The Government of Uganda and the international community are increasingly proactive in preparing households for weather and climate shocks.

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Flooding, drought, and other climate shocks pose major challenges for households in Uganda. The Government of Uganda has taken a much more proactive role in leading the effort to increase resilience in recent years, and international donors are increasing harmonization of their resilience activities and increasingly testing what works and what doesn’t work.

Complex Risk Environment

Uganda is vulnerable to flooding, drought, and increasing rainfall variability and rising temperatures. These vulnerabilities are exacerbated by environmental degradation, underdeveloped irrigation systems, and lack of disaster preparedness at the community level. Northern Uganda is especially affected by weather shocks, such as the 2016 El Niño event that caused a failure of rainfall and led to a devastating drought.

Resilience Approach

The Government of Uganda has taken steps recently to be more proactive about disaster preparedness and climate resilience. In 2008, it established the Climate Change Department within the Ministry of Water and Environment, and in 2015, it scaled up its social safety net for poor and vulnerable households by introducing a disaster risk finance component to one of its largest resilience projects. The Office of the Prime Minister releases a Monthly National Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning Bulletin providing information on crop health and yields, market prices, seasonal forecasts, and flood, drought, and disease impact.

USAID and other donors support agriculture and livestock diversification and are working to improve health, education, water, nutrition, and biodiversity conservation. The international community is also working toward better harmonization of resilience and other development activities and increased testing of what works and what doesn’t work.

Opportunities for Strengthening Resilience

Research has shown that diversifying livelihoods has reduced the use of negative coping mechanisms for farming households in Uganda and that in some contexts, secondary education, cash transfers, and social capital help increase resilience to climate and health shocks. Further research on the impact of resilience activities on non-farming households and over longer periods of time would contribute to a deeper understanding of resilience in Uganda.

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