Monday, April 26, 2010

Rainboots in the dry season for Cameroon's capital, as climate change takes hold

Ntungwe Elias Ngalame in AlertNet: When visitors arrived in Yaounde [in Cameroon] recently for the 8th annual meeting of the African Road Maintenance Funds Association, they got an odd greeting from a Cameroon host delegate.

"Yaounde, a city flanked by seven hills, is an environmentally friendly place with a traditional charming cold climate in the early mornings and late evenings. We are, however experiencing strange persistent rains over the past months that require our visitors to arm themselves with the necessary equipment - raincoats, warm clothes, umbrellas - to cope with the changes," warned Tsimi Evouna, a government delegate to the meeting.

Residents of Cameroon's capital are suffering through a climate nightmare this year as heavy rains that have fallen since January flood streets and homes in what is normally a dry period of the year. "Formerly there were at least four months of dry season with rains in April to November and the dry season characterized by persistent sunshine from December to March. Strangely, however, we have had rains throughout this year," said Elvis Mbong, a worker with the Ministry of Agriculture in Yaounde.

While most city inhabitants have not heard of or do not clearly understand the concept of climate change, Mbong said, "they are all witnessing the effects as they try to cope with the changes."…

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