National
IGAD in ambitious drought response initiative
Publish Date: Mar 24, 2014
IGAD in ambitious drought response initiative
IGAD Coordinator, John Patrick Kabayo (right) talks to Somalia Ambassador to Uganda Sayid Ahmed Sheikh Dahir (left), while Jibril Mohamud looks on, during the IGAD meeting on drought at Speke Resort Munyonyo, March.24, 2014.Photo by Kennedy Oryema
  • mail
  • img
newvision

 By Moses Walubiri 

Regional countries under Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are fine tuning an ambitious multipronged response to the perennial problem of drought, with member countries keen to avoid ‘firefighting’ every time Mother Nature unleashes her wrath.
 
A four day summit tailored to concretizing a common response to drought in the region opened in Kampala Monday, with heads of states of member countries expected to grace its closure on Thursday.
 
The horn of Africa and a huge swath of eastern Africa that make up IGAD member countries’ territory have lately suffered intermittent ruinous droughts.
 
Following a particularly devastating drought in 2010 that affected 13 million people and almost decimated livestock in Somalia, Eritrea, northern Kenya and Djibouti, IGAD heads of state decided to take a proactive approach to the problem.
 
The approach dubbed regional drought resilience and sustainability platform, according to its Platform Coordinator, Dr. John Kabayo, is “aimed at ending emergencies that come in the wake of severe droughts.”
 
“There are countries like Israel, Egypt and Tunisia which are located in deserts, but actually doing well in terms of food security. We might not be able to stop occasional occurrence of droughts, but we can stop the tendency of every drought turning into an emergency,” Kabayo said yesterday.
 
The program which is expected to last 15 years is being funded by member countries under the auspices of a string of donors – World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB) and Germany. Already the ADB has bankrolled the project to the tune of sh300m, according to Kabayo.
 
Among the mooted proposals, according to Kabayo, include a concerted effort to stem land degradation, opening up different sources of income to reduce dependency on the land for sustenance, water harvesting for irrigation in arid areas and devising means of sustainable harvesting of forest resources.

 
The Inter Governmental Authority on Development Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim talks during the openning ceremony of IGAD on drought in the region at Speke Resort Munyonyo. Photo by Kennedy Oryema.
 
According to the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, 70% of IGAD region is arid with the desert threatening to continue encroaching on the remaining patches of green in the Ethiopian Highlands, parts of Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.
 
“While droughts may be an unavoidable natural phenomenon in the region, their impact can be mitigated by appropriate actions, to avoid the occurrence of famine and other disasters,” Mahboub said, revealing that “relief is not the solution to challenges caused by drought.”
 
IGAD region has an estimated 214 million people, with Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan as its members.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
7 Makerere students detained over demo
At least seven students who were arrested during the Monday Makerere University demostration against an attempted graduation fees increment face charges....
Kagame allies seek vote to allow him a third term
A campaign for Rwandan President Paul Kagame to seek a third term has begun with allies suggesting a constitutional change to allow him to run in 2017....
U.S commends Uganda over Peace Corps program
The United States (U.S) government has commended Uganda for its long-term partnership between U.S Peace Corps and the Ugandan people which has enabled Peace Corps volunteers facilitate...
UBOS: census results for December 2015
The results of August national housing census will be released in December next yaer, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has announced....
IN the recent past, some members of the public have blamed midwives for mistreatment of patients especially expectant mothers, something that has tainted the image of the midwifery sector...
Regional leaders in Juba for talks on South Sudan
Regional leaders are meeting in Juba for an (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) IGAD Summit on South Sudan....
Was Oscar Pistorius' 5 year sentence fair and just?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter