Ugandan climate policies lack a gender perspective

Climate change should be a priority, emphasizes the project that analyzes Uganda’s policies, and accordingly, this country has not paid enough attention to the problem in national development and agriculture, and it is necessary to do so before it is too late.

The Political Action for Climate Change (Pacca) project seeks to link national and local policies and institutions for the development and adoption of climate-resilient food systems. According to him, policies are scattered and need coordination.

Edede Ambaire, project coordinator, told IPS that in addition to the lack of coherence between policies, they need to be revised to include climate change and agriculture.

“Many policies were developed when climate change was not a problem, and tended to focus only on the environment, although they implicitly refer to the sustainable management of the use of natural resources, and they are also interventions that help farmers to be resilient, but they do not speak frankly,” Empire explained. on climate change”.

Project Pacca, led by International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA, in English), also operates in Tanzania.

“The situation there could be worse compared to what is happening in Uganda, especially at the local level,” he said.

Evidence indicates that policies in these two countries are not only fragmented and poorly implemented, but coordination between the various actors is inadequate and their roles unclear, Empire noted.

In Uganda, initiatives such as the 2013 National Climate Change Policy, the National Agricultural Policy of the same year, the National Development Plan and the 1997 Gender Policy were analyzed.

One of the most surprising conclusions, Ampaire’s detailed, was that none of the policies articulated gender issues in global warming adaptation actions.

“What we know about the policies is that they don’t cover gender issues enough. They don’t provide certain provisions for specific groups. And I think that creates problems, especially at the lower levels.

They must implement strategies that address inequality between different sectors, such as youth and women. She emphasized that women in Uganda make up 80 percent of the agricultural workforce, but they are not included anywhere and do not control any resources.”

In Tanzania, Empire said the initial national communication and national adaptation action plan submitted by the government to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Gender considerations are not included.

From a Ugandan perspective, the recommendations were based on the findings of a study that analyzed gaps in national policies and strategic plans and included gender inclusion in adaptation initiatives and in the adoption of climate-smart agriculture, says Empire.

Another study on gender and climate change conducted by Baka in Uganda concluded that these issues are often cross-cutting and do not receive clear priority or budget allocation.

“Gender mainstreaming in most of the policies analyzed is an accessory rather than an integral part of it,” says the report, Gender and Climate Change in Uganda: The Impact of Policies and Institutional Frameworks.

The way in which gender issues are addressed in Uganda’s agricultural policies and strategies is diverse and not homogeneous. Stronger coordination and accountability between sectors is needed because gender mandates for different interventions fall to different ministries and agencies,” states a report by Idedah Empire, Wendy Okolo, and Jennifer Twiman.

In the Masaka and Rakai regions of southern Uganda, more than 90 percent of the population depends on subsistence farming. Most crops are found on slopes between peaks and swamps and have an average size of between 0.8 and 1.21 hectares.

Population pressure in that area leads to the invasion of the riverine swamps that feed the Nile River system and its steep slopes and basins. The rainy seasons there are becoming less predictable and less rare.

Farmers are faced with the problem of lack of water availability and soil depletion, and need to make better use of natural rainfall, yet national policies do not take into account the specific needs of the region.[related_articles]

The Ministry of Local Government is working with Pacca to analyze policies in the framework of the decentralized response to climate change

Andrew Nadiop, a specialist in that secretariat, explained to IPS: “We realized that when we plan, we have to do so with climate change in mind because when we document some of the specific needs of particular regions, adaptation measures can be better targeted.” .

Rakai district, located in the southwest of Uganda’s central region and home to about 500,000 people, suffers from severe water scarcity, and groundwater often contains an excessive concentration of iron.

The local administration, with the support of the central government, has built about 1,300 water sources, but many of them have not operated for more than five years and are considered abandoned because the water is brackish.

Farmer Jude Siwankambo, from Kagamba in the town of Bugamba, told IPS that the construction of wells was a typical case of poor planning. Moreover, the locals were not consulted.

For example, he said, “We ended up spending money on groundwater projects, and we would have chosen initiatives like rainwater harvesting.”

He said that his wife and children have to travel more than two kilometers to fetch fresh water from the river.

Siwankambo told IPS that he and his wife have learned how to build rainwater storage tanks, but it takes a lot of money.

If you want a tank with 10 cubic meters of water, this will cost you about $800; And for 1,000 to 1,500 liter rain bags, you’ll need about another $200. Many people here don’t have that money.”

Translated by Veronica Fermi

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