Climate Change-Induced Flood Disaster Policy Communication Issues for Local Community Adaptation Resilience Management in Uganda: Climate Information Services for Effective National Flood Risk Assessment Decision Communication

Climate Change-Induced Flood Disaster Policy Communication Issues for Local Community Adaptation Resilience Management in Uganda: Climate Information Services for Effective National Flood Risk Assessment Decision Communication

Wilson Truman Okaka (Kyambogo University, Uganda)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9771-1.ch011

Abstract

Effective climate change and disaster policy communication services are vital for enhancing the adaptive resilience capacity of the vulnerable local communities in poor countries like Uganda. This chapter focuses on the effectiveness of the Ugandan national climate change and disaster policy information communication strategies in addressing national flooding disaster risks, highlights the recent trends of knowledge based responses to climate change induced floods, assesses the impact of the flood on the socio-economic well-being of local households and communities, and determines the vulnerability issues with corresponding adaptation strategies to floods in the flood prone country. Climate change flood risks have continued to exact huge socio-economic loss and damage effects due to the vulnerability and weak adaptation strategies to floods. The national meteorological services tend to forecast seasonal flood events; some flood forcing factors; and the impact of floods on social, economic, ecological, and physical infrastructure are on the rise in some parts of the country.
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Introduction

Uganda has experienced a flurry of serial climate change and variability induced flood disaster episodes that have caused wanton loss and damage of unquantifiable socio-economic and environmental impacts at all levels of local communities (2010).The country has often suffered prevalent: multiple civil strife; famines, drought; transport accidents, earthquakes; epidemics of disease; flooding, landslides, environmental degradation, technological accidents, crop pest infestation, livestock and wildlife disease epidemics from time to time, as a result of extreme climate events in all regions of the country(GU, 2010).

As a result, Uganda has often suffered from negative effects like; declining crops yields and increasing food insecurity; melting of snow caps and glaciers on Rwenzori Mountain; increased frequency and intensity of droughts and floods; reduced water supply; increase in pests and diseases for livestock, wildlife and crops; increase of vector-borne diseases, including malaria and rift valley fever, water-borne diseases like dysentery, bilharzias, cholera, and typhoid; increase in invasive species; declining levels of fresh water resources; rising sea levels, leading to displacement of people, and disruption of both; terrestrial and marine ecosystems and other important natural habitats; and natural resource based conflicts due to water floods that are caused by sudden heavy downpours (ICSU, 2008).

According to the Ugandan environment state agency, climate is a vital natural resource necessary for socio-economic development because the influence of climate variability on agricultural production shows that we depend on rain-fed agriculture for livelihoods and food security and climate change flood assessment strategies consider that (NEMA, 2014):

  • Climate is a vital natural resource which should be well harnessed for socio-economic development;

  • The utilization of the climate and atmospheric information is critical in aviation safety, agriculture and the efficient management of the environment;

  • Resource users like farmers should participate in the monitoring and dissemination of climatic information;

  • The promotion of international cooperation for smooth exchange of climatic information and control of transboundary atmospheric air pollution is important in the management of the resource; and

  • Access to climatic data/information should be guaranteed on terms determined by the relevant authority.

  • Improve coordination and exchange of meteorological information among various stakeholders;

  • Strengthen the national meteorological monitoring networks with capacity to process data;

  • Improve awareness among potential users and decision-makers of climatic and atmospheric information;

  • Strengthen the infrastructure and man power for climate, meteorology and meteorological studies;

  • Strengthen the Early Warning Information System for effective disaster preparedness and response to extreme climatic events or accidental hazardous emissions into the atmosphere;

  • Strengthen national, regional, and global cooperation for climate and weather management facilities.

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