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Friday, 22 May 2015

Climate change deniers are not aware of these isolated incidents in Africa

Effects of climate change have been visible to us for some time now, but since they are gradual not abrupt communities do not seem to notice them, climate change deniers must be blind not to see some of these. In an IPCC climate change synthesis report in 2007, it was envisaged that Africa will be the most badly affected continent. With some parts experiencing less precipitation by 2020 exposing over 250 million people leading to a fall in agricultural production. Other parts of central and eastern regions will have increased precipitation leading to loss of food, lives and property during flooding.  Places on low lying coastal areas like Lagos, Cairo, Contonou, Massawa, Alexandria and Lome will be affected heavily. 

                                Source: IPCC, 2007

Agriculture

Climate change impact on the agriculture sector is grave serious.  It feeds communities and any disruption will mean a family will go hungry, scientist have also proved that there has been a loss in nutrients derived from some cereals and the culprit is climate change. Everyone is engaged in some kind of agriculture on small or large scale, subsistence or commercial; this makes it the highest informal employer next to none.  In Uganda agriculture employs about 80% of the population, just imagine that percentage of the population without jobs, it may lead to a civil war. 
                            Source: Hudson Apunyo

Infrastructure

Africa is in pool position in terms of poor infrastructure; most of the structures built are with little or no planning at all. There are provisions that do care of natural calamities of floods, earth quakes e.t.c . The drainage systems where built by colonialist in the early 1900s, they cannot cater for erratic rains that are frequent lately.  Roads are flooded leading to disruption of movement of vehicles and people; a lot of property has been destroyed as a result.  The drainage systems where built for about 40,000 people now Kampala City boost with over 2 million residents with about 4 million coming in every other day. This has strained the waste disposal system, with the flooding the situation has worsened leading to water borne diseases like typhoid, cholera e.t.c. 

                                Source: New vision

Education

In Africa the education system requires pupils or students to actually attend school physically, every day for over 9 months in a year, most of these are day schools with a few offering boarding, students are required to commute daily to study. Flooding prevents students from attending classes during rainy season, which disrupts the curriculum. 10 years ago Uganda had 2 rainy seasons, now the weather can change any time. Schools get flooded preventing those who are able to get to school from actually studying, non attendance is contributing to poor grades.


                               Source: New vision 

Loss of lives

Lives are lost in Africa from so many reasons now climate change has been added on the list, for the deniers it’s happening. There are deaths associated with drought and famine due to low precipitation as we saw in the first diagram; children are dying from malnutrition got from the low or no nutrient cereals they are feed on because some cereals fail to produce those nutrients during high temperatures. People are drowning in their sleep when their houses are flooded during night downfalls; if they survive diseases from the water like cholera, typhoid have killed many.  Collapsed building in South B, Nairobi, after floods and heavy rain on May 2015, which claimed 9 people.

                                Source: Kenya Red Cross

Aid

There are costs incurred after such atrocities like feeding, giving shelter, treating. If the governments can’t afford it normally invites relief organizations to come and help out. In 2010 the Uganda Red Cross Society launched local appeal for $987,969 to support about 50,000 people for 3 months. You can imagine how expensive it is to rehabilitate these communities. A grant was received worth $8.37 million to help in climate resilience projects in areas prone to floods in eastern Uganda near Mount Elgon, which was badly hit by landslides killing over 300 people in Bududa district in 2010 (URN, 2015)

                               Source: URCS

Climate change is the cause of so many atrocities although they are not documented. Africa is suffering and will continue to suffer if something is not done to reverse global warming, Climate change deniers are not helping that cause.



By Kateregga Dennis, BA(ECON), Dip. IEL 
Consultant


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