Alfred Okot Okidi, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water and Environment, has emphasized the importance of collective efforts in translating national policies and strategies to achieve success in the Early Warning for All (EW4ALL) and Water at the Heart of Climate Change Action (W@HCA) Initiatives.

Addressing the Inter-Ministerial meeting for Early Warning for All and Water at the Heart of Climate Action initiatives in Kampala, Okidi stressed that collaboration is crucial as these initiatives are vital for saving lives, responding to emergencies, and preparing for increasingly devastating extreme weather events.

Okidi further underscored the significance of breaking silos and fostering cooperation among implementing partners to increase the likelihood of successful implementation of these initiatives, which respond to global action established in March 2022.

“My Ministry, alongside Uganda Red Cross and other stakeholders, is dedicated to ensuring the success of these initiatives, prioritizing early warning systems in our country,” he highlights.

The Water at the Heart of Climate Action program, launched in December 2023 under the EW4ALL umbrella initiative, aims to mitigate the escalating impact of climate change on Uganda and other Nile basin countries, which have experienced a surge in extreme weather events such as floods, storms, droughts, and famine.

This project also seeks to bridge gaps in early warning systems and enhance the translation of early warnings into effective, risk-informed early actions.

Implemented in countries like Sudan, Ethiopia, and South Sudan, the initiatives focus on integrated water management as a response to the water crisis exacerbated by climate change and aim to overcome barriers across the entire hydro-meteorological value chain.

“This program emphasizes investment in national capacities across the four pillars of the early warning value cycle, with implementing partners responsible for specific activities,” Okidi asserts.

The meeting aimed to establish an operational coordination framework for the EW4ALL and W@HCA initiative, formulate and approve the program steering committee and Technical Working Group (TWG), raise awareness among consortium members, and approve the structural functions of the members.

With a comprehensive approach involving meaningful participation from local authorities, communities, and marginalized groups, the program encompasses five technical pillars, including water-related risk knowledge and governance, observations, monitoring, and forecasting of weather and water-related hazards, water-specific early warning systems, and anticipatory action and locally led adaptation.

Bob Ogwang, the Executive Director of the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), expressed confidence that key players in the project will strengthen the existing system, ensuring continuity beyond the project’s duration.

“At UNMA, we are committed to strengthening the systems and all pillars in the early warning system to ensure continuity of service beyond the project,” he assures.

Kyagaba Grace, the project manager of the Water for the Heart of Action program at Uganda Red Cross, emphasizes that collaboration with others strengthens preparedness efforts, reducing the impacts of climate change on livelihoods and property.

Kimera Abdul is a Senior Journalist with Plus News Uganda. He identifies as an adaptable and enthusiastic individual who works to inspire generations. He posses a Diploma and Broadcast journalism and has...

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