Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Climate Change and Africans

Despite the fact that Africa will bear the brunt when it comes to erratic global weather patterns, many people are still unfamiliar with climate change. The recent havoc caused by tropical cyclone Idai which struck the southern African countries of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi is a grim reminder that Africa remains the most vulnerable continent as far as climate change mitigation is concerned.

Agriculture conditions are worsening due to delayed rainfall, decreasing quality of life and little or no knowledge at all about the impact of climate change. 
Research covering 34 African countries surveyed, respondents in 30 countries said agricultural production had greatly declined as a result of drought over the past decade.

"Farmers in Uganda have been waiting endlessly for rain, and  South Africa has experienced excessive flooding," Gugu Nonjinge, Afrobarometer Communications Coordinator for Southern Africa, told DW. "These unusual weather patterns shows long term changes in temperatures that ultimately affect rainfall patterns and the ability for Africa as a whole to produce food. Afrobarometer identified those working in agricultural sector in the rural areas, the poor, women and the less educated as those unaware about climate change," Nonjinge said.
In the survey, 'climate change literacy' was described as the perception that the respondent knows about climate change, he or she links it to negative changing weather patterns and recognizes that human activity plays a huge role in climate change due to greenhouse emission. Whereas 58% of Africans said they had heard about climate change, four in ten admitted that they had never heard of the term before.
The majority who knew and understood what climate change is said changing weather patters had made life worse in their respective countries. "Climate change is defining the development challenge of our time in Africa," Afrobarometer's spokesperson Nonjinge said. "Our continent is the most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change."   The survey found out that key issues such as water scarcity, food security and agriculture which were raised by those being interviewed are directly connected to climate change.

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