Empowered communities lead flood risk reduction
Africa Disaster Reduction Research & Emergency Missions, a GNDR member organisation, empowers smallholder farmers to restore wetlands and challenge local authorities to support flood risk reduction measures in Uganda.
Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations (DENIVA)
Africa Disaster Reduction Research & Emergency Missions
Minimizing flood impacts
Smallholder farmers in Kijuguta, western Uganda, have been given practical skills to restore wetlands and challenge local authorities to support flood risk reduction measures.
The community of Kijuguta regularly faces the threat of floods during the rainy season – particularly in farmland areas near the wetlands of the main river. The risk is compounded because harmful waste is frequently dumped into the river and along its banks.
In order to educate the community about flood control, a sensitisation workshop on wetland restoration and water catchment management was conducted by Africa Disaster Reduction Research & Emergency Missions, our local implementing partner.
The workshop was attended by 350 people – including local council chairpersons, church leaders and community members. Skills were shared in wetland conservation, flood management, waste disposal, the dangers of misusing wetland areas, and measures that can be put in place to restore the environment.
They also gained skills in the construction of trenches and opening up rivers – as a means to minimise the impact of river banks encroaching on farmland. As a result of the training, local wetland areas have seen a reduction in the dumping of harmful waste.
The use of artificial fertilisers in farming plots has declined – reducing the harm to aquatic organisms. The growing of crops close to the river’s edge has also ceased.
“I have been trained on DRR and have acquired knowledge and skills on wetland conservation,” says community member
Catherine Ninsiima. “For example flood control and waste management, which I am now teaching to other community members.”
Empowered by the success of their efforts, the community advocated for municipal authorities to set up garbage collection centres. Their demands have been met: 100 garbage collection centres have now been established.
In addition, the Kijuguta community has formed a village savings and loans association that will provide financial support to 55 members during floods. The local council chairperson and church leader are now encouraging nearby communities to form similar saving groups to support residents during disasters.
”We are empowering communities to apply local methods to manage risks and threats like flooding.”
Milton Kwesiga, Executive Director, ADRREM
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