USAID/Uganda Education And Research To Improve Climate Change Adaptation Activity
A Climate Change poses risks to the well-being of the Ugandan population by threatening ecosystems and the livelihoods of those who depend on them. The impacts of Climate Change are already being felt by Uganda’s population and its agricultural sector-a critical economic driver for the country. Much of Uganda’s agriculture is rain fed and vulnerable to Climate Change. Rising temperatures and changes in rain fall patterns, that are being observed, are negatively affecting households and communities. The country projections indicate that these changes are likely to continue.
In Uganda, average temperatures which have risen at an average of 0.2oC per decade over the last 40 years, will continue to rise. There is uncertainty about whether annual precipitation will increase or decrease. Most models show that the December- February season is projected to be dryer, while the March-May season is projected to become wetter. It is also projected that Uganda is likely to experience an increase in extreme weather events (e.g. heavy rain storms and droughts). Such changes are expected to impact crop growth and viability, pest and disease prevalence, soil moisture, post- harvest losses, transport and other aspects of the agricultural value chains. These and many other risks will increase as the changes in temperature and rainfall continue.
To help prepare in general and especially the agricultural sector to adapt to some of the growing risks caused by a changing climate, the USAID/ Uganda Education and Research to Improve Climate Change Adaptation (ERICCA) Activity is helping Uganda to build a hub of academic, professional development and research excellence in climate science, Climate Adaptation and related disciplines. This hub is the Makerere University Center for Climate Change and Research Innovations (MUCCRI), developed in partnership with Makerere University’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES). MUCCRI is one of the responses to the country-wide and east Africa regional need for a well-known location for climate change research information, innovations, training, and outreach.
This USAID support to Makerere University is aimed at:
The ERICCA Activity through technical support provided to MUCCRI has among other things achieved the following;
CBA11 conference in Kampala Since 2015, the activity successfully lobbies for the CBA11 to be hosted in Uganda. Under the theme; “harnessing natural Resources and ecosystems for Adaptation’, it will take place in Kampala, June 22nd -29th, 2017. It is being jointly organizes by Makerere University, the Government of Uganda and IIED in partnership with development agencies and other non-state actors
Between 2016 and 2017, MUCCRI conducted a research needs assessment aimed at developing a research agenda to enhance action research on Climate Change adaptation in the agricultural sector. The assessment identified key research gaps and needs that could be addressed to promote climate resilient agriculture in Uganda.
Many organisations have requested for the periodic summaries of new research results to share with their farmers. This has moved farmer-based research findings from scientists.
The activity is supporting two PhD students and 5 masters’ students, one of whom has completed and is awaiting graduation in 2018.
Seven of the 10 undergraduate students supported to conduct climate related research have graduated, while the last three are writing their final dissertations.
The Activity has supported MUCCRI to conduct short courses on: Climate Resilient Urban Development and Green Cities, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management: Climate Change and Sustainable Development: and Addressing Climate Change in Agricultural Development in which 160 private sector, district and central government officials, consultants and practitioners, were trained.
Climate change champions: Several stakeholders such as district officials, farmers and agricultural inputs dealer have become Climate Change adaptation champions through being trained and provided with technical support including field exchange visits to learn from each other and from regional and the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) climate specialists. This network of climate champions bring knowledge to districts, communities, industries, and individuals. Most of these champions such as the Kazo Climate Change Village (KCCV) in Mubende District and the Jorumat Climate Smart Agriculture Farm and Demonstration Site in Masaka district have started climate change initiatives within their own communities.
Youth boot camp training and internship: A boot camp is a short, intensive, and rigorous course of training. The youth boot camp training has helped focus the knowledge of university students around climate change and trained them on how to share that knowledge. They are trained to deliver climate change adaptation information to different audiences in their communities.
Through a partnership with the Kampala capital city authority (KCCA) Education Department the Activity supports the dissemination of climate information through students internships that build KCCA teachers and students to build knowledge and support the KCCA climate change action plan. This contributes to building a climate resilient future for the city.
Developing training materials: 2 workshops on developing educational materials, teaching guides and aids for teachers and students for incorporation into the National Primary and Secondary School Curriculum were held.
The activity has published the following papers:
Government of Uganda, Makerere University, Feed the Future Activities, National Agriculture Research Organisations, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, International Institute for Environment and Development, International Center for Climate Change and Development.