Why African Countries Need To Raise Their Own Climate Change Funds
By Sophie Mbugua | From The Star via AllAfrica
African countries are participating in the 21st Conference of parties (COP21) in Paris at the background of the scientific findings that the continent is the least greenhouse gas emitter but the most vulnerable to effects of climate change.
As the world leaders meet in Paris with an aim to reduce the global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius before the 1950’s, scientists have warned that 2 degrees will expose the African continent to 4degrees warmer temperatures.
A situation the World Bank warns will lead to drought and floods devastating agriculture and economies in Africa “by 2030 extreme heat and droughts will leave 40% of the land currently used in growing maize incapable of growing maize and will also destroy the savannah grasslands supporting livestock farming” warned World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.
Dr Elija Gichuru, the Coffee Research Institute director, says rising temperatures and erratic rainfall is threatening sustainable coffee production by enabling outbreak of Coffee Berry Disease (CBD) and Coffee Leaf Rust diseases that decrease the quality and yield of coffee berries.
“Coffee berry disease affects young berries between one to three months and can cause 50-80 percent loss on average; while the Coffee leaf rust disease defoliates the plants making it loose leaves. This leads to lack of food for the plant and eventually poor quality coffee and yield” notes Gichuru
This Gichuru says is affecting the economies of nearly a million small holder coffee farmers in Kenya where coffee is ranked third in Kenya’s foreign exchange earnings.
In 2011-2012 drought in East Africa affected over 13 million people in the region. Pasture and water scarcity due to recurrent drought in northern region continue to be a key driving force for conflict between communities in the porous borders as livestock and people move around.
Evans Kituyi a Senior Programme Specialist on Climate Change at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) notes that, the continent’s backbone sectors, such as agriculture, energy, tourism, and healthcare, are highly climate sensitive and dependent on healthy ecosystems.
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