Global Climate Change Alliance: Adaptation to climate change in Uganda

At a glance

2012-07-01 to 2016-07-01
Active programmes
Min. of Water and Environment, Min. of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
Total budget
11,00 M€
GCCA priority area(s)

Several studies have confirmed that Uganda is vulnerable to climate change and variability. Climate change is expected to result in more extreme and frequent periods of intense rainfall, erratic onset and cessation of the rainy season, as well as more frequent episodes of drought. These changes are likely to have significant implications for agriculture, food security, and soil and water resources.

GCCA's action programme
Geographical scope
Country groups
Initial GCCA/GCCA+ contribution
11,000,000.00 €

Overall objective

Contribute to the sustainable improvement of livelihoods and food security of the rural populations in Uganda.

Objectifs spécifiques
  • Strengthen the resilience of rural populations and agricultural production systems in the central part of the cattle corridor (more specifically, the districts of Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Luweero, Kiboga, Mubende and Sembabule, which are particularly vulnerable to drought and climate variability).
  • Build the capacities of communities, commercial farmers and the Government of Uganda to cope with climate change.


Knowledge and capacities for climate change adaptation are strengthened.

Activities include strengthening the institutional capacity of the Climate Change Department (CCD) of the Ministry of Water and Environment; increasing climate change awareness, knowledge and capacities in selected departments and the target districts; and producing and disseminating adaptation good practices and their integration in relevant policies and plans.

Livestock has better access to water through ‘water for production’ investments.

Planned activities aim to mitigate the impact of water scarcity on livestock production systems, with a focus both on infrastructure development and on design improvements. They include the operation and maintenance of existing and new ‘water for production’ infrastructure, the construction and rehabilitation of valley tanks, mainly for livestock, and the rehabilitation of existing multipurpose valley dams. In addition, small-scale irrigation as part of the multifunctional use of water reservoirs will be piloted. Support will be provided to water user associations and committees to establish effective operation and maintenance systems. A programme of applied multidisciplinary research aimed at strengthening the knowledge base on livestock, pasture, water and population dynamics in the cattle corridor will also be implemented, in the context of climate change, to inform decision making and achieve a more sustainable balance between pasture, livestock and water resources.

Agricultural production systems in the cattle corridor are more climate-resilient.

The resilience of livestock and coffee production systems in the districts of the central cattle corridor will be strengthened using the ‘farmer field school’ approach to develop and disseminate climate change adaptation packages. The network of smallholder coffee producers developed with previous EU funding will be used as a platform for implementation of the coffee sub-component. The development of commercial-scale tree plantations will be promoted for the production of fuelwood and charcoal, using the methodology developed by the EU-funded Sawlog Production Grant Scheme.

Achievements to date
  • The contribution Agreement between the EU Delegation and the FAO was concluded in July 2012, and the Memorandum of Understanding between the FAO and the Government of Uganda in August 2012.
  • The GCCA project established district-level focal points, and two GCCA field offices are operational in Mubende and Nakasongola districts. A monitoring and evaluation framework was developed to track project outputs and outcomes using both quantitative and qualitative indicators. A project communication and visibility plan was also developed.
  • A technical advisor has been recruited to support knowledge and capacity building in the CCD. A planning process was established leading to the finalization of a 5-year costed Strategic Plan (2013-2018) setting out CCD’s vision, mission, goals and objectives, fully aligned with the strategy of the Ministry of Water and Environment and the National Climate Change Policy. A knowledge management survey completed in 20 districts. Based on the capacity gap analysis, the Climate Change Department (CCD) developed an agenda for an awareness campaign at district level that addresses the capacity gaps identified. Training material has been developed, awareness material collected and developed.
  • A detailed work plan has been developed to support improved access of livestock and crops to water – including the selection of beneficiary communities.
  • A baseline survey of targeted districts in the cattle corridor was conducted between December 2012 and January 2013; this will allow comparing the “pre-project” and “post-project” situation against a range of indicators focused on livelihood-supporting assets; food access and availability; resilience, adaptive capacity and coping strategies; climate change-related knowledge and practices; access to water for production; and the regenerative capacity of natural resources.
  • NGO Partners have been identified for promoting community-based adaptation using farmer field schools, for promoting bio-energy plantation and improved charcoal production technologies, and also for promoting climate change adaptation practices for coffee production. As a result, about 42 Farmer Field Schools (FFS) facilitators have been trained, and formation of 168 FFS groups benefitting about 3,214 households initiated along with associated capacity building, field assessment and community action planning. About 70% of FFS have developed adaptation plans to guide field demonstrations and field testing of adaptation practices.  
  • Significant progress has been also made by all the farmer field schools (FFS) across the target 6 districts on promoting village savings and loans initiatives as an adaptation strategy. This activity reached about 131 FFS participating in Village Savings and Loans Associations, representing a collective savings of at least EUR 60,000. On the average about 43% of the saving are invested by farmers towards improving their economic adaptive capacity to climate risks.
  • Recent outcome assessments conducted by FAO in December 2014 indicate that individual farmers are now bringing the new improved knowledge on climate change to their own farms. About 10% of farmers are now applying improved crop production practices on their farm, while about 6% of farmers are now using improved livestock production practices. These figures are expected to increase in the future. 
  • Technicians from the district and national agencies, NGOs and policymakers, have also benefitted from capacity building activities. The thematic areas for training and awareness raising activities has included: adaptation to climate change; climate change mitigation, climate change mainstreaming, concepts of climate change, policy and legislation, and weather and climate. In addition, a team of technical experts is developing a framework and climate change materials inventory, which will be the base for the Resource Centre and the digital climate change library the CCD is establishing in cooperation with Makerere University.

Challenges and lessons learned
  • Consultation and engagement with foreseen partners including local governments, ministries and other development partners during the identification and formulation phase of the project proved useful. It notably allowed for a review of opportunities to use existing structures and implementation modalities to implement this new project, as well as an assessment of elements of complementarities and alignment with existing and planned projects and programmes.
  • The involvement of the National Authorising Officer from the very initial stages further supported coordination.