The Impact of Climate Change on Sustainable Rural Livelihood: A Case Study of Lwabenge Sub-county Community, Kalungu District.
Amwine, Mwijuka Christopher
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AMWINE MWIJUKA CHRISTOPHER (2010-M092-20043) The Impact of Climate Change on Sustainable Rural Livelihood: A Case Study of Lwabenge Sub-county Community, Kalungu District. Climate change has become a concern of the whole world and nations all over are trying to find ways of overcoming the problem of climate change for sustainable livelihoods. In many countries, governments are seeking advice from a wide range of disciplines on the potential impacts of climate change on the environment and their societies and economy. Climate change is happening globally, regionally, and locally. Uganda currently faces droughts, heavy rains, floods and landslides in the highland areas as well as outbreaks of associated water borne diseases. The livelihoods of Ugandans face the dangers of the impact of climate change. Given this background, the study aimed at establishing how climate change impacted on sustainable rural livelihoods of the people of Lwabenge Sub-County, Kalungu District. The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of climate change on sustainable rural livelihood in Uganda. The specific objectives of the study were: to find out the climate change patterns experienced in Lwabenge Sub-County, to establish the causes of climate change in Lwabenge Sub-County, to identify how climate change has affected the livelihoods of the people of Lwabenge, and to examine the possible solutions to climate change in Lwabenge Sub-County. Both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection were used. A total of 100 local leaders and key community opinion members‟ representatives, 4 focus groups and 14 key informants from sub-county leaders and extension workers, and district extension workers were involved in the study. 42 The study established severe changes in the patterns of precipitation, temperatures and changes in winds, an increase of intensity of sunlight drying the vegetation, the community members were aware of the wide scale tree cutting and wide scale tree felling. Trees have been seriously cleared as a result of charcoal burning, encroaching on wetlands with impunity by some individuals, unreliable rain fall and prolonged dry seasons, some swamps are owned by individual members and not gazetted by government, and there is lack or laxity in enforcements. Changes in climate have had a tremendous effect on water for supporting livelihood of people because of inconsistence in rain fall. There has been an emergence of new diseases like banana and coffee wilt and the disappearing of traditional medicine. The changes in climate have not only affected agriculture farming as a result of banana and coffee wilt and the herbal medicine which used to treat humans and animals; women have become more direct victims of climate change disasters. New methods to mitigate climate change and its effects have been adopted and these include the provision of energy saving stoves that use less firewood compared to the traditional ones, and planting of trees for commercial business. The study recommended the review of the existing laws, by-laws and remove ambiguity that will deter the entire population from degrading the environment. Introduction of pest and disease resistant crops, enterprise diversification towards higher value crops, mobilisation of the institutions to establish plantations, introduction of alternative sources of energy, facilitate the monitoring of wetlands and guard them from possible encroachers. There is need to make a deliberate effort to improve food security through growing of drought resistant crops and diversification of agriculture, introduction of water harvesting technologies for irrigation, carry out research on fast growing trees and improvising through the use of cheap technologies. Furthermore, more effort should be invested in promoting interventions that target women and incorporate environmental protection subjects in the syllabuses at all levels, with environmental practical skills and enable the institutions to adopt the environmental. Key Words: Climate Change, Sustainable Rural Livelihood, Kalungu District