At a glance
The Ugandan economy and wellbeing of the population are intricately linked to natural environment and therefore, highly vulnerable to climate change. The climate change trends observed worldwide have also been confirmed in Uganda, manifested through increased temperatures, erratic rainfalls and extreme events. According to available meteorological data, mean countrywide annual temperatures have risen by 1.3Â°C since 1960, averaging a 0.28Â°C increase per decade. Annual and seasonal rainfalls have decreased significantly across the country since 1960. Rainfall has also become more unpredictable and poorly distributed. Between 2010 and 2013, damages and losses in the agriculture sector caused by the 2010-2011 rainfall deficit were estimated at Euro 699 million, and included crop production losses, animal deaths, livestock production losses and higher production costs. In late 2015 and early 2016, a â€˜super El Ninoâ€™ event exacerbated the regularly increasing annual impacts of climate change, with flooding leading to loss of homes, latrines and public buildings, damage to roads, reduced food security, and outbreaks of cholera. El Nino events occur every 2 to 7 years, with â€˜Super El Ninoâ€™ events approximately every 15 years. The Economic Assessment of the Impacts of climate change in Uganda (2015) presents estimates of the costs of inaction under climate variability and change, for the agriculture and water sectors amongst others. Between 2010 and 2050, damages could amount to somewhere between Euro 126 and 234 billion for these two sectors alone, if no action is taken.
Among Ugandaâ€™s geographic regions, the â€˜cattle corridorâ€™ is especially vulnerable. The area is dominated by pastoral rangelands where livestock is raised with scarce water and pasture, due to environmental degradation, partially related to opening of new land for pasture, and fuelwood and charcoal production. This corridor has many semi-arid characteristics including: i) high rainfall variability; ii) periodic late onset rains/droughts; and iii) historical reliance on mobile pastoralism as an important strategy to cope with resource variability. But mobile pastoralism and migration are becoming less effective, and are heightening the risks of violent conflict, due to increased mining activity, increasing numbers of incoming migrants arriving from neighbouring countries, and fragmentation of the cattle corridor by increasing numbers of farms.1
Ugandaâ€™s resilience to climate change, its pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals and â€˜middle- income countryâ€™ status, are obstructed by significant, persisting gender gaps in agriculture . The country ranks as number 73 out of 102 countries on the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) devised by the OECD.The Country Gender Analysis reporthighlighted gender inequalities in the agriculture sector, as a result of lower education and literacy, disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care and domestic work in the household, unequal bargaining power, limited control and entitlement over productive and natural resources and assets including land; limited physical mobility, less use of modern farm inputs, and limited access to extension services.
Climate change impacts in Uganda have significant gender implications due to the different roles, needs, capacities and positioning of women and men. As a consequence, women and men are exposed to different risks and vulnerabilities. Women are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, notably food insecurity, water shortage and fuel wood scarcity, due to their expected roles in the family to avail and cook food, and fetch water and firewood. Women face a greater burden of unpaid care labour, compared to men, due to cultural traditions and social norms, restricting womenâ€™s time in enhancing their adaptive capacity. Women and girls are in a more disadvantaged predicament due to gender discriminative social norms and customs, which are main detriments to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Extreme climate events also trigger required changes of farming practices and farm decisions by both women and men, yet the decision-making power of women at both household and community level remains unequal to that of men. This impacts directly on the womenâ€™s choices of land plots quality, types of climate resilient crop and livestock, adoption of adaptation and mitigation practices, and investments in water schemes to adapt to climate change.
The Uganda Climate Change Policy (2013) recognises that women are also agents of change, due to their daily interaction with the natural environment. According to the MWE, the effects of climate change have led to women taking non-traditional gender roles and engagement in more income generating activities in order to provide for their families.
 Cost the Gender Gaps in Agriculture, UN Women, 2015
 Country Gender Analysis, EUD, UN Women and Government in Uganda
 Gender and Climate Change, assessing impacts and strategies for mitigation and adaptation to CC in Uganda, 2012
 FAO-GCCA Gender Analysis Report, 2015
 FAO-GCCA Gender Analysis Report, 2014; FAO-GCCA Gender Stocktaking Report, 2016
 Gender Needs Assessment Report, FAO Uganda, NAP-Ag Programme, 2017
 Ministry of Water and Environment, etal (2012). Gender and Climate Change: Assessing Impacts and Strategies for Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change in Uganda. Retrieved from: https://goo.gl/v9I5Lh