Friday, October 21, 2011

Climate change threatens health, agriculture

Wisdom Mdzungairi writes in News Day (Zimbabwe): Climate change will be “catastrophic” to health and agriculture, and could foster African instability and insecurity, Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) scientists, environmental health and agriculture experts warned yesterday. The group urged African state apparatus to tackle climate change, as malaria is the most climate-sensitive vector-borne disease.

Head of CCAA Fatima Danton warned that dealing with climate change would further burden the continent and have “enormous” human and economic cost. These include more frequent extreme weather events, water and food shortages, the spread of diseases, potential ecosystem collapse and threats to livelihoods. She warned that ignoring climate change would cost lives.

“It is not enough for politicians to deal with climate change as some abstract academic concept. The price of complacency will be paid in human lives and suffering, and all will be affected. Tackling climate change can avoid this,” Danton said.

Kenya Medical Research Institute’s Andrew Githeko said climate variability could increase the number of malaria cases by 100% and mortality by 500% and the areas most affected by the epidemics were the highlands of most of Africa . However, Githeko said an early epidemic warning system was required in the prediction and early prevention of epidemic....

An orchard in Ethiopia, photo by USAID

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