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Uganda: Atlas of our Changing Environment

04 Sep 2009

The Uganda Atlas of Our Changing Environment, prepared by the National Environmental Management Authority of Uganda, provides extensive scientific evidence of Uganda’s changing environment. Modeled after Africa: Atlas of our Changing Environment previously published by UNEP, the Uganda Atlas seeks to safeguard the country’s environment and inspire decision makers to action.

Key findings:

1. Mabira forest and Budongo forest reserves have shown recovery over the last 30 years due to the increased enforcement by the responsible institutions.

2. The melting of ice on Mount Rwenzori due to global warming has caused increased water flow in the Semliki, eroding its banks and silting Lake Albert.

3. The loss of woody biomass in Nakaseke and Nakasongola is alarming and undermines Uganda’s development path.

4. The consumption of forest and woody biomass resources in both natural and planted forest is unsustainable.

5. Although there is increase in agricultural areas in the Karamoja region the problem of food insecurity will persist because of inadequate water.

6. Siltation from river Kagera is a threat to Lake Victoria and needs immediate action.

7. Building in water ways of Nsooba- Lubigi and Nakivubo channel in Kampala City is the main cause of flooding in the low lying areas. The situation is bound to become worse with the current variability in weather patterns due to climate change and variability.

8. Expansion of Kampala City and reduction in green belts has increased the concrete surface leading to increased runoff silting Lake Victoria through Nakivubo channel.

9. Degradation of wetlands especially in the mountainous areas of Kabale and Kisoro will have far reaching impacts on the food security of these areas. These wetlands sustain the weather even during droughts and should be restored if prosperity is to be achieved.

10. The flooding of the Teso region in 2007 occurred in areas that are seasonal wetlands which have been degraded because of overgrazing.

11. Encroachment of the Benet people on the Mount Elgon National park is part of the problem causing increased run-off resulting in water logging and flooding in the low-lying areas of Ngenge and Lake Bisina.

12. Although bush burning is illegal most parts of the country are in flames during the months of January and February. The areas most affected are Kooki hills in Rakai, the Ngenge plains in the east, the areas surrounding Budongo forest and Pader District in the North.

13. Civil strife and unrest resulting in IDP’s increases the vulnerability of Uganda as a country from achieving MDG’s target.

14. In 2002, the percentage of households that used electricity was 80%, tadooba 76% and lantern 11%. Households using electricity in urban areas was 41% and only 4% in rural areas. Kampala had 61% of households using electricity, central 15%, north only 1%.

Tags: Uganda Africa agriculture atlas biodiversity climate change conservation deforestation development energy fisheries forests geology green economy industry land use rivers lakes and streams soil tourism transboundary governance water wetlands wildlife

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