Adaptation challenges to climate change disasters in the Karamoja cluster (cattle corridor) in Uganda

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Sunday, 17 January 2010
Exhibit Hall B2 (GWCC)
Nanteza Jamiat, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

One of the challenges the world is facing today is global climate change and its associated impacts. Uganda is a climate sensitive country with over 90% of the population dependent on climate sensitive sectors. Gradual and sudden variations in climatic parameters will therefore render the livelihoods of Ugandans very vulnerable. A number of approaches to enhance the resilience of communities to climate change and variability in Uganda exist. This paper attempts to review and assess the effectiveness of institutional mechanisms and governance arrangements that are/have been put in place to enhance the adaptive capacity of rural communities in the face of increasing occurrence of climate disasters. Special attention is given to the pastoral communities in the Karamoja cluster /(cattle corridor), which holds over 90% of the national livestock. The major challenge is that although the government of Uganda has put in place strategies for adaptation mechanisms through policies like the National Action for Adaptation Programme (NAPA), the general public lacks awareness about it, hence making adaptation less effective. Research highlights livestock mobility as the major adaptation method to floods and droughts among pastoral groups. However, the question of land ownership, distribution and control creates conflicts among communities, increasing their vulnerability to climate disasters. Other measures include reliance on remittances and social networks for support. However access and allocation to remittances may be limited to members of specific social groups and political/religious parties, creating unfairness and inequalities in climate change governance. This paper argues that community adaptation capacities have not been fully understood in Uganda and need to be framed appropriately within the national development agenda.