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Donor Funding Not Sole Solution to Climate Change Effects :: Uganda Radionetwork

Donor Funding Not Sole Solution to Climate Change Effects

Capt. Dukundane pointed out that it's past time for Africa to look for solutions to reducing or adapting to the effects of climate change, which have already led to negative repercussions in the area.
A turkana herdsboy shares scarce water with donkeys along the Uganda-Kenya border in Kenya.

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Capt Dieudonne Dukundane, the Burundian Director for Environment at the Lake Tanganyika Authority has cautioned authorities in East and Horn of Africa to stop viewing donor money as the magic bullet that will solve the consequences of climate change in their areas and the entire Africa.

He made the remarks Wednesday at a three-day high-level regional inter-ministerial meeting that is ongoing at the Speke Resort Munyonyo focusing on migration, environment, and climate change in the East and Horn of Africa.

Capt. Dukundane pointed out that it's past time for Africa to look for solutions to reducing or adapting to the effects of climate change, which have already led to negative repercussions in the area.

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His remarks came as delegates from different countries lobbied for funds from International organizations to help their respective countries fund projects to tackle climate change challenges.  For instance, Joseph Africans Bartel, the undersecretary of the South Sudanese Ministry of Environment and Forests, had rallied the attendees to push for funding as the major issue that Africa should front at the upcoming 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change-COP27 due in November 2022 in Egypt.

However, Capt Dukundane noted that African leaders and technical experts working on climate change and environment-related issues ought to stop moaning and waiting for donor funding and start looking on the bright side.  He explained that states can, for instance, search for investment opportunities resulting from climate change effects that can attract funding from private investors.

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The UN Resident Coordinator in Uganda, Susan Ngongi Namondo also pointed out that funding climate change mitigation programs are a huge burden for all governments, particularly in the wake of the pandemic and the unfolding impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war. Concurring with the Burundian official, Namondo said that states would need to find better methods of operating by creating more inclusive strategies to deal with their financial issues. 

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With only two to three percent of global emissions, Africa has made a negligible contribution to the changing climate, yet it stands out as the planet's most vulnerable continent. This vulnerability is driven by the prevailing low levels of socioeconomic growth in the continent.

Dr. Tom Okurut, the Executive Director of Climate Change Action East Africa, noted that before looking for billions of cash, there is a need for governments to unpack and localize climate change so that citizens understand it. Dr. Okurut, formerly the Chief of the National Environment Management Authority-NEMA Uganda, asserts that it is essential to communicate climate change to people in a way that makes sense to them.

For example, he notes that local factors like food shortages, protracted droughts, and radical seasonal changes can be used to explain the large animal in the room. 

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According to Okurut, if the idea is clarified and people begin to view it as their problem rather than a state one, they will soon begin coming up with ideas that would afterward help them lessen or mitigate climate change. Sanusi Tejan Savage, the Chief of Uganda Mission International Organisation on Migration-IOM, also galvanized the conference attendees, who came from over 12 different countries, to support efforts to address the effects of climate change on human mobility.  

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Alfred Okot Okidi, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water and Environment, says that to further the discussion on climate change and migration, they expect to release a joint declaration at the end of the three-day conference. 

Okidi pointed out that among other things, the declaration will give the invited States a vantage point from, which they intend to express regional priorities concerning the negotiations set for COP27. He added that this will help them to encourage other stakeholders to support initiatives that would address the negative impact of climate change-induced migration.  

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The regional meeting comes at a time when the UN General Assembly is considering voting on a resolution recognizing the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The resolution calls upon States and international organizations to adopt policies and scale up efforts to ensure a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment for all. 

The said resolution is expected to provide the much-needed impetus to propel action against climate change impacts like a hunger that has so far claimed hundreds of lives in the Karamoja and Lango sub-regions, and affected thousands more in the East and Horn of Africa.   

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