Climate Change; A Threat to Lives in Uganda?

By Ssebaggala Peterson S.

Agriculture is one of the major activities in Uganda, a developing country. Agriculture highly depends on climate of any area. Once it is misused it can turn up to be a menace. Uganda is composed of a population of more than 28 million people. Half of this population lives in extreme poverty in rural areas.

More than 80% of Ugandans are peasant farmers and stay in villages where they earn barely a dollar per day. During heavy rains, gardens are flooded with water leading to loss of crops. Villages like Apac (district in the northern part of Uganda), the people at one point lost all their agriculture products and some lives. The dangers of these floods are more common in areas where trees have been cleared as people struggle to earn a living by cutting trees. This leaves the ground bare and susceptible to floods causing massive property destruction and hunger.

It is now becoming a routine that during dry periods that land is burnt in rural areas. This is because, the farmers especially cattle keepers have a belief that once an area is burnt, the grass germinates and grows faster. Also, some farmers are lazy and reluctant to cultivate using their hands; instead, they burn the grass and till the soil to plant.

The result is burning all the grass which affects the ecosystem. All the grass including seeds are burnt and some times since seeds are also burnt, germination becomes impossible.

Swamps are valuable and offer vital benefits including flood control, groundwater recharge, pollution cleanup, wildlife habitat, as well as recreation. However, in Uganda, It’s very unfortunate that in most of these swamps have been cleared and already replaced with roads and houses, hence making the areas susceptible to floods. These have washed away people’s food leading to hunger.

An example; Butalejja, a new district in the Eastern part of Uganda where most swamps have been cleared for cultivation of crops like rice and the result is stagnant water and floods leading to many cases of malaria in the area.

On top of drinking water for survival, it’s where we fish, swim and perform other recreational activities like camping and many more.

Clearing of land needs to be stopped in order to increase food security in the area and reduce hunger.

Farmers are advised to immediately replace the burnt and cut trees and stop the act of burning. This will increase food security and death dew to hunger.


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