News

UN-HABITAT Supports Flood Risk Management in Uganda

UN-HABITAT23 August 2012: As part of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) Kampala Integrated Flood Management project, Ugandan students are participating in a pilot meteorological data collection project. Their data collection activities are part of a larger effort to gauge Kampala's flood risk, and implement an integrated flood management (IFM) strategy and action plan.

The students at Outspan Primary School in Bwaise measure the amount of rainfall twice a day and record observations on its duration and effects on their schoolyard. Between April and May 2012, three heavy rainfall events flooded the school's classrooms, making the schoolyard inaccessible. Leonard Okokes, the school's Head teacher, underlined that studying weather changes provides "provides practical lessons to our pupils,” including on how climate change will affect their lives.

The project is part of a larger UN-HABITAT Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI) with the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to evaluate Kampala's flood risk and develop an IFM strategy. This strategy represents a shift from previous traditional flood management efforts that focused on storm-water drainage towards an approach that combines community-based early warning systems in flood-prone areas with improvement land management.

Much of Kampala is built on former wetlands and swampy ground, making flooding a concern for its residents, particularly the urban poor who live in flood-prone areas.

The pilot project in Bwaise is expected to result in a proposed citywide IFM action plan, strategy and set of policy recommendations to better guide flood management in Kampala. An additional automatic rainfall station at Makerere University collects high resolution temporal data. [UN-Habitat Press Release]