While Uganda natural climatic is moderate, the country has also been experiencing increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events. Uganda has in past decades experienced more erratic rainfalls leading to frequent busting of rivers, mudslides and landslides that lead to loss of lives and property of communities especially those living in the mountainous areas. At the same time those in low lands experience floods. Prolonged dry seasons are also frequent leading to loss of crops and livestock. From 1900 to 2018, the country has encountered 20 floods, 40 epidemic, 9 drought, and 5 landslides events. The accumulative damages caused by those natural disasters amounts to over 200,000 deaths and at least $80 million economic loss.
This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.
The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.
Climate change is now recognized to have a significant impact on disaster management efforts and pose a significant threat to the efforts to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable populations. The demands of disaster risk management are such that concise, clear, and reliable information is crucial. The information presented here offers insight into the frequency, impact and occurrence of natural hazards. Source (PDF)
Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.
Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals.
This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.
- Uganda is exposed to a variety of natural hazards (droughts, flooding, landslides, heat waves). Poverty, land degradation, rapid and unplanned urbanization since the 1960s, and weak enforcement of building codes and zoning regulations, and a lack of coordinated disaster response strategies are primary drivers of vulnerability.
- Flooding, particularly in low-lying areas of the country, presents the largest risk. Each year, floods impact nearly 50,000 people and over $62 million in GDP. Uganda experiences both flash floods and slow-onset floods, which are common in urban areas, low-lying areas, areas along river banks and swamplands. Areas most prone to floods are the capital city, Kampala, and the northern and eastern areas of the country.
- Droughts affected close to 2.4 million people between 2004 and 2013, and drought conditions in 2010 and 2011 caused an estimated loss and damage value of $1.2 billion, equivalent to 7.5% of Uganda’s 2010 GDP. The most drought-prone areas in Uganda are the districts in the cattle corridor stretching from Western and Central to mid Northern and Eastern Uganda.
- Environmental degradation, underdeveloped irrigation systems, and near-absence of disaster preparedness at the community level are contributing factors to increasing drought risk in Uganda.
- Climate change is expected to increase the risk and intensity of flooding as well as increase likelihood for water scarcity for certain areas of the country.
- Increased intense rainfall events, with the possibility of higher rainfall for some areas will lead to the heightened risk of flooding, loss of life, and damage to property and infrastructure. Intense rainfall and flooding may also result in soil erosion and water logging of crops, decreasing yields and increasing food insecurity.
- Additionally, the increased likelihood of increased aridity and drought stress is expected to lead to water scarcity in some areas, resulting in increased demand for water, raising and the potential for conflict and biodiversity loss. Higher temperatures with increased aridity may also lead to livestock stress and reduced crop yields.
- Uganda’s economic development framework and its 2010 Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper identified disaster management as one of the enabling sectors to achieve sustainable development.
- The Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, part of the Office of the Prime Minister, facilitates collaboration among ministries, local governments, and communities for disaster preparedness and management.
- The country’s Disaster Management Policy was adopted in 2011 and outlines DRM priorities, which include strengthening institutions and financing for climate change adaptation; developing multi-sectoral adaptation plans; implementing programs to reduce the socio-economic impact of climate change and natural disasters; and increasing community-level resilience to climate change.
- The strategic DRM support provided to provinces and municipalities is enabling leaders to establish their own Disaster Prevention, Mitigation, and Response Committees and to develop and implement their own emergency and DRM plans.
- Capacity building support for disaster preparedness and management and post-disaster recovery is also being provided by bi-lateral partners.
- The integration of DRM criteria into building codes, regulations, and zoning laws is also underway to increase the resilience of education and health infrastructure.