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IGAD Members Want Resilience Scope to Include Floods, Landslides :: Uganda Radionetwork
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IGAD Members Want Resilience Scope to Include Floods, Landslides

The members argued that although the primary objective of the platform was to address drought in arid and semi-arid lands, it was evident that the other climatic excesses that they sought to expand the focus to were also a perennial problem that disrupted life whenever tragedies occurred.
Minister Easther Anyakun addresses the Assembly at the closure.
Members of the Inter-Government Authority on Developement -IGAD have recommended the expansion of the scope of the region’s resilience index to include other shocks like floods and landslides.

The members argued that although the primary objective of the platform was to address drought in arid and semi-arid lands, it was evident that the other climatic excesses that they sought to expand the focus to were also a perennial problem that disrupted life whenever tragedies occurred.

The IGAD region comprising Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda has a total population of 230 million people and a land area of 5.2million square kilometres over 70 per cent of which is classified as arid or semi-arid.

State Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Refugees and Relief Management, Esther Anyakun explained that, unlike some other member states whose excess was measured by droughts which often lead to hunger, displacements of humans and loss of livestock, Uganda on the other side was always prone to excess rains that often resulted in El Nino.

She was speaking at the IGAD ninth general assembly meeting that ended Friday under the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) platform at Lake Victoria Hotel Entebbe.

A report to the assembly by the IDDRSI Executive Secretary Worknech Gebeyehu indicated that although food insecurity in the region had dropped from the peak of 55.5 million people in 2022 to 47.3 in October 2023, the number remained so high as to cause any complacency. 

Gebeyehu disclosed the last four years had seen the region battered by an unprecedented drought in 40 years, characterised by five consecutive failed cropping seasons, with rangelands turned to dust resulting in the loss of 13.2 million livestock, hunger and displacement of pastoral communities with resultant resource-based border conflicts.   

Somalia Ethiopia and Kenya were most hit with the latter losing close to USD 1.5 billion from the loss of nearly 3 million livestock. The damage and insecurity that result from the climate-based displacement and conflicts raise more concern about the region’s level of preparedness and humanitarian response, Gebeyehu noted.

He commended the African Development Bank and the Swedish Government who have bankrolled the IDDRSI platform’s activities so far but asked member states to think beyond by planning the mobilisation of their resources post the 2027/8 funding. He said the two development partners had contributed to the region’s integration agenda by bringing together a people faced with a common problem to martial a collective response.  

Over the ten years of the IDDRSI platform’s existence, a total of USD 1. 7 billion has been provided from the said partners with the latest support of USD 300 million under IDDRSI phase I and later USD 162 million for the Build Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security in the Horn of African programme in 2022 coming from the ADB.   

The platform is anxiously waiting for USD 151 million as supplementary funding to Build Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security through the Global Climate Fund.

Gebeyehu called for investment in strengthening the platform’s institutional governance, monitoring and coordination, resource mobilization and data analysis and management. There is also a need for more investment in water, Food and Nutrition Security for both humans and livestock to achieve Peace and Security.

Participants recommended more joint investigation on the nexus of climate change, conflict and human mobility and called for mainstreaming of conflict sensitivity through budgetary allocations to national conflict early warning and response efforts and scaling up of good practices in resource management especially of water, land, post-harvest storage, forage and feedstuffs.

With more access to satellite and computing data systems, the participants urged member states to improve communication with end users to improve early warning and response. Member states were also urged to improve effectiveness by scaling down action to local authorities who are nearer to people.

They also called for better data management on arid and semi-arid lands and the populations living there to effectively monitor and measure the performance of interventions in the region.  IGAD was also tasked to invest in coordination and capacity development at national levels.

Participants also called for special note of youths and women in the activities undertaken.