DENIVA takes lead in adapting to climate change in Uganda

DENIVA has taken the lead in encouraging communities to adapt to climate change in Uganda as the country increasingly demonstrates its vulnerability to adverse impacts of human-induced climate change.

DENIVA programme officer Susan Nanduddu (right) and a farmer inspect a project on adaptation to climate change in Gogonyo Sub-county, Palisa.

DENIVA programme officer Susan Nanduddu (right) and a farmer inspect a project on adaptation to climate change in Gogonyo Sub-county, Palisa.

What is climate change?

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change attributes change of climate to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere as observed over comparable time periods.

Such human activity either emits gases into the atmosphere, or takes away the sinks or stores for the gases. Examples include burning fossil fuels as main energy sources in industries, vehicles, homes, and cutting down trees, and opening up land, especially wetlands, for agriculture. The result has been a blanket-like effect in the atmosphere that has interfered with the normal climate system.

The impacts

As a result, extreme weather events such as drought and floods have become more common and severe. Today, a short rain episode can cause serious effects such as landslides and mudslides witnessed in eastern and western Uganda in the last three years. The seasons too have changed and Uganda as a rain-fed dependant country suffers even more.

DENIVA from its community work has witnessed increased incidence of diseases in crops, animals and humans, greater hardships in producing food that results in food and nutrition insecurity. Water stress problems (too much or too little water) are common challenges across Uganda. These coupled with other drivers of vulnerability such as high fertility rates, limited access to land and other forms of poverty, make life more difficult. But DENIVA encourages communities to adapt.

Adaptation

Adaptation to climate change means making the adjustments necessary to reducing and managing risks of extreme events and disasters in a changing climate.

Scientists suggest the adverse effects of climate change we are suffering today are from decade old emissions. This justifies why individuals, households and communities must learn to adapt.

The solutions are simple and at times age-old options that do not require heavy investments. But this does not rule out technological investment to boost adaptation. The following are steps in managing adaptation:

  1. Awareness raising. This is the first step that ensures knowledge on climate change is readily available to users to make suitable decisions.
  2. Research. Strengthening collaboration with different stakeholders at different levels. DENIVA is implementing a NAPA pilot project in Pallisa district in collaboration with the Ministry of Water and Environment, Pallisa CSO Network and the Local Government. DENIVA is also part of an International network of practitioners who share knowledge and experiences concerning climate change adaptation; the capacity strengthening of Least Developed Countries in Adaptation to Climate Change (CLACC).
  3. Actively engage in the climate change policy making process that begun early 2012 and will be concluded by the end of the year.
  4. Influence global climate change policy making through participating in the annual Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC. We have built alliances with regional and international, like-minded CSOs such as PACJA and CAN-I, CLACC. Besides, we subscribe to annual International Conferences on Community Based Adaptation that bring practitioners, scientists and policy makers together to discuss the practicalities of making adaptation work.
  5. In fostering networking, DENIVA plays a major role in establishing a platform for continued information exchange at the national level, the Climate Change Action Network-Uganda.

Suggested actions for enhancing adaptation

  1. Adopt better methods of farming. Such practices include but are not limited to agro-forestry, mulching, and use of compost manure
  2. Irrigation. Rather than wait for the rain, farmers are encouraged to practice irrigation as plants need a combination of both water and sunshine to do well.
  3. Invest in drought-resistant and disease-tolerant varieties of crops for high yields. These varieties may require the farmer to invest in fertilizers but also purchase new seeds every season.
  4. Invest in energy saving stoves to maximize the amount of firewood or charcoal per cooking. These can be constructed locally with materials available or purchased from specialised artisans.
  5. Water harvesting for domestic and agricultural purposes. For domestic purposes, the house should at least be iron-roofed and not grass-thatched. However, grass-thatched houses can harvest water that can be used for watering vegetables in a garden close to the homestead.
  6. Diversification of income generating activities
  7. Diversification of food options. In a changing climate, households need to consider other food options outside traditional menu and consider cash crops, such as rice.

DENIVA PROGRAMS AND KEY OBJECTIVES

Governance and Human Rights

Governance and Human Rights

The Governance and Human Rights Program aims at strengthening and nurturing partnerships and communities to advocate for a democracy that serves all citizens in Uganda. The program works for social, economic and political accountability of local and...

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The Sustainable Livelihoods Program aims at supporting MOs with skills and knowledge in order to advocate pro-poor and gender sensitive policies through programmes in agriculture, trade, climate change and improved service delivery. The objectives a...

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Civil Society Organisation Strengthening

DENIVA has a long term experience in providing capacity building services to CSOs as one of its key mandates. Organizational development interventions ranges from research, proposal development, presentation and facilitation skills; negotiation and n...

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