Climate change is affecting people´s lives in Africa

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Climate change is real. It is happening all around us. Over the last century, our planet has become warmer. But in particular over the last 40 years it is now recognized that human activity is largely responsible for this global warming. The burning of fossil fuels has released huge quantity of gasses which trap additional heat in our atmosphere. The impact of this is being seen worldwide: the glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, the diseases are spreading, the dry areas are expanding and the food security is threatened. Unfortunately, the African continent is particularly exposed and vulnerable to the negative effects of global warming because of its geographical position. Global warming is affecting people´s lives in three key areas: agriculture, water, and health. As we know water is very important for people in Africa because of their farming activities. It allows them to grow their crops of the agriculture and for the money that they are receiving from the sale of their crops; they can send their children to school to have better lives than their parents and to learn how to manage problems that are caused by global warming or to buy them medicines if they get sick. But because of raising temperature and lack of rain fall because of climate change the dry lands are expanding so the people who live in the most arid areas of Africa are highly dependent on forests and trees that provide them with food and medicine because agriculture is poor option in these parts of Africa. So the farmers in Africa are facing really serious problems and challenges. However, agriculture is highly dependent on water and because of global warming and temperature raising the yields in some parts of Africa could drop by up to 50%. Whereas, in poor areas of Africa the water is missing, farmers are not able to increase production. But water is not only important for agriculture because the water is also used in households, schools, hospitals as well as for animals which are a source of food too.

Nowadays, the Africa is facing lack of water and the droughts. So the main challenge for the Africa is irrigation, water supply and implementation of the best water management because all is related. If the water is polluted because of human activity, the farmers in Africa will not be able to use this water for their lands because it will have a bad impact on the soil and on crops which are produced on this land. If there will be no harvest then they will not have the money available for education and health. And when people drink contaminated water they can die. So land loses farmers who are taking care of her and the world loses people who are taking care for our livelihood.

The role of agriculture is undeniable for the African people. The agriculture is the main source of food and income for them. In this case, if the harvest is not good enough, prices of crops are falling which means a significant drop in income for African people. Because of this one of the main objectives in Africa is how to keep African soil productive, water clear, forests maintained and find the ways to avoid all the negative consequences that global warming brings. In any case, it will be very difficult task for African government and civil society. What are the other consequences of the global warming on Africa? climate-change-vulnerability-in-africa_7239

It is assumed that the temperature will rise by 4ºC in 2100 and this will cause 40% less rainfall. So some areas in Africa will get drier and drier, but not only in Africa. When this will happen there will be more droughts, more high winds and also more floods which will be caused by extreme weather events because of climate changes. All these factors will affect productivity in agriculture and thus the GDP will drop, croplands will drop by up to 90% and people´s health will be affected. Climate change also causes various diseases from food and water such as cholera, dengue and malaria and threatens people´s nutrition mostly in Africa due to soil contamination, so food security will decrease. Food insecurity leads to famine which is nowadays one of the biggest world´s problems too. Not only nature will suffer, but the people will suffer and all because of us and our actions. That is why the only solution is monitoring the situation in Africa by satellite observations, cooperation between countries and ensuring the transmission and sharing of information, tools and systems. Nowadays there are a substantial number of projects between Africa and other countries that are trying to help people living in Africa in the provision of water, food and soil protection. The one of the many projects is EAU4FOOD which is project between African and European Union to increase food production in irrigated farming systems or the projects WHaTer and CLARA which help provide clean water and build water supplies in small communities in Africa. And the example of declaration is Libreville Declaration on Health and Environment in Africa (2008). This declaration describes the major health and environment challenges.

It is in our power to change the world, so if we can help we should. And the reason id simple: nature can live without us but we cannot live without nature!

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Sources: 

http://www.afro.who.int/en/protection-of-the-human-environment/highlights/4714-the-2008-libreville-declaration-on-health-and-environment-in-africa.html

http://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/56802_en.html

http://cordis.europa.eu/result/rcn/156083_en.html

https://thewaterproject.org/

 

 

MONIKA MAZANCOVÁ

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