Combating Climate Change in Uganda

Residents carry their belongings away from a flooded area of Namirembe Landing Site in Masaka District on May 11, 2024 after Lake Victoria overflowed its shores. PHOTO/ ISSA ALIGA

What you need to know:

  • Together, we can mitigate the impacts of climate change, restore degraded ecosystems, and create a resilient, thriving environment for future generations.

In a world where the environment is a constant topic of concern and debate, the idea of environmental responsibility has taken on a new level of importance. With climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction becoming increasingly urgent issues, there is a growing recognition of the need for action to protect our planet.

On June 5, as we celebrated World Environment Day, the focus was on critical issues like land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience. The day serves as a reminder that we all have a role to play in preserving the environment for future generations.

In Uganda, human activities such as deforestation, industrialisation, and wetland destruction are the primary drivers of climate change, leading to rampant flooding, drought, and famine, with increasingly noticeable effects on both the people and the environment.

According to the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), In May, Uganda was hit hard by floods and landslides, causing significant damage. Within just 11 days, more than 39,000 people across 14 districts were affected by flooding, with 3,080 households forced to leave their homes.

On May 6, severe flooding struck the region of Kasese, causing significant loss of eight lives and the displacement of hundreds, as reported by this newspaper.

Thousands of people, particularly children, face extreme hunger as prolonged droughts and frequent flooding force vulnerable individuals to abandon their homes in search of food, water, and safety.

Drought in Uganda’s history has decimated livestock and destroyed crops, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and leaving millions struggling to survive. The destruction of wetlands, which play a crucial role in water regulation and biodiversity, further worsens these challenges.

Strict regulations and enforcement are essential to combat deforestation, industrial pollution, and wetland destruction. International cooperation, including global agreements, technology transfer, and financial support to developing nations, is crucial for a collective effort against climate change.

Investing in reforestation and sustainable land management can restore degraded ecosystems and mitigate climate impacts. Promoting alternative livelihoods and green technologies can reduce reliance on harmful practices while stimulating economic growth.

Education campaigns are also vital for empowering communities to adopt eco-friendly behaviours and engage in conservation efforts. Effective implementation and a sustainable future require collaboration among government, civil society organisations, and international partners.

Addressing Uganda’s environmental challenges requires a complex approach that includes strict regulations, international cooperation, and significant investments in sustainable practices.

By promoting alternative livelihoods, green technologies, and comprehensive education campaigns, we can empower communities to adopt eco-friendly behaviours and participate actively in conservation efforts.

The collaboration of government, civil society organisations and international partners is essential for effective implementation and ensuring a sustainable future.

Together, we can mitigate the impacts of climate change, restore degraded ecosystems, and create a resilient, thriving environment for future generations.

The writer, Caroline Kinkuhaire, is the Citizens’ Concern Africa Advocacy Officer