Climate Change in Uganda: Understanding the implications and appraising the response
Scoping Mission for DFID Uganda July 2008
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Nick Hepworth Senior Consultant LTS International Ltd. email@example.com, + 44 (0) 7906 083 222
(Box 2 Implications of climate change for Lake Victoria and Nile flows and technical review) Marisa Goulden
Senior Research Fellow
Overseas Development Group
University of East Anglia
Norwich, UK NR4 7TJ
Hepworth, N. and Goulden, M., 2008, Climate Change in Uganda: Understanding the implications and appraising the response, LTS International, Edinburgh Front plates: top left, main author; top right, bottom left and right, Uganda NAPA, Ministry of Water and Environment Executive summary
1. Uganda’s climate is naturally variable and susceptible to flood and drought events which have had negative socio-economic impacts in the past. Human induced climate change is likely to increase average temperatures in Uganda by up to 1.5 °C in the next 20 years and by up to 4.3 °C by the 2080s. Such rates of increase are unprecedented. Changes in rainfall patterns and total annual rainfall amounts are also expected but these are less certain than changes in temperature. The climate of Uganda may become wetter on average and the increase in rainfall may be unevenly distributed and occur as more extreme or more frequent periods of intense rainfall. Regardless of changes in rainfall, changes in temperature are likely to have significant implications for water resources, food security, natural resource management, human health, settlements and infrastructure. In Uganda, as for the rest of the world, there are likely to be changes in the frequency or severity of extreme climate events, such as heat waves, droughts, floods and storms. 2. Uganda is highly vulnerable to climate change and variability - its economy and the wellbeing of its people are tightly bound to climate. Human induced climate change in the coming century has the potential to halt or reverse the country’s development trajectory. In particular, climate change is likely to mean increased food insecurity; shifts in the spread of diseases like malaria; soil erosion and land degradation; flood damage to infrastructure and settlements and shifts in the productivity of agricultural and natural resources. It will be the poor and vulnerable who feel these impacts the hardest, though climate change has serious implications for the nation’s economy, with for example, a shift in the viability of coffee growing areas potentially wiping out Us $ 265.8 million or 40% of export revenue. Exacerbating poverty and triggering migration as well as heightened competition over strategic water resources, climate change could lead to regional insecurity. 3. The level of Lake Victoria is highly sensitive to changes in climate. However, recent claims that the drop in lake level is due to climate change should be viewed with scepticism. Approximately half of the drop in level between 2000 and 2006 can be explained by excess releases at the outflow of the lake made in order to meet power generation demands, whilst the other half appears to be due to climatic factors. It is not yet possible to conclude that climate change is affecting lake levels - Lake Victoria has a long history of high variability in lake levels in response to...
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