UNDP Taking Climate Action at a Grassroots Level in Uganda

February 8, 2022

A member of Centre for Climate and Ecosystems for Social Innovations (CLESI) in her garden.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Support Programme in Uganda, an integrated initiative to improve livelihoods through climate actions that build national resilience and contribute to mitigation of climate change. The initiative is implemented by the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Water and Environment’s Climate Change Department (MWE/CCD), with funding from the European Union and the governments of Germany and Spain as a contribution to the NDC Partnership.

The NDC Support Programme has established climate change mitigation and adaptation action grants with the aim to engage women and youth-led organizations to implement initiatives that contribute to the implementation of Uganda’s NDC. The climate action grants focus on innovative technology solutions with high impact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contribute to NDC implementation and sustainable development, and enterprises that have substantial impact through innovation, replication, and sustainability.

The support provided through these climate action grants has created financial incentives for organizations to implement climate change mitigation technologies and contribute to climate action and NDC implementation. This is happening through boosted growth and competitiveness by empowering women and youth to adopt low carbon technologies and innovations; fostering participation of women and youth in the implementation of climate mitigation; and supporting implementation of innovative low-carbon technologies by increasing access to renewable energy services at the grassroot level.

UNDP and MWE staff meet with Bubukanza Youth Development Farmers staff and project beneficiaries

Grants provided are in the range of $8,000-10,000 USD per project, with each project having been implemented within one year from receipt of the grant. The NDC Support Programme has supported a total of 12 projects within districts that contribute to NDC implementation in key sectors including Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Waste Management, Climate Smart Agriculture, Forestry, Water Resource Management, Wetlands and Infrastructure.  The 12 organizations supported include Yo-Waste, Uganda Muslim Development Rural Development Association (UMURDA), Bubukanza Youth Development Farmers Group, Centre for Climate and Ecosystems for Social Innovations (CLESI), Ngenge Development Foundation (NDF), Kangai Integrated Community Development Initiative (KICD), Community Empowerment and Rehabilitation for Development (CERID), Jane Kidi Memorial tree planting project, Youth Initiative for Community Empowerment (YICE), Friends of Nature, Kataara Women’s Poverty Alleviation group, and Living Earth.

A member of Uganda Muslim Development Rural Development Association (UMURDA) demonstrates, using organic material to produce biogas for cooking.

The prioritized organizations are implementing innovative projects contributing to addressing the impacts of climate change, foster participation of women and youth in implementation and reach vulnerable groups of people and stakeholders that would not normally be involved in more centralized project activities.

Tukole Hamwe Group is one of the womens’ groups supported by Living Earth, noting that the project has empowered women in the area.  The womens’ group noted that the training received in the manufacture of briquettes has enabled them to do business through the sale of briquettes which has increased their household income. Women noted they can buy basic household needs and pay school fees for the children. In addition, they can save money instead of buying charcoal and firewood for cooking. Briquettes are a clean biomass technology that reduce dependence on charcoal and firewood and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Comb Briquettes products made by the Tukole Hamwe Group

Through Jane Kidi memorial tree planting project, 8,000 trees have also been planted in West Nile region of Uganda in Nebbi district. In addition, the project has supported restoration of Jupangira catchment area through tree planting. The project has promoted community nursery tree establishment and improved the skills of community members on tree growing and management through training. 

Eucalyptus tree planting site supported by Jane Kidi Memorial tree planning project

The supported organizations have also promoted access to renewable energy technologies including solar for women groups, energy efficient cookstoves, biogas and briquettes in rural areas and 50 women groups have accessed energy efficient cook stoves which has reduced the number of hours women take while fetching firewood. In addition, through promoting climate smart agriculture practices, support has been provided to members of 15 cooperatives to establish up to 50 hectares of agro-forestry plantations, many of which are multi-purpose usage and will contribute to both access to wood fuel and reduction of greenhouse gas emission through carbon sequestration.

The NDC Support Programme aims to support the Government of Uganda achieve transformational change by scaling up public and private investments in climate change actions for sustainable low carbon development. This project is implemented by the Ministry of Water and Environment, Climate Change Department, with funding from the European Union and the Governments of Germany and Spain as a contribution to the NDC Partnership. 

By Gloria Namande, Project Manager, NDC Support Programme