Building community resilience to climate change impacts through watershed restoration in Alebtong District, Northern Uganda

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Joan Angom Atalla

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Uganda is a landlocked nation in East Africa where over 80% of the population depends on rainfed agriculture, which is affected by climate change (MEMD 2017/2021). The Alebtong district, located in Northern Uganda, experiences prolonged dry spells and erratic rainfall, which distorts the crop calendar and drives communities to reclaim watersheds for crop production. This is a maladaptation strategy to climate change impact because watersheds in the form of seasonal or permanent wetlands are crucial for ground water recharge, water purification, water storage, rainfall formation, climate modulation, and flood control. Through implementation of the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund III (NUSAF III), provided by World Bank and the Office of the prime Minister, Alebtong District is building community resilience towards climate change impact through watershed restoration. The fund is given directly to community groups who are guided by technical staff to invest in and implement projects such as:  (1) nursery bed establishment (exotic and indigenous tree species), (2) institutional and roadside greening with seedlings purchased from nursery bed projects, (3) pond fish farming, (4) cage fish farming, (5) ox-traction and crop production and, (6) community access road construction in flood prone areas. Environment and social management plans are developed for all projects to prevent or minimize environmental impacts. Projects have also helped to resolve underlying tensions that would ordinarily emanate from the fact that wetlands are a common property resource. Currently, pond fish farming generates approximately 4,131 US Dollars income per annum for each of the ten fish farming groups.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration