Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rural dwellers must adapt to climate change

Théodore Kouadio in AlertNet, apparently from the Ivory Coast:  The calls came at a workshop held at the Regional Unit of Higher Education of Korhogo, in the north of the country earlier this year (18 May), at which researchers presented recent work on the impacts of climate change in the region.

"Data from 1970–2000 show that rainfall during the period decreased by about 12 per cent in northern Côte d'Ivoire," Bama Koné, coordinator of the research, told SciDev.Net. He added that annual temperatures increased by almost one degree Celsius during the same timeframe. Koné said that the rainy season has shortened, while the dry season has become longer.

"Conditions in the region have become harsher and longer, vegetation has been damaged, many species are endangered, and many rivers and streams have dried up," he said.

More than two thirds of farmers have experienced a decline in crop productivity — particularly of highly prized crops such as sorghum, yam and millet — while 60 per cent have had their farms flooded during the rainy season.

Traditional practices have also been affected. For example, traditional doctors have been affected by the paucity of medicinal plants. According to the deputy mayor of Korhogo, Salimou Coulibaly, villagers sow crops such as cotton, maize and rice, according to the lunar month. When the rains do not come, they worship fetishes and pray in mosques, all the while ignoring the negative effects of climate change, Coulibaly said....

Locator map of the Ivory Coast, image by Vardion, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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