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Humans, plants and animals face sudden death over hot temperatures in Adjumani

Apicture taken on February 20, 2024, of a garden being destroyed by a wildfire as a result of hot tempteratures in Ukujisoni Subcounty, Adjumani District (Photo/David Anyanzo)

Adjumani District has experienced significant effects of climate change since 2017. Daily temperatures go to a record high above 32 degrees Celsius, and the community is getting puzzled about what they can do to address the situation.

When Moving around the district, it is visible that there is serious dryness affecting plant, animal and human lives. Lives of these things are at risk, people struggle to get clean and fresh water for consumption, plants wither for water to keep growing, and animals starve to death, the unending conditions in the district have had a negative impact on both humans, plants and animals.

Mr Obol Dima the former Youth Chairperson Adjumani District now an environmental activist blames the adverse heat on the rampant destruction of the natural forests in the district. He said that there are a number of human activities that lead to the adverse climatic conditions like indiscriminative cutting down of trees for charcoal, logs and farming in Zoka corridors and surrounding areas.

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According to him, these trees were helping a lot in rainfall formation and climatic atmospheric modification.

“Bush burning yet is another factor that causes climatic changes, bush burning has continued to be a threat to the ecosystem and general environment hence contributing to the current extremism in weather as the ozone layers get affected,“ says Mr. Obol.

“He said that encroachment of the wetlands for settlement and other human activities like farming, and recreational centres within the town and outside the town continue to pose a threat to the climatic hence the current hazardous climatic conditions”.

Mr. Tako Michael, the executive director of Moini Botanical Garden in Pakwinya Village, Mungula Parish, Itirikwa Sub County in Adjumani District blamed the unending conditions of the climate in Adjumani district on two human activities;

“Firstly, overgrazing and keeping animals beyond the capacity in the area and secondly overuse of nitrogen fertilizer that produces nitrous oxide into the atmosphere all these causes have led to negative effects on both humans and animals like constant drought, floods, increase incidents of pests and diseases, storms, reduction in water levels, high temperature, hunger, loss of biodiversity among others throughout the year.”

Mrs Alice, a large-scale farmer in Orungwa Village, Mungula Parish, Itirikwa sub-county said ten years ago she used to harvest over 100 bags of maize grain, 50bags of beans etc. but due to the change in climatic conditions had drastically affected her farming.

When asked what she thinks causes all these shortcomings in the district, Alice attributed all these to two things, human activities that hinder rainfall modification and the over-dependence on wood fuel and rampant destruction of Zoka Forests for logs and farming has given a negative impact on climate that affects humans, plants and animals. 

However, according to Mr Obol, things can be done in order to fight the conditions which includes launching a campaign and enforcing of protection of indigenous tree species that contribute much in environmental conservation 

Promotion of farming practices that can allow trees to co-exist with trees in other words environment conservation and gazetting more forest reserves in the district, especially natural forests.

Discouraging settlement in wetlands and promoting only eco-friendly activities, promoting massive tree planting by every household, reducing charcoal usage and identifying alternative fuel sources, and massive awareness of the role of the local community in environmental protection and in-law enforcement against bush burning.  

Mr Michael lamented that all these negative effects on human, plants and animals can be avoided in some ways through use of renewable energy, diversification, keeping more animals instead of crop farming, use of integrated natural resource management approach, afforestation, conservation of existing wetlands and most importantly is the sensitization of the people on the dangers of climate change on both human being and animal lives. 

Mrs Alice requested the district officials to have strict laws put in place for those destroying the forests without replacement and use of renewable energies to reduce the high rate of cutting down trees for charcoal.   

Trees and forests are key to addressing biodiversity and climate change as they absorb greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide from the air and help stabilise the earth’s climate. 

But as demand for food grows, an increasing number of forests and natural habitats are being destroyed to pave the way for more and bigger farmlands and pastures hence affecting the climate pattern in an area.

As the earth’s temperature rises and moisture content in its atmosphere increases, weather patterns like droughts, heatwaves, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, landslides, and storms, become more frequent, unpredictable and intense.

Climate change refers to the long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. Such shifts can be natural, due to changes in the sun’s activity or large volcanic eruptions.

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