Uganda: Activists Say Climate Change Budgets a 'Stab in the Back'

Ugandan Finance Minister Matia Kasaija with the 2024 Budget Box.

The Environment Shield, a civic environmental conservation organisation, has expressed dissatisfaction with the limited funding allocated to combat climate change and protect nature and vulnerable communities in the FY 2024/2025.

Last month, Finance minister Matia Kasaija allocated Shs516.78 billion in the financial year 2024/25 Budget to climate change mitigation activities, natural resources protection and preservation, environmental protection and water resources management.

The minister admitted there are many risks to Uganda's growth prospects that require urgent mitigation. Most notable among them is climate change.

He confirmed that climate change is one of the biggest threats to the growth and development, as it has diminished agricultural production and imperiled infrastructure development.

He, however, stated that the government is working hard and fast to minimise the risks through implementing strict climate change adaptation measures, exploring cheaper climate finance options, and getting frugal.

Some of the climate change mitigation measures mentioned included the intention of government to restore 42,450 hectares of degraded wetlands along the Awoja, Kandekye-Ruhorobero, Nchwera, Chambura, Kiruruma, Naigombwa, Kibimba, Tochi, Aswa, Sezibwa, Mayanja, Muzizi, Mpanga and

Lumbuye water systems

The organization argue that the current financial commitments fall short of what is needed to address the escalating environmental crises and disproportionately impact marginalized populations.

The Government further promised to enhance green financing to ensure adequate climate adaptation and related mitigation. This will be done by further capitalising Uganda Development Bank (UDB) with an additional Shs55 billion.

The Shs516.78billion allocation to climate change, environment, natural resources and water was cut from Shs2.2 trillion in FY2023/2024.

Eron Kiiza, the chief executive of Environment Shield, says besides underfunding, the efforts towards fighting climate change and its effects are negatived by the heavy funding being allocated to the oil and gas sector, a global leader in pollution and environmental destruction, while the natural resources sector on which the economy of Uganda and future lives depend gets reduced funding.

"The Financial Year 2024/2025 budget delivers mere mosquito kicks against the climate crisis.

It kicks nature in the teeth since it invests more money in the causes of the climate crisis than the solutions.

The government has slashed the climate budget by more than half from Shs2.2 trillion in Financial Year 2023/2024 to Shs516.78 billion in the Financial Year 2024/2025.

"These signs might tempt one to think of a government committed to combating climate change, environmental protection and preservation through pledges until we 'stumble' upon its intention to provide a whopping Shs920.86 billion for the oil and gas (climate wrecking fossil fuels) in FY2024/25," Kiiza noted.

Uganda is one of the countries hardly hit by the devastating effects of the changing weather patterns, in some parts of the country especially Eastern and northern parts, livelihoods, crops, homes, education and healthy are already perishing due to the climate crisis manifesting in more intense and frequent floods, heat waves, drought, landslides and unpredictable rains.

The United Nations defines climate change as the long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns mainly driven by humans, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.

AllAfrica publishes around 500 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.