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HyCRISTAL: Making East Africa more resilient to climate change

Monday, September 3, 2018

Climate shocks such as flooding, droughts, climate-related health epidemics and changes in the rainy season are having a severe impact on the sustainability of East Africa’s infrastructure and livelihood.

We are playing a vital role in the HyCRISTAL project; a consortium, working to both improve the climate change predictions for East Africa, and to use that information to inform long-term decision making for rural livelihoods and infrastructure e.g. market systems. This project hopes to tackle the impact of this on water management and availability.

We hope this can then begin to make the region more resilient to climate change- a fundamental aspect in reducing the vulnerability of the poorest people living there.

Rt. Hon. Cecilia Atim Ogwal, Deputy Speaker in the Uganda Parliament, is pushing for participants of the HyCRISTAL project to “help Uganda and Africa to tap the appropriate research data and knowledge, to help build climate resilient infrastructure”.

One of the many things we are doing as part of Walker’s contribution to HyCRISTAL is developing a data platform (IDAPS- Integrated Database for African Policymakers) that will bring together climate, crops, fisheries, hydrology, and livelihoods.

The project will assist East African policymakers, such as disaster management agencies, agricultural management services and beach management units, in understanding and responding to the effects of climate change. A key aim of IDAPS is to ensure that resource-poor government agencies are better able to target their limited resources to those in most need at any particular time.

Their responses can include the use of newly produced, accessible tools that can ensure water resource management and sanitation infrastructure development is sustainable and controlled in the changing climate. Working together with East African policymakers and stakeholders will guarantee that these new methods can and will be applied beyond completion of the project.