Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Namibian towns must plan for disasters

John Ekongo in AllAfrica.com via New Era (Namibia): Municipalities in the country have been urged to consider putting into place policies that will address issues of global warming in their own backyards in the event of an emergency. Governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, brought this concern to the fore yesterday while addressing the three-day African Mayor's Climate Change Declaration Conference in Walvis Bay.

He said Namibia is one of the countries that will be adversely affected by global warming and climate change because of its aridity, hence Namibian town authorities should prioritise climate change issues. "The country is characterised by high climate variability, evident from persistent droughts, unpredictable and variable rainfall patterns, variability in temperatures and scarcity of water. The country also experiences high solar radiation, low humidity and high temperatures," he said.

Mutjavikua expressed concern that many local authorities are highly vulnerable to climate change and few possess capacity for adaptation - let alone capacity to deal with disaster associated with climatic change.

Over the years, Rundu, Windhoek, Oshakati, Ondangwa, Walvis Bay and Henties Bay have all experienced the harsh realities of climatic change - with floods, heavy rainfall, pest-infested crop fields and rising river levels all threatening livelihoods and infrastructure in the towns. Towns can only mitigate the impact of climatic change if they start taking global warming issues seriously, said Mutjavikua...

An aerial view of Windhoek, shot by Brian McMorrow, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

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