The challenge of climate change: Youth to the rescue

05 Jul 2017 by Charles Masereka

From the 26th to 29th of June 2017, Uganda hosted the Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) Youth Conference under the theme “Enhancing the ability of youth to build ecosystem resilience”. The conference was centered on areas of climate action and youth involvement in the agriculture sector.

Dr. Revocatus Twinomuhangi the coordinator of Makerere University Center for Climate Research and Innovation (MUCCRI), opened the conference by challenging the youth to be at the forefront of climate action to help in the fight against climate change. He encouraged the youth who participated in the conference to go back home and act on the lessons they were going to learn from the conference. He also reminded the attendees that “climate change affects everyone without segregation,” emphasizing that everyone is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Speaking on behalf of Makerere University, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Ddumba Sentamu also called upon youth to be agents of climate action. “I encourage the youth to become active agents of change to fight climate change and have positive impacts on communities”

The FAO Uganda representative, Kennedy Igbokwe clearly explained the relationship between climate change and agricultural development and stated that the biggest problem affecting Uganda’s agricultural sector is climate change. He decried the ever changing weather patterns which are very unpredictable and unfavorable, leading to the challenge of food insecurity. Kennedy added the whole country is relying on youth to help build climate resilience.

He advised the youth to consider joining the agricultural sector as a career they can take on after school. “Agriculture is the major employer in Uganda and we expect that many of you will join in,” he recommended

At the conference, the youth were called upon to practice climate-smart agriculture if they are to beat the challenge of climate change and earn a lot more from their agriculture undertakings. They were also advised to practice irrigation and not to always rely on rain water, which is so unreliable for agricultural activities.

The two-day conference concluded with the commissioning of all attendees as ambassadors of climate action to their communities.