UGANDA Atlas of Our Changing Environment

Foreword

Uganda is a landlocked country in Eastern Africa. Our country is rich in natural resources and in the recent years we have been blessed with the discovery of oil in
the Albertine Graben. It is now common knowledge that development of any society should not be at the cost of future generations. Many people especially in rural areas,
are dependent on natural resources for their livelihood, and hence mainstreaming the sustainable use of these resources into Government plans and programs at all levels has been a priority of the NRM Government since it came to power in 1986. This Atlas seeks to highlight changes that have arisen from the effects of local activities and global phenomena. It also demonstrates the capacity Uganda has built over the last twelve years in using new technologies to provide information to aid decision making processes. Tracking environmental changes is not new because warnings have been
issued bi-ennially in the National State of Environment Reports (NSOER) since 1994.
However, the uniqueness of this publication is the evidence based information from
multi-temporal satellite images, ground photographs and graphics to confirm some of
the negative and positive changes in our environment.
This Atlas presents some positive changes in some areas which decision makers and
other readers will find useful. However, allow me to highlight some key findings which
need to be integrated in development plans in order to reverse the negative effects.
The siltation of our lakes due to uncontrolled activities on land especially for Lakes
Albert and Victoria needs urgent attention. The shrinkage in area of some lakes
especially for Wamala affecting the fish catch requires urgent intervention measures.
Loss of woody biomass due to charcoal burning and enchroachment of forested
ecosystems especially in Nakasongola, Nakaseke and Kiboga Districts will have big
consequences on the water regime and needs urgent intervention at both national and
local government levels. Finally unplanned settlements in drainage channels especially
in urban areas resulting in floods should be halted immediately.
I hope that this Atlas will make all the people of Uganda believe in the wealth of
our natural resources and also threats that we face as a country because of human
activities. There is a saying that “seeing is believing” and this Atlas provides visual
information of our changing environment.
I wish you all good reading.
Hon. Maria Mutagamba
MINISTER OF WATER AND ENVIRONMENT
THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA
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