Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can Ugandan farmers curb dry spells?

Thomas Ssemakula in AllAfrica.com via New Vision (Uganda): Towards the end of last year, weather experts predicated that Uganda would face a long and dry spell. This prediction has already come to pass with the current hot temperatures sweeping throughmost parts of the country. The drought phenomenon is part of a wave of natural disasters that have hit the world in the past decades as a result of human induced global climate change.

The trend these natural disasters have taken will be aggravated by the projections of extreme weather patterns related to global climate change. Combating this problem, requires the collaborative effort of international, national, regional, and Uganda's development partners.

A report on climate change and adaptation strategies in Karamoja sub-region authored by the Dan Church Aid in may 2010 reveals more shocking facts - that human induced climate change is projected to increase the average temperatures in Uganda by up to 1.5 degrees centigrade in the next 20 years and up to 4.3 degrees centigrade by the 2080s.

…This particular dry season is a challenge to Uganda in that, whereas the predominantly desert countries like Egypt and Israel grow fruits and export juice, Uganda, which is richly blessed with fertile soils and more reliable rainfall patterns is still bound in a business-as-usual approach towards the dry season challenge.

...Dry spells largely impact agricultural production and development by reducing yields and productivity of both crop and livestock products, which culminates into food insecurity.

This catastrophe can be averted with adaptive measures that are cost effective to the farmers.For instance, farmers can use locally available technologies that are friendly to our environment....

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