Watershed management and climate change adaptation mechanisms used by people living in dryland areas of Lokere catchment in Karamoja, Uganda
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The effects of climate change in Uganda are manifested by severe and sometimes extreme weather events such as droughts and landslides. An Integrated Watershed Management (IWM) plan was initiated in the Karamoja region, aimed at generating information that could be used to reduce climate vulnerabilities among the rural poor. The study aimed at determining the local community’s perception of the effects of climate change on their livelihoods; and, to examine the effectiveness of the Integrated Watershed Management practices (IWMPs) on agricultural production within the area. Three hundred and ninety-seven households were randomly chosen and included in the survey. Interviews with local government officials who held high posts were conducted. Direct observations were also used for data collection. Findings showed that droughts and increases in pests and diseases; were some of the impacts caused by climate change events. Despite the initiation of IWMPs, climate change events moderately increased food insecurity (γ = 0.556; P=0.000) and also moderately affected community assets like roads and valley dams (γ = 0.426; P=0.000). In addition, household income insecurity was moderately and positively related to climate change effects (γ = 0.556; P=0.000). A weak positive relationship was found between the application of IWMPs and agricultural production (γ = 0.273; P=0.000). The Uganda Government should emphasize and intensify the implementation of IWMPs among the farmers living in agricultural watersheds as a means of continuously improving agricultural production and building the farmers’ resilience to climate change events.