There is an urgent need to understand lived experiences of climate change in African cities, where even small climate shocks can have significant implications for the livelihoods of the urban poor. This article examines narratives of climate and livelihood changes within Jinja Municipality, Uganda. We demonstrate how climate change in Jinja is widely attributed to perceived moral and environmental failings of a present generation. A focus on local ontologies of climate change highlights how multiple, intersecting vulnerabilities of contemporary urban life in Jinja obfuscate not only the conditions of possible immediate futures, but longer-term horizons for future generations, as changing weather patterns exacerbate existing challenges people face adapting to wider socio-economic changes and rising livelihood vulnerability.

This analysis situates changing climate and environments within the context of everyday urban struggles and emphasizes the need for civic participation in developing climate change strategies that avoid the pitfalls of climate reductionism.