Uganda advances to tackle climate change and disasters

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Africa
Group photo participants of the workshop in Uganda

In June 2023, Uganda embarked on the development of a National Adaption Plan (NAP). This process aims to strengthen resilience to climate change impacts by mainstreaming adaptation into policies and programmes at different levels. The ongoing work on this new national action plan is an opportunity to bring disaster risk reduction (DRR) into the climate change adaptation conversation. Uganda is facing more frequent and intense disasters that have dire consequences on the country’s economic and human development. Globally, over the last two decades climate-related disasters have almost doubled compared to the previous twenty years. This trend undermines the progress of many developing countries to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. 

From 20 to 22 November 2023, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) organized a national workshop titled “Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Planning” in Kampala, Uganda. The workshop convened 50 stakeholders from various ministries, departments, and agencies as well as several United Nations entities and other intergovernmental organizations. 

DRR and climate change adaptation (CCA) are often addressed as two separate issues, however they are inherently linked. Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation have the common objective of reducing vulnerability and enhancing capacity and resilience through analysis of historical disaster trends and future climate and disaster risk projections.

The workshop aimed to showcase the interlinkages between DRR and CCA, emphasizing benefits such as improved resource utilization, enhanced disaster preparedness, response planning, and effective policies. By highlighting the interlinkages and integration of DRR and CCA into Uganda’s national planning, the focus was on bolstering national capacities to create and execute integrated plans, as well as to safeguard productive sectors from climate impacts, including heightened hazard frequency and intensity. 

“As climate change continues to affect many Ugandans in the form of disaster risks, it is crucial that a systematic assessment of DRR and CCA within disaster risk management is undertaken and relevant capacity building trainings to foster the integration between DRR and CCA is established.” -  Carol Kiwanuka, Kampala Capital City Authority  

Through group discussions, the participants shared good practices and took stock of the current adaptation and risk governance landscape. Participants explored the status, opportunities, and action plans on areas pertaining to risk information, governance, and financing, as well as disaster preparedness, which resulted in the development of a roadmap for joint implementation of existing DRR strategies and NAPs.  

This roadmap will help Uganda adopt a CCA and DRR integrated approach for example by harmonizing terminology used in CCA and DRR or improving coordination between DRR and CCA agencies. 

Making sure CCA and DRR are aligned in government strategies is at the heart of the Comprehensive Disaster and Climate Risk Management (CRM), UNDRR’s initiative.

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