Uganda

 

Uganda is a land-locked country in Eastern Africa, bordered by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, the Sudan and Tanzania. The largest lake on the continent, Lake Victoria, is located on the country’s south-eastern border. Uganda is rich in natural resources, and has relatively fertile soil, biodiversity, rich vegetation and significant water resources; about 18 per cent of the country’s surface area is comprised of water bodies and swamps (OneWorld, 2009).
Approximately 80 per cent of the Ugandans depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and the sector generates 90 per cent of the country’s export earnings (OneWorld, 2009). Uganda has one of the highest population growth rates in the world, with the large majority of the population residing in urban areas (USDS, 2010). Although its Human Development Index has improved over the past decade and income poverty has improved considerably, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Its rural population is particularly impoverished (UNDP, 2007).

Uganda occupies 241,038 square kilometres, of which 43,941 square kilometers, representing 18.2% is open water and swamps. Most parts of Uganda lie at an average height of 1,200m above sea level. Project profiles have been developed based on the prioritized and ranked intervention strategies. The project profiles are not area specific including: 

  • Community tree growing in the highland areas, which are prone to landslides.
  • Adaptation to drought in the semi-arid areas Uganda lies across the equator and occupies 241,038 square kilometres, of which open water and swamps constitute 43,941 square kilometres.

This represents 18.2% of the total area. Most parts are on average height of 1,200m above sea level. The lowest altitude is 620m (within the Albert Nile) and the highest altitude (Mt. Rwenzori Peak) is 5,110m above sea level. The climate is equatorial, with moderate humid and hot climatic conditions throughout the year. It has two rain seasons in a year, which merge into one long rainy season as you move northwards from the equator. The first rain season is from March to June, while the second season is from August to November.

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Building Resilient Communities, Wetland Ecosystems and Associated Catchments in Uganda

The "Building Resilient Communities, Wetland Ecosystems and Associated Catchments in Uganda" project will support the Government of Uganda in the management of critical wetlands that are being affected by a changing climate. The project will restore wetlands and their eco-system services, based on the wise-use principles and guidelines  outlined by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. It also supports sustainable land management practices and reforestation, resilient agricultural practices and alternative livelihoods for communities living in these areas. This support will reduce the pressures on the wetlands. Finally the project seeks to strengthen the climate information and early warning systems to support these communities to make climate-resilient decisions.

The impact of climate change, coupled with other human and environmental stressors, is increasing degradation of wetlands and their associated ecosystem services in Uganda. This is negatively affecting the livelihoods of the people living in and around the wetlands – around 4,000,000 people. In fact, over 80% of the people living adjacent to wetland areas in Uganda directly use wetland resources for their household food security needs. Given that wetlands are highly vulnerable to changes in the quantity and quality of their water supply, climate change will most likely substantially alter ecologically important attributes of wetlands and will exacerbate the impacts from human activity. On the other hand, the loss of wetlands could exacerbate the impact of climate change in as they provide fundamental services that contribute to mitigation of such impacts.

 

Photos: 
Region/Country: 
Level of Intervention: 
Thematic Area: 
Coordinates: 
POINT (32.695312486957 0.89058628208695)
Primary Beneficiaries: 
800,000 people living in and around the wetlands of Southwestern and Eastern Uganda.
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
US$45 million total, US$24.9 million from Green Climate Fund, US$20.1 million from Government of Uganda and UNDP
Project Details: 

Uganda, wetlands provide many important functions to the people, particularly in the context of food security. This is in addition to its role as a habitat for biodiversity that is also important for the economy. According to a recent 2013 study on the value of wetlands in Uganda, several market and non-market benefits are identified: “The market benefits include water for domestic use and watering of livestock, support to dry season agriculture, provision of handicrafts, building materials, and food resources such as fish, yams, vegetables, wild game, and medicine. The non-market benefits include flood control, purification of water, and maintenance of the water table, microclimate moderation, and storm protection. Wetlands also serve as habitats for important flora and fauna, have aesthetic and heritage values, and contain stocks of biodiversity of potentially high pharmaceutical value. Over 80% of the people living adjacent to wetland areas in Uganda directly use wetland resources for their household food security needs.” In addition to supporting food and water security, wetlands also support income generation and employment. “Of a total population of 34 million Ugandans, it is estimated that wetlands provide about 320,000 workers with direct employment and provide subsistence employment for over 2.4 million.”

