Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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    Living in a time of climate change

    I am in Cairo this week and the hotel I am staying in is right by the Nile River. Boats with all types of Mlights and loud music going up and down give this River that’s the livelihood of many a beautiful color. As I enjoy the view while doing some work on my computer, I cannot stop but think about climate change and the impact this is having on our continent.

    About two weeks ago, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe bear the brunt of cyclone Idai. Mozambique suffered most and713 victims and thousands displaced have been displaced. The fourth largest city of Mozambique, Beira, was majorly affected with much of the city under water. Mozambique confirmed that cases of Cholera have been found and that it will be starting a large vaccination campaign to minimize the disaster that can come out of that. The total damage and lives lost by the cyclone is yet to be determined, as Mozambique calls of rescue missions, it is clear that survivors and no longer expected after this.

    This event however sad is not the end nor the beginning of Africa feeling the consequences of climate change. Studies show that our continent has been detected as one of the world’s most vulnerable region to climate change. Storms, desertification, erosion, soil degradation and much more have and will continue to cause internal as well as international migration.

    This is particularly alarming as a large portion of our continent is dependent on agriculture, subsistence farming etc…  In this light, Africa and Africans should be at the forefront of efforts fighting climate change and preparing climate resilient projects. This takes the form of adapted water management systems, livelihood diversification, preparation disaster risk contingency funds and early warning systems, among others.

    While this effect affects communities depending on agriculture, it by no means implies that urban areas will not be affected. Climate change has an impact onInfrastructure as increased urbanization occurs due to rural-urban migration, there is a huge impact on the existing infrastructure of the city which now has to cope with a larger number of dwellers. Water and sanitation, living accommodations are increasingly strained. High urbanization has also been linked increasing temperatures through the formation of “heat islands” – areas with higher temperatures due to radiant heat from buildings, infrastructures and other human activities. Climate change is projected to exacerbate these problems.

    As we see boats filled with Africans making their way to Europe for a better life, much of the discussion seems to be that these refugees are looking for employment, running away from poverty. You now see that there are funds being made available to make it so that these refugees do not make it to Europe. These funds and methods focus on creating jobs for youth and related projects.

    Yet what this narrative misses is that many are suffering from impacts of climate change. Their livelihoods are highly impacted by changes of weather making it difficult if not impossible for them to survive on their lands, their livestock etc… One of the main sources of this migration is climate, and if we really want to fix this “problem”, we have to deal with the source, i.e. climate change!

    I therefore find it comedic, in a very somber way of course, that there are still many who deny the impacts or even the reality of climate change. What people who have these views are saying is that, climate change is not their reality, therefore it does not exist. What a narrow minded approach to the world.

    Africa has been detected as one of the world’s most

    vulnerable region to the impacts of climate change

    Africa has been detected as one of the world’s most

    vulnerable region to the impacts of climate change

    Africa has been detected as one of the world’s most

    vulnerable region to the impacts of climate change

    Contributed by Leyou Tameru

     

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