Uganda

Government launches climate adaptation learning centres

By Oyet Okwera

Climate change adaptation learning centres will equip the meteorologists with required information to inform the public about correct weather forecasts.

Government and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched a climate adaptation learning centre in Sironko and Bulambuli to avail the community with information on climate change issues.

Minister of state for environment, Flavia Munaaba said that the climate change adaptation learning centres will equip the meteorologists with required information to inform the public about correct weather forecasts.

These first ever modern facilities in rural Uganda were constructed with support from the Ministry of Water and Environment in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Germany government through the Ecosystem Based Adaptation project in the Mt. Elgon region.

Munaaba however warned the community that the effects of climate change will continue on agriculture and advised leaders to strengthen capacity to reduce the effects.

"I advise leaders in Elgon region to budget for the process of reducing the effects of climate change in the areas. It is our responsibility to develop capacity and build ecosystems and promote adaptation options to reduce climate change effects especially within the Mt. Elgon ecosystems. We should therefore prioritize better agricultural practices to reduce the impacts on agriculture that we are already experiencing in Bulambuli, Sironko, Bududa and other places," explained Munaaba.

Onesmus Muhwezi, team leader environment at UNDP who represented country director, Almaz Gebru noted that without tackling climate change, Uganda will not reach middle income status by 2040.

Muhwezi was optimistic that the climate change adaptation learning centres will offer weather information to prepare farmers and the community against any eventuality.

He encouraged stakeholders to continue uniting against effects of climate change that continue affecting especially farmers in Elgon region.

Charles Wepukhulu, vice chairman Bulambuli district applauded UNDP for sensitizing farmers against effects of climate change and called on leaders to increase environmental awareness to the local people. Wepukhulu advised community leaders to remind those staying along slopes of Mount Elgon to be aware of mudslides during the rainy season.

"It is my hope that these climate change adaptation learning centres offer provide easy access to climate change information and contribute to a more progressive and sustainable climate change response for Uganda," said Wepukhulu.