Weather and climate issues have become increasingly recognized among the global challenges especially in the era of climate change. Kampala city has faced a number of flooding events in the past that have led to serious damages in many low lying areas of the city. A study was conducted in one of the flood prone areas in Kampala city to understand the community perspectives on flood occurrence and weather forecasting in the area. The main objective was to understand community perceptions on flood occurrence as well as use of weather information for early warning. Data was collected from 400 respondents using a structured questionnaire as well as focused group discussions. Results from the survey revealed that 99.8% of the respondents reported rainfall intensities to have increased in the last 5 years and as a result, 96% of these respondents stated floods as the main climate risk in the area. The most common impacts of floods in the community included loss of property, lack of safe and clean water and disease outbreaks among others. In response to floods, the community identified use of raised tables or stands and use of stones in the compound as the main coping mechanisms employed in the community. In terms of weather alerts, only 22% of respondents reported receiving the weather alerts issued by the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA). Of those who receive the alerts, 91% hear the information mainly on television. Therefore, the study proposes strengthening of collaboration between UNMA and the local leaders through the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) for provision of earlier weather forecasts that help reduce the negative flood impacts among communities.
Keywords: Weather alerts, flood forecasting, changing climate and community perspectives