An assessment of climate and water issues in major catchments in Uganda carried out by Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa (GWPEA) and the Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda, brought to the fore major challenges related to land degradation and deforestation, and associated impacts on flood risks and livelihoods. GWPEA supported Uganda in developing a project and mobilizing US$7.75million to address these challenges– the first project supported by the Adaptation Fund for the country. Dubbed “Enhancing Resilience of Communities to Climate Change Through Catchment Based Integrated Management of Water and Related resources in Uganda (EURECCCA)”, the project was implemented over 4 years, to integrate climate concerns in catchment management and address land and ecosystem degradation while increasing the resilience of communities to the risk of floods and landslides in Awoja, Maziba and Aswa catchments in Uganda through promoting catchment based integrated, equitable and sustainable management of water and related resources. It has demonstrated an approach that can be upscaled in the country.
The project set out to increase the resilience of ecosystems by supporting sustainable management of forests, wetlands, and riverbanks and to increase the resilience of agricultural landscapes by supporting communities to develop and implement sustainable water harvesting, soil bio-physical and flood control structures. It increased resilience of other community livelihood systems by supporting income generating activities with credit and market access while building the capacity of extension services and institutions at local, catchment, water management zone and national level to support local stakeholders in a holistic manner.
At a high-level event attended by delegates from the Ministry of Water and Environment and dignitaries from the Sahel and Sahara Observatory and other Ministries and agencies within the water and climate sector, the EURECCCA project was officially closed. This took place on 6th June 2023, presided over by the Hon. Sam Cheptoris, the Minister of Water and Environment in Uganda. In his remarks, the Minister thanked OSS for steering the implementation of the project, and GWPEA for executing it at regional level. In a special way he recognized the Adaptation Fund for the funding partnership it had established and extended towards finding solutions for the current impacts of climate change in Uganda and sustainable utilization of natural resources. “The funding towards this intervention has become a steppingstone and benchmark to attract more funds towards climate change. When such funding partners commit and entrust such huge sums of money in our hands and on the other hand we execute to full completion, the affected populations in our nation are salvaged”, said Hon. Cheptoris.
The OSS delegation was led by Mr. Nabil Ben Khatra, Executive Secretary. In his speech, he thanked GWPEA in partnership with the MWE for successfully completing the EURECCCA project. “There are great changes in the catchment areas where the project has been implemented, according to the reports. We have learned a lot which I believe we can replicate in other projects, one of which we have already embarked on i.e. the DRESSEA project”, he said in his remarks. He recognized the tremendous work done by the technical team at the ground as well as the support from the Government of Uganda.
As part of project implementation, GWP East Africa provided strategic guidance through the project steering committee. Recognizing that developing approaches that work for reforestation, restoration of ecosystem services, and taking up of new livelihood options require intensive learning, GWPEA also supported capacity building and knowledge management under the project implementation, especially focusing on rural extension services. This work included a capacity needs assessment, delivery of training modules, training of trainers, and documentation of good practices and lessons learned.
Read more about the EURECCCA project and some of the achievements here
Watch the closing ceremony where GWPEA was recognized for its efforts in executing the EURECCCA project in partnership with Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UhvxCOUn3Q