EA Food Security Symposium & Expo pits Uganda on Climate Action

In Summary
  • All the food production natural processes have been disrupted leading to food insecurity
  • International University of East Africa has developed an economic and
    Emission free tractors.
  • Strengthening the roles of Field Extension Workers under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to address Post Harvest Handling issues.
  • The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) should prepare Risk Maps that indicate districts that are prone to either Chronic or Transitory Food Insecurity
First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of EastAfrican Affairs Rt. Hon.Rebecca Kadaga
Image: Courtesy

Experts on food security have expressed concern that Uganda unlike other countries in East Africa, lacks any visible concrete intervention on the management of climate change impacts.

During the East African Food Security Symposium and Expo, held at the International University of East Africa  (IUEA) participants acknowledged that the Climate (Both Micro and Macro) has changed during the last 30 years. As a result, all the food production natural processes have been disrupted leading to food insecurity.

This was as they discussed climate adaptation and resilience initiatives which can be enhanced and reinforced in Uganda and East Africa as a region under the theme: “Linking climate change, food security and well-being graced by all the 11 East African countries as participants and exhibitors

The Conference acknowledged that Uganda indeed has very good policies and laws on environment that would help stop the current rate of environmental degradation. However, the enforcement of these policies and laws is chronically lacking.

Participants attending the symposium
Image: Courtesy

It was strongly recommend that government must enforce these laws and policies at all levels (National, District and Lower Local Governments levels) and ensure that they are fully empowered.

Karamoja is one of the regions that has been impacted by food insecurity for decades even before independence. Although Government has put several interventions in the region to address food insecurity, this problem has persisted.

According to the findings, the key underlying causes of famine in Karamoja is the mindset of the Karamajong people that is geared only towards nomadism neglecting crop production and broken food chain systems adding that the region requires a deliberate mind-change program that addresses nutritional issues at household level (like M/s Caritas Uganda) and hands-on programs towards food production, storage, utilization and trade in excess foods and climate change adaptation interventions.

It is in that regard that the guest of Honour,First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of EastAfrican Affairs Rt. Hon.Rebecca Kadaga tasked the Vice Chancellor,(IUEA)  Dr. Emeka Akaezuwa and his team to develop quick and sustainable interventions to solve the hunger and drought conditions in the Karamoja sub region.This was as she officiated the closure of the 3 day Symposium.

IUEA Vice Chancellor Prof. Emeka Akaezuwa speaks at the symposium
Image: Courtesy

“At International University of East Africa, we believe in practical innovations that are solution tailored and implored by everyone to be part of the solution” said Prof. Emeka

The participants welcomed the One Acre Model as a win-win Climate Change adaptation measure that also addresses livelihood and nutrition issues in the country.

The symposium was meant to promote awareness of the linkages of the impacts of climate change to the food security issue while openly discussing the food production chain and systems with a focus on safeguarding communities from hunger in Uganda, the East Africa region, Africa and the world as a global village.

Other recommendations were that, government should enact laws that protect women and youth in land succession, adoption of emission free tractors, more synergy between UPDF and the Central and Local Government in the future development programs, District Local Governments should prepare and enforce ordinances and bylaws that address Post Harvest Handlings and Food Securities, solid wastes management efforts should continue until household level and introduction of more improved technologies.