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Climate change in Africa poses threat of famine, poverty, and water pollution

Climate change in Africa poses threat of famine, poverty, and water pollution
9 Nov 2023 10:13

DINA MAHMOUD (LONDON)

At a time when over 80% of Africans directly depend on the natural resources that are deteriorating due to the climate risks threatening our planet, international scientific circles are sounding the alarm bells. They warn of the increasing environmental challenges facing the continent this year, especially as it is susceptible to many consequences of climate change, including hurricanes, floods, and long-term droughts.

Scientists emphasise that the negative effects of these extreme weather events pose an existential threat to billions of people around the world, especially in Africa. With a population of about 1.2 billion, they constitute no less than 14.8% of the total human population on our planet.

According to a recent report on the state of the environment in Africa, nearly 1.2 billion inhabitants of the continent are feared to face an increase in water pollution rates by 2050. It is expected that another 1.5 billion will suffer from worsening food insecurity. At the same time, millions of Africans will be at risk of coastal erosion due to the effects of climate change.
The report warns that African countries may face a decrease of up to 10% in their gross domestic product by the end of this decade. It also points out that about 22 million people in the Horn of Africa region are at severe risk of hunger due to the worst drought this part of the continent has seen in decades.

In this context, the report noted that East Africa experienced a rainfall deficit for five consecutive seasons by the end of last year. The season from March to May 2022 was the driest in more than 70 years for Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Due to these events, 80 to 90% of the land in the Horn of Africa area has become arid or semi-arid and unsuitable for agriculture.

More than a hundred researchers and journalists from across Africa contributed to this report, excerpts of which were published on the “Capital FM” website. The report addressed continent’s issues related to climate change, wildlife, biodiversity, agriculture, land and water degradation, sanitation, and waste management.

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