Saturday, March 27, 2010

Africa warned on climate change

Judith Akolo from the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation: Adaptation of African countries in the face of increasing climate variability has to be maintained in order to reduce suffering that arises from natural disasters. The International Research Institute for Climate and Society at the Earth Institute of Columbia University is urging for investments in enhancement of capacities for reduction of risk and socio-economic impacts related to climate variability.

Speaking Saturday at the launch of the Early Warning and Advisory Climate Services for African Countries -EWACS, Vigirisc project in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, an official of the IRI Simon Mason said African countries could make do with the development of vigilance products and services adapted to different sectors in order to prevent suffering through early warning.

He told the meeting dubbed the African Centre for Meteorological and Applications for Development - ACMAD that food security is at risk as agricultural productivity in much of Africa is rain-fed while pastoral migration also affects the pastoralist communities as they hunt for pasture for their animals.

Mason told the meeting that also kicked off the Vigirisc project for Africa that diseases like malaria and meningitis epidemics are a matter that should worry most governments since there is a relationship between the diseases and climate variability which is currently the main problem affecting the continent.

He noted that storm surges and waves that have been recently noticed in Mauritania require adequate monitoring and fast communication to communities in order to prevent loss of life and property. Mason said drought, floods, heavy rains and strong winds are meteorological happenings that need proper surveillance….

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