Kampala-Malaba Metre-Gauge Railway Refurbishment Project

T he Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is working with the African Development Bank, Uganda Railways Corporation, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) on climate-proofing critical upgrades to the Kampala-Malaba Meter-Gauge Railway in Uganda. The goal of GCA’s technical support is to reduce climate risk for railway assets by designing and integrating grey and green adaptation solutions, including Nature-based Solutions (NbS). GCA is providing this support through the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP).

The investment will rehabilitate the existing 271 kilometers of the Meter-Gauge Railway Kampala-Malaba and Port Bell-Kampala-Kyengera lines, connecting Uganda, along Lake Victoria, with the Kenyan rail network at Malaba by the Uganda-Kenya border. These upgrades will provide a direct link to the Port of Mombasa, improving transportation, trade, and cost-effectiveness.

GCA is evaluating climate risks for the investment and identifying grey and green adaptation options, with a focus on NbS. Through GCA’s support, the project will better address climate risks such as extreme temperatures and flooding. Potential NbS interventions will be implemented with support from WWF to ensure the long-term resilience of the infrastructure and relevant co-benefits for communities and natural ecosystems.

Investment Value Influenced by GCA

US$413 million


2 million people, including about 480,000 women

Implementation Period



GCA’s Added Value

GCA will help identify adaptation and resilience options by:

  • Quantifying climate hazards such as flooding and extreme temperature, and quantifying damages on assets, services, and people as $3.7 million and $3.9 million per year in 2050 under a moderate warming scenario and highest emissions scenario respectively
  • Identifying and appraising relevant green and grey adaptation and resilience options, which will reduce railway downtime from 16.0 days to 3.4 days for the moderate warming scenario and 19.1 to 4.7 days for the highest emissions scenario in 2050
  • Developing the investment case for the Mpologoma watershed, in collaboration with WWF, to reduce peak flooding in the area
  • Building capacity through the Masterclass on Climate Resilient Infrastructure in collaboration with the University of Nairobi

Expected Outcomes

The adaptation and resilience options implemented, which GCA influenced, will deliver the following outcomes:

  • 271 kilometers of resilient railway lines climate-proofed
  • 2 million people benefiting from improved transportation of goods and passenger travel, including 480,000 women
  • 700 permanent jobs created, with 40% of jobs given to women