding sustainable solutions to climate change impacts, which can be done through building communities capacity to adapt to climate change impacts especially in agricultural sector for this matter.
Climate change adaptation can be described as any adjustments to actual or expected climate change hazards and its effects in order to reduce harm or exploit potential benefits. It can enable communities to withstand these impacts and save government billions of money as well.
It should be noted that agricultural sector is the most vulnerable to climate change hazards such as floods, drought, high temperatures among others and these impacts have the potential to slow both economic and social development of the country.
In order to build communities capacities to adapt, the adaptations must be informed by Climate science that will guide to identify the magnitude of the risk and identify the appropriate adaptation strategy. In additions, communities must be involved in the planning and identification process so as to create ownership of the initiatives and to have a better understanding of the increased risks and uncertainties that climate change brings.
In addition, strengthening of local community capacity to access climate related information, managing risk and uncertainty of the impacts is of significant importance in this struggle. Finally, Civil Society Organizations should continue to lobby and advocate for formulation and effective implementation of climate change laws and policies in the country.
Programs and research coordinator / climate change expert
Africa Institute for Energy Governance