By Francis Emorut
KAMPALA - Government has hailed development partners for injecting 14 million Euros (about sh48.3 billion) for a Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) project intended to mitigate climate change in the country.
The European Union (EU) has given 11 million Euros and Belgium three million Euros while Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is the executing/implementing partner.
The GCCA project is intended to contribute to sustainable improvement of livelihoods and food security of the rural population in Uganda.
Its primary focus is to strengthen the resilience of rural populations and agricultural production systems covering 18 districts along the cattle corridor.
“I would like to thank in a very special way the European Union and the Belgium Government for financing GCCA-Uganda and the executing partner-the Food and Agricultural Organization for this tremendous contribution to my ministry and the country as a whole,” said Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu the water minister.
“This will be a permanent monument in Uganda’s relations with our development partners in our joint dedication to serve the interest of the people of Uganda.”
The minister made these remarks at the launch of the GCCA project in Luzira, Kampala on Friday, which was proceeded by a tree-planting exercise.
According to the Uganda National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA), it is estimated that 90% of Uganda’s natural disasters are weather and climate change.
The water minister Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu (2ndL) state minister for environmet Flavia Munaba (3rdL), development partners and contract officials at the launch. PHOTO/Francis Emorut
A tree-planting exercise was conducted after the launch. PHOTO/Francis Emorut
Minister Kamuntu observed that the magnitude, frequency and severity of these hazards, especially drought, have increased in the past decades.
“I am therefore glad that GCCA project is multi-sectoral, focusing on water for production, environment and agriculture and indeed having specific components implemented in the different line ministries,” he said.
He cited the repeated floods in Kasese and landslides in Bududa districts as clear warnings of the negative impacts of climate change.
At the launch, the EU head of delegation to Uganda Kristian Schmidt noted that the EU and its member states have made adaption a key priority for their development cooperation.
“We stand ready to support our partners in their efforts. The GCCA project is a proof of that,” he said.
On his part, the Belgium ambassador to Uganda Alain Hanssen pointed out that climate change is a threat to food security and social economic development.
“Belgium has stepped in to stand with Uganda in tackling the challenge of climate change," said the envoy.
He underlined that Uganda has witnessed a number of indicators of climate change, including increasing surface temperatures, changes of rain patterns, prolonged drought, reducing amount of water in the rivers and swamps plus declining soil fertility and low yields.
The ambassador said the GCCA project targets six districts in the cattle corridor – Luwero, Ssembabule, Mubende, Kiboga, Nakaseke and Nakasongola.
The Friday launch ceremony was attended by FAO and embassy of Irish officials, Ugandan state minister for environment, Flavia Munaba, ministry of water and environment officials and others.