Wetland health and resilience can easily be compromised by climate change impacts. Climate change models for Uganda predict that temperatures will continue to increase, and there will be changes in the seasonal distribution and amount of rainfalls, more frequent extreme weather events, and increases in the frequency of heavy rainfalls. Increases in temperature and erratic rainfall will result in more frequent and intense floods, droughts and heat waves, which will directly threaten wetlands and livelihoods that rely on its healthy ecosystem services. Hydrologic and drainage maps of the project targeted sites (the eastern and southwestern Wetlands Basin) indicate that most of the freshwater inflows pass through the wetlands and natural forests. These systems have played an integral role in maintaining the quality of water over the centuries. However, over the last three decades, climate change impacts, as well as other baseline (non-climate) issues such as excessive sedimentation and non-native species invasions, have resulted in substantial water quality deterioration.

Expected Key Results and Outputs: 

Output 1: Restoration and management of wetland hydrology and associated forests
Under this sub-component, at least 760 km2 of degraded wetlands and its associated catchment will be restored and the lives of 500,000 people will be improved in selected districts of Eastern and South Western Uganda. The overall aim of the intervention is to restore the ecological and hydrological integrity of the wetland and support the development and implementation of a community-based framework for wetland management plans. This will help support climate risk management and resilient livelihoods through enhanced ecosystems services in the area.

Output 2: Improved agricultural practices and alternative livelihood options in the wetland catchment
This output will target at least 150,000 farmers including those who currently do not have secure access to irrigation, land-poor farmers, women-headed households, and the landless, to build more climate-resilient livelihoods. Investments in small-scale rural infrastructure (shallow bore wells, drip irrigation, tilling tools) for agricultural purposes, especially on-farm water management infrastructure such as dams, canals, drip irrigation systems, as well as farming best practices and crop diversification will be implemented to realize high economic return given their coverage. In addition, the output will focus on technical skills training for employment in key economic sectors viable in wetland areas, such as tourism, health and construction. Most of the beneficiaries have very low levels of education and no skills that can help them find a job. Beneficiaries will be trained in specific skills with high employability potential (e.g. earth mover, driver, assistant nurse, reception clerk in hotels, desktop publishing).Output 3: Strengthening access to climate and early warning information to farmers and other target communities to support wetland management

Output 3: Strengthening access to climate and early warning information to farmers and other target communities to support wetland management
This output will focus on strengthening access to reliable climate-related information and scaling up advisories for farmers and other target communities in the two wetland target areas, to improve the adaptation capacity of the entire population in and around the wetlands – around 1 million people. This will include the expansion of networks that generate and process climate-related data into relevant information to the scale and location of local districts, villages or communities, as well as dissemination of climate-related information/services, advisories and early warnings to communities. A strong focus of this output will be on delivering actionable climate-related information to communities, taking the form of agro-met advisories for agriculture, as well as the dissemination channels for making information available to the “last mile.”

Contacts: 
UNDP
Benjamin Larroquette
Regional Technical Advisor
Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Location: 
Funding Source Short Code: 
Green Climate Fund
Project Status: 
News and Updates: 

Funding Proposal approved by Green Climate Fund Board: 30 June 2016
Funded Activity Agreement (FAA) effectiveness reached: 6 July 2017
Project Document signature between UNDP and Government: 7 July 2017
Project financing agreement signed between UNDP and Government: 23 August 2017
Request from UNDP to GCF to release funding: 13 October 2017

 

 

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Uganda, UNDP Sign Landmark Financing Agreement to Restore Wetlands

Chimp Reports
25 August 2017

The Government of Uganda and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have today August 23 signed a financing agreement for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) project to restore degraded wetlands, improve ecosystems, strengthen climate information and early warning systems. Hon. Matia Kasaija, the Finance Minister signed on behalf of the Government and Ms. Rosa Malango, the UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator for Uganda signed on behalf of UNDP.

 

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About (Summary): 
The Building Resilient Communities, Wetland Ecosystems and Associated Catchments in Uganda project will support the Government of Uganda in the management of critical wetlands that are being affected by a changing climate. The project will restore wetlands and their eco-system services, based on the wise-use principles and guidelines outlined by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. It also supports sustainable land management practices and reforestation, resilient agricultural practices and alternative livelihoods for communities living in these areas. This support will reduce the pressures on the wetlands. Finally the project seeks to strengthen the climate information and early warning systems to support these communities to make climate-resilient decisions. The impact of climate change, coupled with other human and environmental stressors, is increasing degradation of wetlands and their associated ecosystem services in Uganda. This is negatively affecting the livelihoods of the people living in and around the wetlands – around 4,000,000 people. In fact, over 80% of the people living adjacent to wetland areas in Uganda directly use wetland resources for their household food security needs. Given that wetlands are highly vulnerable to changes in the quantity and quality of their water supply, climate change will most likely substantially alter ecologically important attributes of wetlands and will exacerbate the impacts from human activity. On the other hand, the loss of wetlands could exacerbate the impact of climate change in as they provide fundamental services that contribute to mitigation of such impacts.
Expected Key Results and Outputs (Summary): 

 

Output 1: Restoration and management of wetland hydrology and associated forests 

 

Output 2: Improved agricultural practices and alternative livelihood options in the wetland catchment

 

Output 3: Strengthening access to climate and early warning information to farmers and other target communities to support wetland management

 

 

Project Dates: 
2017 to 2025

NAP-Ag Infographic: Uganda

An infographic on climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector in Uganda.

Gender, Climate Information and Early Warning Systems in Africa

Women represent the main source of agricultural labour in Africa (Denton, 2002) and the fact that agriculture in tropical and subtropical areas is one of the sectors most vulnerable to climate change (Mendelsohn et al., 2006) explains why some women remain vulnerable and poor. In fact, women represent the majority of people living on less than a dollar a day (Denton, 2002; UNDP, 2010). For instance, women account for 65 percent of smallholder farmers in Zambia and they are particularly exposed to food insecurity. Therefore, providing them with agricultural advice informed by climate and weather information is of crucial importance (ActionAid, 2015).

Moreover, because of systemic inequities between women and men, there are commonly, but wrongfully, held views that women’s economic, political and social status is inferior to that of men. Consequently, women have been traditionally absent from decision-making processes regarding climate policy (Lambrou and Piana, 2006). Furthermore, cultural norms have also affected the ability of women to adapt to climate change because of the restrictions these norms impose on women (UNDP, 2010). This is counterintuitive since women are more dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods than men are and this renders them more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Considering this context, several UNDP-GEF projects on adaptation and in particular on climate information and early warning systems (CI/EWS) have been designed to incorporate gender aspects in their implementation. On the one hand, the projects aim to invest in women’s empowerment within the national hydromet and disaster risk reduction services and on the other hand, the objective is to ensure women’s access to climate information and early warnings for adaptation purposes.

In what follows, country-specific highlights of the CI/EWS projects are presented.

Zambia

To start with, the CI/EWS project in Zambia is targeting communities in districts where women are most vulnerable to climate change. Besides this, women working at the Zambian Meteorology Department have benefited from several short- as well as long-term training courses. Specifically, 3 out of 12 staff members being sponsored to undertake a three-year diploma programme in weather forecasting, data processing, analysis and climate applications at the Zambian Air Services Training Institute are women. This represents progress in terms of gender empowerment as meteorology has been a traditionally male-dominated profession in Zambia. Moreover, there have been significant efforts to balance the participation of men and women in all of the short-term training courses organized by the project and in particular, the aim has been to count at least 30 percent female participants. Similarly, 30 percent of the project’s leadership at the community level is represented by women. Furthermore, by means of supporting the generation of hydro-meteorological and environmental information, the project is enabling Zambia’s Disaster Mitigation and Management Services to conduct vulnerability assessments and effectively carry out relief interventions from which women and children are the main beneficiaries due to their disproportionately high exposure to risk. Last but not least, preliminary findings from a national project-led survey revealed that women and men are nowadays equally using weather information for decision-making and they represent 41% of the surveyed population. This is a marked improvement from previous records suggesting no use of such information.

Malawi

In Malawi, the CI/EWS project integrates gender considerations by making sure that women are adequately involved in the implementation of the early warning systems and that they benefit from climate information which is relevant to them, presented and transmitted in a way that is accessible and easy to understand. Specifically, the climate data collected by the 10 newly installed weather stations benefits men, women, children and vulnerable groups equally. Moreover, since women have been traditionally responsible for water collection in rural Malawi, they will also benefit from the improved management of water resources that this project is facilitating. Furthermore, gender-sensitive household surveys will verify that women are targeted accordingly by the established systems. To date, thanks to this LDCF project, women have benefited from various sessions on sensitisation and awareness creation in early warning systems and disaster risk management which were carried out in the Chikwawa, Dedza, Kasungu, Mangochi, Nkhatabay, Nkhotakota, Nsanje, Phalombe, Rumphi, Salima and Zomba districts. Out of the 550 community members that have participated, 302 were women. Lastly, several training sessions have also been organised for the Civil Protection Committees of 11 districts, namely: Chikwawa, Dedza, Karonga, Mangochi, Nkhatabay, Nkhotakota, Nsanje, Phalombe, Rumphi, Salima and Zomba. They have all targeted men, women and youth equally.

Uganda

To ensure an effective early warning system that caters to all vulnerable persons in a community, the sites for the implementation of the CI/EWS project in Uganda have been all selected while being mindful of gender assessments. A toolkit for the dissemination of early warnings is being developed and it will include a gender-based analysis of the national and local media that are used to disseminate weather and climate alerts. Moreover, based on gender-sensitive consultations with end-users, the project aims to supply climate information that is tailored to the specific needs of decision makers and local communities.

