More Rain, High Tempratures Threaten Livelihoods in Karamoja, says Report

3282 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
According to the study, Karamoja region is receiving much more rain today than it used to in the past. While the amount of rainfall has increased, according to the report, the region has also had an increase in temperature because of climate Change.

A new study carried out by the Government of Uganda and its partners has found a new weather pattern that threatens to worsen food insecurity in the Karamoja region if no action is taken.

According to the study, Karamoja region is receiving much more rain today than it used to in the past. While the amount of rainfall has increased, according to the report, the region has also had an increase in temperature because of climate Change.

The findings are in the report released today.

Siddharth Krishnaswamy, the Head of Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation at World Food Programme in Kampala, says because of climate change the total amount of water and rainfall received in Karamoja is more than it used to be.

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Godfrey Mujuni, a Manager with Uganda National Meteorological Authority, also one of the co-researchers of the study, says the increase in temperature has turned around what would have been good news for Karamoja.

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The study found that the average monthly rainfall in the region increased over the last 35 years and that the rainy season is now longer by two months. However, the rains - which now fall from around March to the end of the year - increasingly varied in volumes.

This unpredictability was found to undermine agricultural production, thereby threatening to aggravate food insecurity in Karamoja.

 The study titled "Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security and Livelihoods in Karamoja", said the rising temperatures threaten to increase the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves in the region, therefore reducing availability of water for crops and animals.

A large majority of people in Karamoja, particularly women were not aware that changes to the climate had been taking place over decades, the study states. It says most of the people that had perceived changes to the climate had not taken any action to adapt, typically because they did not know how to do so.

The study was carried out in 2016 by the Ministry of Water and Environment with support from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Consortium's Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

 El Khidir Daloum, WFP Country Director for Uganda noted that Karamoja's population is heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture, which is highly vulnerable to climate change.

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WFP hopes that the findings and recommendations of the study will contribute to efforts toward appropriate adaptation measures while helping to identify policies that will safeguard the most vulnerable communities in Karamoja.

 The study recommended that the Government and its partners increase investments in water harvesting and agro-forestry schemes, education of the people, improved access to climate change information and the cultivation of drought-resistant crop varieties.