Local Water and Environment

Uganda Requests UN Support for El Nino Preparedness and Response


The Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda has reached out to the United Nations for support in their efforts to prepare for and respond to the impending El Nino phenomenon, which is expected to have significant impacts on the country’s climate and communities.

In a letter dated August 11, 2023 and addressed to the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations, the government has outlined the potential challenges posed by the anticipated El Nino event and has sought assistance in disaster preparedness and response.

El Nino is a climatic phenomenon characterized by the periodic warming of sea surface temperatures in the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific Ocean. It can lead to disruptions in weather patterns, causing increased rainfall and the potential for floods, landslides, mudslides, crop diseases, and displacements.

The Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) recently issued an update on the evolving El Nino conditions, indicating a likelihood of occurrence greater than 90%, with the possibility of continued impact through early 2024.

The Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness, and Refugees, Eng. Hird-r-TOnek (MP), highlighted the urgent need for support in issuing early warning messages and alerts through various media channels, including radio, print, and digital platforms. Additionally, the government has requested assistance in data collection, assessments, and the provision of relief items to ensure the safety and well-being of affected communities.

“The El Nino event affects weather patterns and will lead to increased rainfall throughout the SOND season, hence high risk of floods, landslides, mudslides, Crop Diseases, and displacements that will greatly impact people’s lives, property and sources of livelihoods in the country,” the letter stated.

The Ugandan government emphasized the importance of proactive measures to mitigate the potential impact of El Nino. They called on decision-makers and the general public to develop preparedness and response actions in collaboration with relevant authorities.

The government assured that the Uganda National Meteorological Authority will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide timely updates and advisories to keep the public informed.

As the country prepares for the challenges that the upcoming El Nino phenomenon might bring, the international community, including the United Nations and its agencies, has been urged to extend support to Uganda’s disaster management efforts.

The collaboration between the government and international organizations is aimed at minimizing the adverse effects of El Nino on the lives and livelihoods of the population.

Uganda’s plea for assistance comes as a reminder of the interconnectedness of global climate patterns and the need for collective efforts to address and adapt to the changing climate conditions that affect nations across the world.

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