Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mombasa and other coastal islands threatened by sea level rise

Standard Media (Kenya): Millions of inhabitants along the Kenyan coastal strip might relocate elsewhere as climate change-induced sea level rise threatens to submerge islands, government officials warned on Thursday on the World Environment Day.

Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resource, said coastal towns and villages risk being inundated due to rising water levels. "Kenya is not an exception in the effects of rising sea level and associated wave erosion. Researchers have confirmed a 2.2- millimetre rise of Indian ocean waters annually," said Wakhungu.

Speaking during the World Environment Day Cerebration in the Coastal town of Kilifi, Wakhungu noted that climate change threatens the multi-million-dollar marine ecosystem.

The 2014 World Environment Day focused on the impacts of climate change on oceans. Government officials, researchers and conservationists noted climate change threatens the survival of Kenyan lakes and seas.

"Credible scientific findings have revealed that an increase of 30 centimetres is capable of causing the submergence of Mombasa and 17 percent of coastal areas. It is estimated that 267,000 people will be at risk of coastal flooding by 2030 if no deterrent measures are put in place," said Wakhungu. Kenya has an expansive coastline that is the bedrock of tourism and fishing industries.

An aerial view of Mombasa, shot by Victor Ochieng, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons 2.0 license 

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