The Germany Government has agreed to continue funding the Climate Change Adaptation project in Karamoja after integrating it in their IGAD Project.
This was revealed by Germany’s Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Dr. Peter Blomeyer while responding to a request made by the First Lady and Minister for Karamoja Affairs Mrs. Janet Museveni.
Janet requested the Germany Government to consider extension of the GIZ Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) Project in Karamoja for at least three years.
She said this will help consolidate the gains and progress achieved in mitigating climate change challenges in the region.
Climatic conditions in the semi-arid region of Karamoja in north-eastern Uganda are unpredictable. After more than 20 years of internal conflict, the region has now become more peaceful and people have taken up different activities to earn their livelihoods.
Many of the traditionally nomadic Karimojong, who lost their cattle due to the disruption of their pastoral lifestyle, have now established themselves as subsistence farmers.
However, they lack many of the skills, knowledge and assets needed for farming, and they also face the negative impacts of climate change.
The region is affected by severe droughts and flooding. This threatens the food security of the population, which is now more dependent on arable farming.
The project promotes behavioural change and supports various groups in pursuing environmentally friendly activities for income generation and saving schemes.
So far these have included the introduction of energy-efficient stoves, the use of interlocking soil-stabilised blocks for house building, vegetable gardening, animal traction and agro-forestry methods. The next step focuses on introducing improved and drought-resistant planting material and seeds, which are recommended by national research centres.
Since September 2013, in order to roll out the adapted technologies at the local level, the project has established two climate change adaptation learning centres as hubs for innovation and technology transfer.
Learning takes place in community-based structures consisting of farmer field schools, junior farmer field schools, settlement disaster management committees and village savings and loans associations, as well as through a farmer-to-farmer approach.
More recently, the project has begun a tree-planting campaign in and around the local settlements known as manyattas. It has also established junior farmer field schools attached to a number of schools and has focused activities on producer groups, applying the farmer-to-farmer approach.
As part of these activities it has also begun to sensitise communities and opinion leaders about the extremely destructive tradition of bushfires.