Monday, 15 June 2009

Climate Change in Uganda

Last week I attended a British Embassy exhibition about climate change in the National Museum. The displays themselves were fairly basic, being aimed, I guess, at the hoards of school kids who make up the vast majority of the museum's visitors. However, the speeches beforehand were interesting, with the British High Commissioner acknowledging the fact that Uganda is suffering through no fault of their own and promising investment in 'clean development' through the international Climate Investment Funds.

An article in today's South African Mail & Guardian is well timed in that respect. It describes the melting of the Rwenzori ice caps in Western Uganda and the multiple effects that is having on the local community:

But on the dusty, quiet streets of Bundibugyo, the potential impacts on the region’s hydrological system are remote concerns. The locals are more bothered by the emergence of malaria, which they insist used to be a scarce occurrence in their cool mountain community. "Earlier we used to not hear mosquitoes and we had no malaria here. Mosquitoes were down," Maate said, gesturing to the warmer lowlands in the distance. "But now they are here."

"When we used to slaughter goats we could leave the meat for two days and you would never see bugs flying around," said Bikalwamuli. "When you slaughter a goat now, so quickly flying insects are everywhere."

Crop planting seasons have also changed and elders are quoted in the article describing the dramatic retreat of the ice. On an aesthetic note I always thought it fantastic that huge fields of snow and ice existed a short distance from the equator. That looks like it will soon be a thing of the past. Something, perhaps, for the climate change deniers in the Western world to consider.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So you notice a few random events, based on hearsay, and you have no idea what might explain it, so you decide there must be a causal link with a global political theme.

This truly is real science that will convince all skeptics. yeah right.

Why don't you write about the fraud and the scams your countrymen are committing in Uganda in the name of climate conservation, selling "carbon credits" etc. but doing nothing?
Why don't you write about the 100.000dollars these carbon bureaus charge for "opening a file"?

I recommend you read less newspapers and start doing your own thinking.

A skeptical environmentalist in Uganda.