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Climate change is one of the greatest ecological challenges in Uganda, as worsened by haphazard urbanization and development. Uganda is a country located in East Africa and is crossed by the Equator. Hitherto, Uganda has mostly had a tropical climate characterized by stable rainfall patterns. However, the effects of climate change have turned the seasons around, with the country experiencing shorter or longer rains and harsher droughts, especially in eastern and northeastern parts of the country.

With more than ten cities created in 2020 (International Growth Center, 2020), Uganda is one of Africa’s top urbanizing countries. Its urbanization trends are not accompanied by commensurate infrastructure development, which in turn leads to climate change as caused by deforestation, carbon emissions, poor waste management, among others. The country’s climate is characterized by increased temperatures, which leads to drought, drying up of water ponds, reduced surface water and river flows, reduced underground water levels and dust storms.  The heavy rains lead to floods, landslides, soil erosion, silting of dams and drainage channels, waterlogging in low-lying valleys and wetlands, outbreaks of epidemics of animal and crop diseases and pests. It is not a surprise that international climate risk reports label Uganda as one of the most unprepared countries in the world (CIGI, 2007).

Urbanization that does not comply with sustainable development principles exacerbates climate change resulting in the destruction of infrastructure and loss of lives. One example of the direct human cost of climate change was in May 2019, when eight people lost their lives and hundreds were displaced as flash floods hit Kampala (source: Uganda Red Cross, 2019). Climate change also has a significant impact on water availability and agricultural productivity. Uganda’s agricultural sector is the most vulnerable due to its high dependence on rainfall and weather conditions. This poses an evident threat to food production systems and the livelihoods as well as food security of millions of people. Moreover, agriculture continues to be one of the most important contributors to Uganda’s gross national product (LTS International Limited, 2008).

It is important to tackle the problem of climate change through mitigative and adaptive urbanization strategies such as sustainable housing and infrastructure, conservation of natural resources and energy transition to reduce its impacts on the country.

by Gloria Linda Ndagire

Co-founder, ZadeCAD Limited


  1. This is a wonderful article

    However more emphasis should be on the mitigation measures.

    The climate change is a concern of everyone currently in Uganda, either in government or not,in Engineering or not,
    Basically a move to be participated in by everyone.

    Thank you alot for this wonderful resourceful article madam Gloria Linda Ndagire.

    Further more, these solutions can also help in curbing the mitigating climate changes in Uganda
    To curb the devastating climate change in Uganda, several measures can be taken:

    1. Promote renewable energy: Encourage the use of clean and sustainable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. This reduces reliance on fossil fuels and decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

    2. Afforestation and reforestation: Increase tree planting efforts to restore and expand forest cover. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and help regulate the climate.

    3. Sustainable agriculture practices: Promote organic farming methods, agroforestry, and efficient irrigation techniques to reduce deforestation, soil degradation, and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

    4. Strengthen climate change adaptation strategies: Enhance resilience to climate impacts through measures like improved water management, early warning systems for extreme weather events, and climate-smart infrastructure development.

    5. Raise awareness and education: Educate communities about the impacts of climate change and the importance of sustainable practices. Encourage individuals to adopt eco-friendly lifestyles and make informed choices.

    6. Enhance waste management: Implement proper waste disposal systems to reduce pollution and methane emissions from landfills. Promote recycling and composting to minimize waste generation.

    7. Strengthen policy frameworks: Develop and enforce policies that support sustainable development and climate action. This includes setting emission reduction targets, promoting green technologies, and providing incentives for clean energy adoption.

    8. International cooperation: Collaborate with other countries and international organizations to access funding, technology transfer, and knowledge sharing for climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.

    9. Encourage green transportation: Promote the use of electric vehicles, bicycles, and public transportation to reduce carbon emissions from the transport sector.

    10. Support community-based initiatives: Engage local communities in climate change projects, empowering them to take ownership and contribute to sustainable solutions.

    It is important to note that these measures should be implemented in conjunction with global efforts to combat climate change.

  2. Thanks for this elaborate analysis of climatic challenges

  3. Could Researchers from Academic institutions get involved and conduct intensive research on likely impacts of CC on our Environment and WR Please

  4. Could the Academic Institutions and the MoWE conduct intensive research together to plan for our future please!

  5. Emphasis now has to be put in the newly created cities so that drainage systems are duly planned and properly enforced to avoid encroachment due to corruption in the planning phase of construction

  6. Itís difficult to find experienced people for this topic, however, you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks
    דירות דיסקרטיות בפתח תקווה Janiece Lesniak

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