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What Does the Climate Crisis Mean for Uganda?

Updated: Jan 11

With World Environment Day on Monday 5th June, we take a closer look and how climate shocks have impacted those we work in partnership with in Kampala.

Why is Africa so vulnerable to climate change?

When it comes to the climate crisis, Africa is at the eye of the storm, with Uganda being in the top 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change. All 10 countries are in Africa.

Africa is vulnerable because it is exposed to damaging climate risks including extreme droughts, flooding and storms. Comparatively to the Global North, there is lower capacity for adaptability, making it further vulnerable to high rates of poverty, financial and technological constraints as a result of reliance on agriculture.

Africa has one thing in common with the rest of the world: the certainty that rising temperatures will exacerbate existing problems and vulnerabilities.

Shedding a light on how the climate crisis impacts those living in Kampala's slum districts

Uganda has always experienced a heavy rainy season. The season runs from March to May and from September to November. Over the past 35 years the rainy season has increased by two months and now commonly runs from March until the end of the year.

"When I was young, we used to have two seasons in a year, but now I realise that we have one ... and now when we plant things... they all dry up." Suzan Nakyejwe – Community Member

There are five major impacts of climate change on Ugandan communities;

Flash Flooding

The increase in rainfall impacts Uganda in many ways, one significant way is flooding. Flash flooding and slow-onset floods impact nearly 50,000 Ugandans every year. These are particularly common in urban areas such as Kampala. Poor sewage and sanitation systems in Kampala’s low lying slums mean that flooding has a devastating impact on our communities and their livelihoods.


Clean Water Shortages

Food Insecurity

Rise in Disease

What exhausts the implications of climate change is the growing urbanisation of Uganda’s cities. As extreme weather makes village life and farming almost impossible, more families relocate to the cities, many ending up in Kampala’s slums as climate refugees.

Uganda is home to 1.5 million refugees, fleeing from countries such as South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 80% of these refugees are based in settlements in the North, South West and Kampala, adding strain to the already overcrowded communities.

Kampala’s slum communities continue to struggle with climate induced migration and limited food, water, flash flooding, and droughts will leave those living in slums, particularly vulnerable. As cities and slums grow, freshwater is polluted and resources become strained with overpopulation.

Adapting to Climate Shocks

Every year homes, schools, businesses and churches are destroyed by rainfall and flooding. Recovering from a flood is costly, many in the slum communities are unable to rebuild after extreme weather and become homeless as a result.

In 2019 we held an emergency appeal to rebuild our classroom in Katanga after flooding caused irreversible damage and prevented children from getting an education

We've installed solar panels on buildings housing our projects to promote sustainable energy.

Uganda is on the front line of climate change and the communities we work with in Kampala's slums are some of the most vulnerable to extreme changes in the environment.

Kids Club Kampala continues to invest in the future of Kampala through our programmes and implementing sustainable practices as we go.

The climate crisis and poverty are inextricably linked and together we can support communities to to develop strategies to overcome climate shocks.


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