Breaking

Large Cracks Emerge in Roads in Northern Uganda

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60 year old James Kilara, a resident of Latanya Parish in Pajule Sub County attributes the foul smell to insects, amphibians and other aquatic animals dying in the streams. He says birds which should have fed on the dying creatures have migrated to cooler areas along bigger streams. Bush fires have weighed in on tree plantations and homesteads.
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A Wetland in Pader District that has dried up under the weight of the Current 2014 Dry Spell
Large cracks have emerged on the roads of Northern Uganda following months of an extreme dry spell that started in 2014.  The cracks are also visible around streams and on anthills. Denis Ochen, a small holder farmer in Aleda village in Awach Sub County says such cracks were never seen before.

In Pader District, residents are witnessing the worst water stress in years. Those enduring the stress are losing their natural appealing coloration and smell as strange weeds invade them.

60-year-old James Kilara, a resident of Latanya Parish in Pajule Sub County attributes the foul smell to insects, amphibians and other aquatic animals dying in the streams. He says birds which should have fed on the dying creatures have migrated to cooler areas along bigger streams. Bush fires have weighed in on tree plantations and homesteads.

Kilara says the fires have left more people homeless this year compared to the past five years. “Stored food that should have seen us through the next planting season have all been destroyed in fires”, he observed. Relief from government and aid workers have not reached more than 100 affected homesteads in time.

In Kitgum district, pastoralists trek long distances in search of water and pastures for livestock. Sights of cattle crambling for water around boreholes are common places. The animals seek temporal relief and protection from the scorching sun heat in health facilities having unguarded boreholes.

Similar water stress and lack of pastures have pushed pastoralists from drier Karamoja Cattle Corridor in to grazing their livestock in neighboring Agago district.

The story of these small holder farmers and animals is no different from the story of other African farmers struggling to adapt to effects of Climate Change across the Continent. For Climate change experts, getting appropriate technologies for adaptation and mitigation accessible to these helpless communities will go a long way in successfully delivering the country.

According to United Nations Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the year 2014 was on track to being the hottest on record.

Below are field photos highlighting the effects of the current dry spell on farming in Northern Uganda.

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