Wetland Restoration Drive Imminent in Eastern Uganda

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In short
The eight-year project is supported by a USD 24 million grant from the Green Climate Fund, USD 2 million from the United Nations Development Programme-UNDP and USD 18.12 million in co-financing from the Government of Uganda.

The government has embarked on a drive to restore critical wetlands in Eastern and South Western Uganda as part of a multipronged project seeking to build resilient communities, wetland ecosystems and associated catchments.

The eight-year project is supported by a USD 24 million grant from the Green Climate Fund, USD 2 million from the United Nations Development Programme-UNDP and USD 18.12  million in co-financing from the Government of Uganda.

Under the project, the government intends to restore an estimated area of at least 760 square kilometres of degraded wetlands and associated catchments and improve the lives of at least 500,000 people living in 20 districts in Eastern and South Western regions of Uganda.

Targeted districts in Eastern Uganda include Pallisa, Tororo, Mbale, Budaka, Butaleja, Ngora, Bukedea, Kaliro, Namutumba and Kibuku in Eastern Uganda. Some of these have experienced the highest levels of wetland degradation and climate change impacts, according to Paul Mafabi, the director of Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Water and Environment.

Mafabi says the project will employ a three-pronged approach including; restoration of wetlands and associated forests improved agricultural practices and alternative livelihood options in the wetland catchment areas and strengthening access to climate and early warning information to farmers.

He was speaking at a meeting with Residents District Commissions, district Chairpersons, Chief Administrative Officers, environmental officers and climate experts held at Mbale District headquarters hall, Sunday.

 
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It is anticipated that the restored wetlands will also enhance communities' climate change adaptation and resilience, by reducing risk to flooding and drought associated with changing climatic conditions.

About 4 million people are estimated to be living adjacent to wetland areas in Uganda and rely on these areas to feed their families and make a living. Wetlands are also an important ecosystem that captures carbon and their conservation will contribute to lowered greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Mafabi, the project will also diversify economic activities for the vulnerable communities living in the Southwestern and Eastern regions of Uganda through the introduction of improved fishing and agricultural practices among other activities.

The project will be implemented by the Ministries of Water and Environment, Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries together with the Uganda National Meteorology Authority. It will also engage various civil society and the private sector groups.

 

About the author

Salume Among
Salume Among is the Mbale URN bureau chief. Among has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Among started her career in 2000 as a freelance writer for Etop newspaper before starting to write for its mother paper, The New Vision. She also wrote for the Vision Group's XFM radio station from 2008 until she left to join URN.

Among has a keen interest in local politics having been a youth representative in the Soroti variously between 1996 and 2010. Among also regularly reports on health, education, the environment and sports.