With an objective in mind to ensure gender mainstreaming at all levels of project execution, 3 of the 11 Project Board members and 5 of the 12 Technical Committee members are women. Moreover, 30 percent of the participants in the sub-National Committee are women and in fact, all of the meetings and workshops organized by the project have had a minimum of 30 percent participation from women. Furthermore, in terms of human capacity and women’s empowerment in the context of national hydromet and disaster risk reduction services, the project reported the following:

  • 12 staff members working at Uganda’s synoptic stations have been trained on the use of the recently installed equipment: barometers, thermometers and sunshine cards. 7 of them were women.
  • 7 staff members from Uganda’s National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) have been trained by the supplier itself on the operation of the newly acquired automatic weather stations. 2 of them were women.
  • 27 UNMA staff members have received training on the operation of the automatic message switching system. 6 of them were women.
  • 12 smartphones were delivered to each of UNMA’s 12 synoptic stations. The recipients have also been trained on the use of smartphones to relay weather data to the National Meteorological Centre. 7 of them were women.
  • 23 staff members from UNMA and the Directorate of Water Resources Management (DWRM) have been trained in Kenya or India on weather data management and flood forecasting. 3 of them were women.
  • 8 staff members from UNMA, the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries and DWRM have been trained to become trainers themselves on hazards and vulnerability mapping. 3 of them were women.

The project is also adopting an evidence-based approach to evaluating its impact and the first step has been to collect baseline data. A survey was conducted for this purpose and 6 out of the 16 data collectors were women. A second round of data collection is planned for the end of the project and it will be mindful of gender aspects.

Last but not least, various events for awareness-creation regarding adaptation to climate change in the agricultural sector have been organised and 12 of the 30 UNMA members that were involved in their organisation were women. 

All in all, an increasing number of female staff members at UNMA and DWRM have acquired the hydromet skills that are necessary to make use of new technologies in Uganda. What is more, their role is only to increase upon the gender-sensitive implementation of activities following the installation of the newly purchased equipment. In addition, there will be opportunities for women to be trained as data collectors and analysts. Gender-based associations as well as NGOs will be increasingly involved in the dissemination and interpretation of early warnings and climate information. As the project matures, it will emphasize the gender component of emergency-response planning and districts as well as municipalities will be monitored for gender mainstreaming into plans for the management of hazards.

Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, a survey conducted by the National Meteorological Agency revealed that women are making use of climate information to a significantly lesser extent than men are. In this context, the Agency emphasizes the need for increased awareness at the level of local communities, in schools and during stakeholder meetings. In fact, women and young staff have been encouraged to participate in national capacity building sessions as well as in regional workshops. Moreover, with the purpose of ensuring the local ownership of the newly acquired automatic weather stations, the project implementation team has conducted participatory consultations with local representatives and sought out the input of women.

Benin

The CI/EWS project in Benin has invested in public campaigns to increase awareness of project activities, early warning systems and the importance of community involvement in the maintenance and protection of hydromet stations. 740 people have participated, of which 125 were women. Moreover, the project has been supporting the involvement of NGOs in the efforts to strengthen gender equality, as measured by the ability of women to react to extreme weather and adapt to climate change. Whenever studies to inform project activities have been commissioned, the inclusion of women in the various research teams was a requirement. Women have also been encouraged to participate in project interventions and management committees and to voice their suggestions and concerns regarding the effectiveness of climate and early warning systems in Benin. Specifically, this UNDP-GEF project has been working with CARE International to promote activities dedicated to strengthening the capacity of women to use and capitalize climate information in the north-east region of Benin.

Concluding Note

The projects discussed above are young and therefore, progress was particularly noticeable in terms of the improved skills and increased presence of women in the national hydromet and disaster risk reduction services. However, as the projects mature and the systems disseminating climate information and early warnings are in place, the focus will fall on ensuring the balanced access of women and men to weather, climate and hydrological information and warnings.

References

ActionAid (2015). Delivering Women Farmers’ Rights. Policy Brief, ActionAid Int., Johannesburg.

Lambrou, Y., & Piana, G. (2006). Gender: The missing component of the response to climate change. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Denton, F. (2002). Climate change vulnerability, impacts, and adaptation: Why does gender matter? Gender & Development, 10(2), 10-20.

UNDP (2010). Gender, Climate Change and Community-Based Adaptation, UNDP, New York.

Mendelsohn, R., Dinar, A., & Williams, L. (2006). The distributional impact of climate change on rich and poor countries. Environment and Development Economics, 11(02), 159-178.

Thematic Area: 
Gender Impacts