Household perception of climate change in wetland adjacent areas in Uganda

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F. Yikii


Climate change is a major cause of food insecurity in developing countries, like Uganda where
the poor people and small scale farmers have limited options for adaptation. Households adjacent
to wetlands often adapt to climate change by depending on them for food security. However,
interventions for climate change adaptation in developing countries are often poorly targeted
due to insufficient data on climate trends. The objective of this study was to determine household
perception of climate change in wetland adjacent areas, to inform climate change and adaptation
policy in Uganda. The study was conducted at two sites, Lake Nakivale wetland system in
Isingiro district (south-western Uganda) and Lake Kyoga basin wetland systems in Pallisa
district (eastern Uganda). The study employed a cross sectional design, using a semi-structured
questionnaire, and surveyed a total of 520 households. Results of the study show that a majority
(92%) of the households were aware of climate change. Climate change was perceived by
households in form of prolonged dry weather (54%) and hotter and drier seasons (34%).
Over 90% of the respondents had noticed climate change in various forms: increased
temperature (92%), decreased rainfall (95%), changes in the length of seasons (97%), more
frequent droughts (93%), more severe droughts (92%) and more severe floods in Pallisa.
Households perceived climate change in the form of increased temperatures and droughts,
and generally had a gloomy outlook for the future, insisting that climate change will be more
severe than currently experienced. More households in Isingiro district perceived climate
change to be more severe in the future than expected (χ
(2) =43.67, P<0.001). Owing to the
perception of more frequent and severe droughts and reduced rainfall, households around
wetlands will continue to use wetlands for farming and other livelihood needs. Thus, unless

wetland farmers (a) integrate wetland conservation by employing climate smart practices like
minimum tillage, soil and water conservation, and (b) diversify their livelihoods through
commercially viable initiatives like fish farming, household food security and sustainability
of wetlands will be further jeopardized.

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How to Cite
Yikii, F. . (2016). Household perception of climate change in wetland adjacent areas in Uganda. Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 17(2), 139–155. Retrieved from