Uganda, East Africa

Sister Semerita 
Mbambu, CSC

Congregation Justice Committee Member for Uganda

Climate Update

Uganda is experiencing significant impacts of climate change, including changing weather patterns, lower water levels, and increased frequency of extreme weather events, like floods and droughts. The social and economic ramifications of these impacts make communities very vulnerable. Climate change is affecting a wide variety of sectors: Agriculture, water, health and human settlements have been particularly impacted.

The environment and natural resources are also threatened by man-made drivers of change. These include poverty, rapid population growth, unplanned urbanization, expansion of informal settlements, poor disposal of garbage, especially plastic bags, and industrialization.

The fragile ecosystems of the mountains, lakeshores and rangelands are facing encroachment and degradation. Pollution is increasing, and the country is contending with environmental issues arising from electronic waste, unsound use of chemicals, oil and gas development, and the impacts of climate change, such as droughts, floods, storms, heat waves and landslides that have had serious effects on agricultural production, food security, nutrition, incomes, health and livelihoods.

Current Initiatives in Uganda

Planting trees and starting environmental clubs at some Holy Cross primary and secondary schools. Sisters are also organizing tree planting and road cleanup with the local people in various communities.

Distributing food and providing medication and shelter to individuals in vulnerable situations. Sisters are also providing education and health care to the most marginalized, including prisoners and refugees.

Launched a solar maintenance training program to promote sustainable development and empower women. Through this effort, women are gaining a dignified livelihood while serving
the community and protecting creation.

Proposed Initiatives for 2022–23

Response to the Cry of the Poor

Create programs and support existing programs that address the immediate, short-term needs of vulnerable people.

Institute regular litter prevention/ removal campaigns through workshops; establish collection points for recycling.

Ensure that frequently under-represented groups have access to education.

Use efficient, energy-saving light bulbs whenever possible.

Bless a natural space as a reflection or meditation area and regularly pray outdoors.  

 Recycle items and reduce purchases by implementing a policy on repairing and repurposing existing goods.

Organize meetings with government officials to discuss and advocate for policies related to social and environmental issues, and also share public statements about these issues.