$24m for Climate Change in Uganda

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Uganda has received $24.14 million from the Green Climate Fund to support wetland preservation and early warning systems.

This is the first tranche of monies Uganda will get from the GCF, which was established to persuade countries to sign the Paris Agreement that aims at keeping global warming below two degrees Celsius.

According to the GCF, the Ugandan government will supplement the $24.1 million with an extra $18.1 million, while the United Nations Development Programme will contribute $2 million — bringing the total project amount to $44.3 million.

UNDP will receive the money on behalf of Uganda because the government has not acquired accreditation that would give it direct access to the GCF funds.

According to Onesimus Muhwezi, team leader of energy and environment at UNDP, the money will buy weather forecast equipment to supplement another set of 20, an instrument that UNPD bought and installed in 2016.

Director for Environment Affairs at the Ministry of Water and Environment Paul Mafabi said areas to be funded include micro-irrigation schemes in rice growing areas, wetland preservation and restoration.

Beneficiaries

In total, the project will support 4.8 million people in southwestern and eastern Uganda.

While the government officials are happy with this project, saying it will also provide consistent cash for wetland restoration, civil society organisations argue that providing this money ignores the real problems that developing countries like Uganda need to address. Instead, what countries like Uganda need more is money for adaption to the kind of drought and increased desertification currently ravaging East Africa and causing death and disruption of normal life.

“The developed world prefers to fund mitigation and not adaptation. This is a climate justice issue. The developed world has refused to take responsibility for their contribution to climate change by funding adaptation efforts by developing countries,” said Geoffrey Kamese, a senior programme officer at the National Association of Professional Environmentalists.

Due to rapid population growth, Uganda has been losing its wetlands to agricultural activity and settlement in urban centres. Data from the Ministry of Water and Environment shows that so far, Uganda has lost 30 per cent of its two million hectares of wetland. This puts at risk the four million people living around the wetlands.

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