As the effects of climate change in Uganda become rampant, we have to hold the government and ourselves accountable to implement interventions says Mugisha Praise
The current changes in climate across the world can be attributed to the continuous release of gases such as carbon dioxide. It is raising the temperature of the earth’s atmosphere.
In Uganda, climate change has altered the frequency and amount of rainfall which has led to increased occurrence of droughts, rising and falling water levels, storms, landslides and floating islands.
Climate change has further been intensified by increasing deforestation. With no trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it is putting the entire ecosystem in disarray. Unfortunately, the changes in our climate and dangers therefrom will continue to traverse if nothing is done.
Why fight against climate change?
Ugandans survive on rain-fed agriculture. The activity depends mostly on natural weather in the short term and climate in the long term. Climate change in Uganda has affected its agriculture system and the livelihood of people who depend on it.
As the earth continuously becomes hotter, cropping seasons are being altered –dictated by changes in the rainfall patterns. The changes in climate patterns have also accelerated crop damage by pests and diseases. This is increasing food insecurity, threatening agribusiness and livelihoods.
These phenomena are already being experienced by local farmers who rely on seasonal rain-sun rotations to source both food and income for their families in Uganda.
With the advancement in technology, humans may be able to cope with the effects of climate change. However, the future looks bleak for the animals, birds, plants and fishes. A study by scientists from the University of Arizona warns that one-third of all species may be lost due to the effects of climate change by 2070.
According to a United Nations report; a ‘mass extinction event’ is already underway leading to the loss of these organisms.
The question is, why would we let climate change happen if we can do something about it?
How helpful is planting trees?
It is important to remind ourselves that climate change cannot only be combated by planting trees. Although trees help to absorb carbon, (the most prominent gas causing global warming) our focus should be on minimizing its output.
It is worrying that we have still have not found permanent solutions or alternatives to greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide and ground-level ozone should be of great concern.
Mass sensitization of the public about climate change and its causes is important as it will prompt individuals, households and communities to tackle climate change in Uganda.
As individuals, households, institutions we have to make a choice to decelerate climate change by working collectively to reduce emissions. It is important to note that young voices can be instrumental to fight climate change.
It is our responsibility to maintain the earth habitable for the present and future generations. Let’s heal the earth by conserving the existing forests, replanting the cut-down forests, and planting trees around our roads, homes, schools and workplaces. We must hold the leaders and the government accountable to protect our forests to avoid encroachment by “investors”.
Let’s hold the government and ourselves accountable for implementing interventions to restore favourable weather and climate. Our future depends on it.
Feature Photo by Keith Kasaija on Unsplash