27 June 2019

Uganda: Climate Change Bill Waiting for Debate, Says MP

Kampala — The proposed law that seeks to regulate human activities on natural resources to avert the dangerous effects of climate change in the country is yet to be tabled in Parliament.

The Climate Change Bill, among others, seeks to protect the ecosystem threatened by population pressures and erosion that affect all those who depend on natural space.

Mr Lawrence Biyika Songa, the chairperson of the Parliamentary Forum on Climate Change Uganda (PFCC-U), yesterday said Cabinet has approved the Bill and it would be tabled before Parliament for debate.

"The Climate Change Bill was endorsed by Cabinet. We are waiting for them to send it to Parliament to be discussed," Mr Songa, who allayed public fears about its delay, said.

He made the revelation at the Policy Makers' Interactive Symposium on Integrated Risk Management (IRM) that sought to provide PFCC-U members and line ministries, departments and agencies' decision makers. It was also an opportunity to familiarise themselves on the best IRM practices that can be replicated in their respective constituencies and institutions.

The Climate Change Bill, 2018, also seeks to provide for Climate Change adaptation and mitigation measures and actions; to require government ministries, departments, and agencies, local governments, private sector and individuals to undertake their own respective roles.

In 2015, Cabinet directed the Ministry of Water and Environment to initiate the legal framework on climate change.

"We interact with different stakeholders to provide ideas which should guide policy makers while making Climate Change laws and involvement of all people so that the laws can be enforced," Mr Songa, also the Member of Parliament for Ora County in Zombo District, said.

He explained that there is need for resilient solutions so that the community can learn to manage disasters resulting from Climate Change, which affect the economy.

Ms Christine Kaaya, the coordinator of PFCC-U, said the symposium sought to prepare MPs about the Bill to be presented before Parliament but also be able to sensitise their electorates on the proposed law.

"Since most activities that affect climate change are done by local people, they have to look at issues and explain them to their MPs to find resilient solutions to Climate Change. We need specific solutions to specific areas," she said.

Kabweri County MP Francis Gonahasa said every area has its means of adaptation but that the Ministry of Disaster is not well funded to support them.

"We need to put more money in matters of Climate Change adaptation. I demand that MPs be taught about issues of weather to support them during policy making," Mr Gonahasa said.

Aim

The Bill seeks to provide a framework for enforcing climate change adaptation actions through which Uganda will make adjustments in natural or human systems in response to actual impacts of climate change to reduce harm or exploit potential opportunities.

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