Full Length Research Paper
Nimusiima Alex1, Basalirwa C.
The study was conducted in the districts of Nakaseke and Nakasongola stratified into four farming systems of crop dominancy, pastoralists, mixed crop and livestock and fishing. The study was guided by two research questions: (1) how do community residents perceive climate change/variability? (2) What is the trend and nature of climate variability and how does it compare with people’s perceptions? Ninety eight percent (98%) of the respondents reported that the routine patterns of weather and climate had changed in the last 5 to 10 years and it has become less predictable with sunshine hours being extended and rainfall amounts being reduced. This compared well with the analyzed secondary data. Over 78% respondents perceived climate change and variability to be caused by tree cutting other than the known scientific reasons like increase in industrial fumes or increased fossil fuel use. Climate data showed that over the period 1961 to 2010 the number of dry spells within a rainfall season had increased with the most significant increase observed in the first rainfall season of March to May as compared to the season of September to November. The first dry season of June/July to August is short while the second dry season of December to February is long during the study period. The two rainfall seasons of March to May and September to November seem to be merging into one major season from May to November. Temperature data shows a significant increasing trend in mean annual temperatures with the most increase observed in the mean annual minimum temperatures than the maximum temperatures.