Monday, September 26, 2011

Climate change opportunities in Africa

CRI (China): Tens of millions of lives throughout eastern Africa have been plagued by drought-induced famines in recent times, but one Kenyan Scientist - Richard Odingo, of the University of Nairobi, believes that the drought may also bring opportunities.

Also a Chairman of Kenya's National Climate Change Activities Coordination Committee, Mr Odingo elaborated on his point of view in an exclusive interview with CRI before a focused discussion held in Beijing Monday afternoon.

"If you can bring in, for example, climate change adaptation, which works and which our people are happy with, which improves their welfare and which is sustainable---that is an opportunity. It's a question of ideas; how best to do adaptation. Climate changes is there, we cannot stop it. But we know it's coming; it's taking a slow movement, so there is time to adapt. There is always a need for what we call a "red cross approach, "first aid". But in the long term, you really need to get to the root of the problem and solve the problem rather than hope that every time when people cry out, you go with first aid, you go with ambulances. That is what I call an opportunity".

The drought, the worst of the last 60 years, has created a severe humanitarian crisis in countries in the Horn of Africa. From Somalia to Ethiopia to Kenya, starving men, women and children are scrambling to find food and water as the crisis worsens. Among those worst affected are Somalis, who are fleeing their country in droves for the refugee camps in Kenya, which were filled to capacity years ago...

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