Thursday, December 24, 2009

Drought to hit Uganda's cattle corridor

David Mafabi in the Daily Monitor (Uganda): The cattle corridor covers Karamoja region, Teso, parts of Lango, Busoga, Buganda, and western Uganda. It is a semi-arid transition that registers an annual average rainfall of between 500-900 mm.

The cattle corridor is expected to be hit hard by the effects of climate change unless the government adapts the recommendations that were recently made in the Climate Change summit in Denmark. The Executive Director of Uganda Land Alliance, Ms Esther Obaikol says climate change predictions by the meteorology departments of the United Kingdom and Uganda indicate fewer rains and greater intensity of un-seasoned erosive storms in coming years due to climate change.

“In order to limit the vulnerability of local pastoral communities arising from the sudden erratic climate changes, there’s dire need for greater risk-averting and coping strategies like mixed cropping, agro-forestry and the production of dry season livestock feeds,” she said.
Ms Obaikol said this can be boosted by the cultivation of drought-resistant crops and the establishment of woodlots in the cattle corridor.

…The area is highly vulnerable to prolonged drought alternating with floods and erratic rains. Productivity has steadily declined over the decades and poverty levels are high and the region has been described as a severe poverty hotspot….

Watusi cattle in Uganda, shot by Michel Sautel, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

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