United Nations agencies in Uganda have committed $36 million (Shs72 billion) towards supporting government initiatives on climate change.
The five-year programme is a joint initiative between six resident and four non-resident United Nations agencies. The funds will be channelled through districts and communities especially the ones most hit by climate change like Karamoja, Bududa, Teso, among others.
“The compounded impact on health, economic development and food security will continue to grow in significance and severity if efforts are not made today to help communities, particularly those most vulnerable, to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate,” said Mr. Theophane Nikyema, the UN Uganda Resident Coordinator during a press briefing in Kampala.
He explained that the project will help Uganda develop a national climate change policy, climate change research agenda, district capacity building programmes, sensitisation campaigns and to deter the calamites that might be caused by climate change. “Uganda is facing serious climate change with temperatures expected to rise up to 1.5 degrees by 2020. The impact includes droughts, floods, landslides and glacial melting causing severe disruption to the ecosystem,” he said.
State Minister for Environment, Ms Jessica Eriyo said that the funds would be used to address calamities like drought, floods and landslides.
She said that the UN Joint Action Framework will help, to partner with the government in its efforts to save its population, ecosystems and the economy from the negative impacts of climate change. She explained that the UN Joint proposal is in line with the overall National Development Programmes (NDP) objectives especially -increasing household incomes and promoting equity, promoting science, technology, innovation and ICT to enhance competitiveness, promoting sustainable population and the use of environmental and natural resources.
It is also aligned with the NDP climate change objective to develop national capacity for coordination and implementation of climate change adaption and mitigation activities in the country. She said that the programme will also support Uganda’s Peace, Recovery and Development Plan for northern Uganda (PROP) which it addresses in the Karamoja region.
According to the minister, Uganda’s immediate priorities include generation of relevant data and information as an input into research for adaptation and mitigation actions. She also revealed that the ministry is planning to make meteorology as an authority mainstreaming climate change into sectoral and local governments budgets and plans.