Climate change has been variously understood as the long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural or induced by human activities, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas which produce heat-trapping gases.
The Rwenzori region and specifically, the Kasese district has been hit hard by several climatic change catastrophes. Repetitive hydrological floods, mudslides, and long periods of drought among others have had far-reaching negative effects on the livelihoods and cultural heritage of the people in Kasese. Landslides and floods (along rivers Nyamwamba, Mubuku, Kabiri) have been noted to have led to the loss of both human and wildlife and cultural heritage property.
To support the communities in Kasese district to mitigate the effects of climate change state and non-state actors have been implementing both short and long-term interventions such as relief support whenever climate disasters strike or tree-planting projects.
To complement these interventions, the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda with support from the Net Zero Heritage for Climate Change Project of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), profiled indigenous knowledge that can be used to mitigate climate change effects, into a publication. This publication presents aspects of indigenous knowledge in terms of ceremonies, rituals, norms and customs of community members in Kasese that have the potential to contribute to contemporary and modern approaches to ameliorating climate change challenges. This knowledge also includes the role of traditional gods and prophets in predicting bad weather conditions and warning people to keep enough food in their granaries; ritual cleansing of the ridges, riverbanks and confluences, the movement of certain bird species, snakes and red ants when floods or landslides are about to happen and the planting of indigenous trees as the resting places for gods such as Ndyoka.
The publication was launched on the 2nd of November at Kasese Resort Hotel by Dr. Joseph Katswera the Kasese District Natural Resources Officer. The launch event was attended by the Red Cross regional Manager, representatives from Uganda Wildlife Authority, Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu cultural institution, members of the Basongora and Banyabindi indigenous communities, local government representatives, young people from school heritage clubs as well as the media actors from the Rwenzori region.