Monday, October 20, 2008

For Mozambique, "the issue of natural disasters is very worrying"

IRIN: In a country as poor and vulnerable as Mozambique, extreme climatic events can push entire communities to the brink of disaster. Unable to recover from the multiple impacts of floods, cyclones and drought, they are often sent into a downward spiral of poverty. In the past three decades alone, Mozambique has suffered the impact of 35 hydro-meteorological disasters, affecting nearly 16 million people. According to Alexandre Tique, a meteorologist at Mozambique's National Meteorological Institute (INAM), most basic statistics point to an upward trend in natural disaster occurrence due to climate change.

"In the past few years in Mozambique the number of extreme climatic events has been on the rise. We have already gathered some information showing that extreme events are becoming more frequent. For example, we now see many more tropical cyclones that bring flooding, material destruction and loss of human lives.

"Mozambique's geographical location makes it particularly vulnerable. It is next to the Indian Ocean and is downstream from many of Africa's largest rivers. This, combined with low socioeconomic development, makes the country particularly vulnerable to climate change. We have always had tropical cyclones, floods, and in some parts of the country, drought. These events have always been cyclical but we are now facing the issue of a changing climate and see them happen more frequently…..”

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