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REPORT: Uganda now 10th most vulnerable country, 35th least prepared to deal with climate change-related disasters

BUSHENYI Uganda is ranked as the 10th most vulnerable country to the impacts of climate change and 35th least readying in terms of preparedness for climate change effects, the latest Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN 2021) has indicated.

The ND-GAIN 2021 also indicates that extreme weather events are increasingly frequent and severe across much of the African region, including in Uganda.

In its 2019 report, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative Index, Uganda was the 15th most vulnerable country to climate change.

The ND-GAIN Country Index captures a country’s vulnerability to climate change and other global challenges, and its readiness to improve resilience.

The high vulnerability score and low readiness score of Uganda places it in the upper-left quadrant of the ND-GAIN Matrix. It has both a great need for investment and innovations to improve readiness and a great urgency for action.

“Uganda, which is one of the most vulnerable countries, is experiencing changes in rainfall patterns, soil erosion and landslides, and droughts,” says Mr. Noah Owomugisha, the aBi Head of Investments—Green Growth and Business Development Services – adding that the country needs to urgently adapt to the changing climate and become more resilient.

Owomugisha was speaking during a green finance capacity building training for financial institutions held in Bushenyi on Monday July 31.

The financial institutions, which include banks and microfinance institutions, were being trained on how to assess businesses and projects that promote green financing and renewable energy for possible funding.

The training is being conducted by aBi Finance and the Uganda Institute of Banking and Financial Services (UIBFS).

Owomugisha said the countrywide engagement with financial institutions seeks to increase the necessary knowledge on green finance, awareness, and capacity building to drive local-level adaptation to the impacts of climate change.

“We are telling commercial that they need to move away from only giving loans for people to use to make more money, but also inform them that as they make more money, they should know that we have problems such as climate change, which are going to threaten the same money they are lending for people to earn or for them to and through their loans,” Owomugisha said.

He said says that financing should not only be for profit making but also be used in a way that is socially inclusive but also that is climate smart.

“If you’re doing livestock, and you know time is going to come when the grass is going to be too dry, harvest the grass and it dry it and keep it as hay so that when the drought comes, you continue with production because animals don’t want to go out of food. The same applies to silage.  In that way, you’re being climate smart because, by the time drought comes, you have already invested and made your money [and] you can pay your loan, you can also have enough food for your home to consume. So that’s the kind of training we’re offering them,” Owomugisha said in an interview.

Uganda’s economy and the livelihood of her people are highly dependent on natural resources, which are prone to climate change impacts.

The country experiences increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events manifested in more erratic rainfalls and prolonged dry seasons due to climate variability and change,” he added.

In 2019, tens of thousands of Ugandans were displaced by floods and landslides, while a 2020 locust swarm destroyed crops and livelihoods.

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