Among all the numerous wonders that Uganda boasts of, her wonderful climate and weather vividly stand out. It is no wonder that Sir Winston Churchill, in 1902, referred to her as the Pearl of Africa, a name to best suit a country so blessed by nature.
The climate is tropical climate with two seasons, the wet and dry, being experienced twice a year; with the wet season coming occurring in two intervals: March till May and October to November. The same applies to the dry season which happens from the month of December to February and later June to August. In some areas, light rains usually fall in December as the dry season sets in.
Geographically, Uganda is located 1˚00N 32˚00E of the equator, which implies that she actually lies within the equatorial belt. Because of this, the climate is temperate, having an all year round fluctuation in temperature although the average annual temperature is 26˚ Celsius.
Temperatures vary across regions. While the central, western and eastern regions are relatively cool, with mountainous regions like Kigezi and Mbale having even lower temperatures, the areas in the north towards Uganda’s border with Sudan are very hot. The latter are therefore semi-arid for instance the Karamoja area comprised of districts like Moroto, Kotido and Napak.
Together with this splendid climate certainly comes a green and beautiful vegetation covering the country considering the fact that the weather is generally rainy; not to mention that this has also sustained the wildlife whose habitats are mainly found within forests and other vegetated areas.
Speaking of wildlife habitats, the climate has also maintained the level of water bodies through the constant supply of rainfall which has kept the water levels constant. It should be noted that about 25% of Uganda is covered with fresh water and these have contributed so much to the rainfall cycle.
Uganda’s weather is also very important factor supporting agriculture, her major economic activity. The abundant supply of rainfall as well as the sunshine is a factor favorable for most of the farming processes.
The calm and friendly climate has as well been instrumental in promoting tourism which is one of the most significant revenue fetching activities in Uganda. People travel from all around the world just to come and enjoy nature’s blessing. The plentiful supply of sunlight has made Uganda a very unique destination with unbeatably inviting safaris and resorts to blow travelers’ minds away. With scores of beaches around the country, tourists can be sure to have that unforgettable experience; cooling off the hot sun in the breezy waters. A number of Uganda’s countryside districts are undefiled, having a fresh atmosphere that is worth experiencing.
Uganda’s enviable climate is however being threatened by global warming. As years advance, climate change is being experienced. Temperatures around the world keep rising and the supply of rainfall keeps diminishing all as a result of environmentally harmful practices like water and air pollution, deforestation, bush burning and other dangerous human practices. Some of the evidence to this is the melting away of the glaciers on the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains.
Because of this hazard, efforts by environmentalists are being made in order to preserve Uganda’s natural beauty through the encouragement of environmentally friendly practices and thus make it sustainable for the enjoyment of future generations.
By Enid Karen Nabumati