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[KAMPALA]  The Ugandan government has cautioned organisations implementing climate change projects that do not meet the country’s priority adaptation programmes of action that they will lose their funding.

Uganda developed National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA) priorities in 2007 and relies on the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), a programme administered by the World Bank to help protect the global environment and to promote environmental sustainable development, for the policy’s implementation.

Up to US$30 million is available to each of the 48 least developed countries (LDCs) including Uganda to implement NAPAs, which are supported by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), says Chebet Maikut, head of the Climate Change Department, Ministry of Water and Environment.

“We shall not be guided by the funders. We have to come together to achieve the NAPA goals.”

Christine Namaalwa Jjumba, Makerere University

Maikut, who is also the UNFCCC national focal point for Uganda, says the country has accessed US$13 million to implement NAPAs to make communities strong and resilient, and that the remaining $17 million has also been committed. 

Christine Namaalwa Jjumba, a lecturer at the School of Forestry, Environmental and Geographical Sciences (SFEGS), Makerere University, Uganda, says NAPAs identify and communicate priority interventions that address the urgent and immediate national needs and concerns relating to adaptation to adverse effects of climate change.

The government’s stern action follows climate change experts’ realisation that few adaptation projects (about 50 per cent) followed the country’s NAPA priorities.

The country launched a progress report on the implementation of NAPA last month (9 February). At the launch, Maikut explained, “The document was not popularised.”

To develop the NAPAs, Uganda followed guidelines for LDCs guided by two considerations — the need for Uganda to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Uganda’s Poverty Eradication Plan, notes Jjumba.

According to Jjumba, experts selected twelve districts on the basis of their vulnerability to adverse impacts of climate change-related disasters. Experts collected data on the districts’ climate vulnerability, associated shocks and possible adaptation interventions, which were screened using a three-tier criterion — national level, community level and urgency and immediacy.

The most addressed priority areas identified in 2007 were drought adaptation, climate change and development planning as well as water for production, while the least number of interventions included vectors, pests and disease control; indigenous knowledge and natural resource management. Jjumba argues against attaching projects’ implementation to GEF funding, stating: “We shall not be guided by the funders. We have to come together to achieve the NAPA goals.”

Some experts have doubted whether Uganda will be able to strictly implement its NAPA, especially when most of the funds do not emanate from the government.

“To properly implement what the authorities want, the government is supposed to be also contributing some money for adaptation projects,” says Allan Bomuhangi, a lecturer at the SFEGS, Makerere University.

Maikut notes that the government makes contributions, but mostly in kind. 
This piece was produced by SciDev.Nets Sub-Saharan Africa English desk.