Enhancing Resilience to Water-Related Impacts of Climate Change in Uganda's Cattle Corridor
The cattle corridor covers approximately 40% of Uganda's land surface, and is one of the country's most fragile ecosystems. It is particularly vulnerable to climate change. This project will provide relevant information to help farmers cope with droughts and other climatic stresses. Technology as a tool for adaptation This project builds on earlier research that explored how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can be used to help communities address water stress. It tested the value of sharing seasonal forecasts, early warning messages, and adaptation options electronically with farmers in four pilot districts. The areas represented a range of agro-ecological conditions and water management zones. The study showed that up to 93% of the farmers found the actions they took, based on information transmitted to them, helped minimize risks and increase agricultural productivity. Although the crop loss and damage from drought in other districts along the cattle corridor amounted to CA$799 per household in one year (2013), the loss and damage in the intervention project districts was reduced by 67% (between $226 and $325 per household in the same year). Research for long-term benefits The study proved that the use of ICTs can reduce crop loss and damage, but a range of issues and research questions remain. Under this project researchers will develop and assess a system that will provide information and alerts to farmers. It will be sustainable and scalable. This work will support the Uganda Ministry of Water and Environment's efforts to improve the ability of individuals and communities to adapt to climatic hazards. It is important to document the long-term response of agro-pastoral communities to changing or variable climate over a longer period. This project will address the following research questions: -What are the longer term benefits of providing adaptation information through ICTs? -What support is needed (technical, financial, and institutional) to sustain and scale up the climate change adaptation information system? -What role can the private sector play? The results will be used to guide adaptive action and to inform policy processes on the role and potential of ICTs to improve communities' adaptive capacity to climate-related water challenges.