Environmentalists have said the rapidly growing population of Uganda is greatly affecting the country’s climate and have called upon leaders and Ugandans to become the lead champion on the war against environmental degradation to save it from destruction.
They said Uganda is facing challenges of imbalanced eco-systems, wetland degradation, urbanisation, which has increased flooding, mudslides, and extended droughts.
The remarks were made during the first day of 12th Annual CSO Wash Forum which kicked off on Tuesday at Hotel Africana under the theme: “The nexus between WASH and Climate change: Building WASH – Climate resilient communities in Uganda.”
The forum which is being hosted by Uganda Water and Sanitation Network (UWASNET) attracted participants from the NGO sector who shared their experiences on the initiatives their areas are undertaking to combat environmental degradation.
Speaking to the Nile Post, the executive director at UWASNET, Yunia Musaazi said that it is very important for the Ugandans to access clean and safe water in addition to conserving the environment.
She said that many Ugandans don’t have access to clean water, adding that access to clean water helps to prevent a number of diseases such as Covid-19, cholera, typhoid among others.
“The issue regarding inadequate financing is affecting us. Our financing has declined from Shs 90 billion last year to Shs 78 billion this year. The donor’s support towards water and sanitation is declining in a way. We ask the government to promote the cause of the network, which is coordination,” she said.
Silas Aogon, the chairperson of Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene who doubles as MP Kumi Municipality said adaptation to climate change is a serious matter and acknowledged that industrialisation is exposing Uganda’s reservoirs to danger.
“We shouldn’t wait for experts from other countries to address the climate change issue in Uganda. It starts with us. Let us wake up and endeavour to implement the laws, plan strategically, and follow up,” he said.
Other participants said It is important to understand how water, sanitation, and hygiene affect climate change, and there’s a need to integrate the two agendas in order to achieve sustainable growth and development in the country.