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Central region gets UGX33.8bn EU project for climate change

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Central region gets UGX33.8bn EU project for climate change

FAO Uganda Rep Antonio Querido speaking at the project launch in Kalungu district

FAO Uganda Rep Antonio Querido speaking at the project launch in Kalungu district

Nine districts from the central region of Uganda are set to benefit from a UGX33bn European Union grant that seeks to improve resilience of some of the communities considered as being highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The five-year project dubbed Global Climate Change Alliance Plus (GCCA+), is actually an extension of a similar effort that ran in six districts from the central region area of the cattle corridor between 2012 and 2017. They were Nakasongola, Luwero, Nakaseke, Mubende, Kiboga and Sembabule Three new ones have been added and these are Kalungu, Gomba and Lyantonde.

The consideration of the central region could be seen as a timely intervention in a region that has missed out on a number of major donor assistance programmes despite the impacts of war, climate change and an increase in population pressure.

Slated to run between 2018 and 2023, the GCCA+ seeks to realise the implementation of a number of climate adaptation measures such as establishing demonstration farms, construction of valley tanks in 15 districts in the cattle corridor where droughts are a major recurrent challenge.

Details of the project indicate that six valley tanks will with capacity to support 12,000
livestock will be dug. In addition, 5,000 energy saving cook stoves will be distributed and 300 small scale irrigation schemes benefiting 25,000 people installed.

The project will be jointly implemented by the Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO), the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Water and Environment.

While officiating at the launch of the Project, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and
Fisheries (MAAIF), Vincent Ssempijja urged local political and cultural
leaders to be ambassadors for climate change mitigation and adaptation in their localities
by carrying out the basic recommended best practices in agriculture.

He said: “Climate change is real and agriculture is the most affected sector; if our negative actions
persist, we will not be able to feed our people. I therefore call upon all leaders to
become role models in their areas and advocate for better practices that can stall and address
climate change.”

The Minister commended researchers under the National Agricultural Research Organization
(NARO) for developing improved crop technologies such as high yielding, early maturing and
fortified crops such like iron-rich beans. These, he said are critical for food security in the
face of changing climate.

Speaking during the launch of the project at Kalungu District Headquarters, the FAO
Representative in Uganda, Antonio Querido, emphasized the need for Uganda to adapt to
and mitigate climate change impacts, because with no action “in the coming decades, climate
change will severely affect food production and have other catastrophic impacts depending
on our choices as individuals and governments.”

“For Uganda, the next ten years are crucial to make a difference through effective, inclusive
and efficient climate change actions. Building the resilience of people and the natural
resources base that are adaptive to climate change while leaving no one behind through an
integrated response is crucial if we are to succeed in our current efforts,” he said.

Querido further revealed that FAO will be working with Government of Uganda in the next
five years to strengthen national and district knowledge and skills to support agriculture
adaption and community resilience to climate change in 33 districts, with financial resources
of about US$30 million.

The GCCA+ Project will be implemented in nine districts of the central part of Uganda’s Cattle
Corridor, including six previous beneficiary GCCA districts of

Uganda remains one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change
especially in the areas such as the cattle corridor that is characterized by erratic rains, flooding,
frequent and prolonged droughts, inhabited by communities dependent on rain-fed crop and
livestock production systems. The poor and the marginalized are the most affected because
of limited productive assets.

“Climate change seriously impacts our joint efforts towards sustainable development and is a
clear and present danger to the world we know. We have an individual and joint responsibility
to respond and to address this global challenge,” said European Union Ambassador to Uganda,
Attilio Pacifici.

Pacifici said: “Actions are urgently needed to preserve and expand key ecosystems
such as forests, to use natural resources sustainably and to promote ecosystem services. The
action we launch today is complementary to other EU supported initiatives in the sectors of
transport and energy infrastructure and agriculture, which are all implemented with the goal
of ensuring inclusive and sustainable social, economic and environmental development.”

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