The Southern Africa is in a Climate emergency

Harare, Zimbabwe Politics, Technology, Science & Environment, Natural Disasters, Social, Training January 27 @ 12:14pm

The climate emergency is a growing threat particularly to the most vulnerable, and a particular threat to the long-term health, safety and prosperity of people in Southern Africa.
Southern Africa is facing massive famine this year. This is a result of change of seasons due to shift of climate and decline of rainfall.
The 2019/20 season started with erratic rainfall across most areas. October through early December rainfall has been 55 to 85 percent of normal across much of the region. The most affected areas are most of Lesotho, central and southern Mozambique, Madagascar, South Africa, and parts of western and southern Zambia. Planting is underway in most parts of the region, below average rainfall in the aforementioned areas as well as the poor macro economy in Zimbabwe is negatively affecting planting and germination rates. With a forecast of below average rainfall from January to May 2020, many areas of the region are likely to face a second consecutive poor rainfall season and harvest.
Majority of people have lost their livestock to this drought after coming from another loss due to anthrax outbreak.
In Africa, hunger is increasing at an alarming rate. Economic woes, drought, and extreme weather are reversing years of progress so that 237 million sub-Saharan Africans are chronically undernourished, more than in any other region. In the whole of Africa, 257 million people are experiencing hunger, which is 20 percent of the population. High staple prices in the region are contributing to below-average purchasing power for a significant number of poor households. Atypically high staple food prices are being experienced in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. Given that many poor households depend on market purchases especially during the lean season, high staple prices are restricting household food access.
According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 1 is to end poverty in all its forms everywhere. More than 700 million people, or 10% of the world population, still live in extreme poverty and is struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation, to name a few. The majority of people living on less than $1.90 a day live in sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide, the poverty rate in rural areas is 17.2 per cent—more than three times higher than in urban areas.
Having a job does not guarantee a decent living. In fact, 8 per cent of employed workers and their families worldwide lived in extreme poverty in 2018. Poverty affects children disproportionately. One out of five children live in extreme poverty. Ensuring social protection for all children and other vulnerable groups is critical to reduce poverty.
Poverty has many dimensions, but its causes include unemployment, social exclusion, and high vulnerability of certain populations to disasters, diseases and other phenomena which prevent them from being productive. Growing inequality is detrimental to economic growth and undermines social cohesion, increasing political and social tensions and, in some circumstances, driving instability and conflicts.

According to World Vision almost 41 million people in Southern Africa are food insecure and 9 million people in the region need immediate food assistance.

Drought, conflict, civil wars, poor governance, floods and instability have led to severe food shortages. Many countries have struggled with extreme poverty for decades, so they lack government and community support systems to help their struggling families. Majority of people in Zimbabwe can't have money to the foodstuffs due to skyrocketing prices.

Southern Africa vulnerability to famine and food shortage is in part a result of low agricultural productivity. Providing small farmers with basic agricultural inputs, such as fertilizers, seeds or equipment, can help increase production. They need to adapt to new technologies of agriculture. During the floods be able to harvest the water for future consumption. At the moment Zimbabwe is facing water crisis. Introducing irrigation levy to boost the agriculture is a must welcome. Drilling of boreholes and building of dams in areas prone to drought.

Although the primary goal in Southern Africa situation must be to get food to people as soon as possible, attention should also be given to how relief and short-term measures can reduce future vulnerability. Relief, recovery and development projects must be combined and sequenced in mutually-reinforcing ways. Governments, NGOs, the private sector and donors must strengthen their cooperation. Each of these actors has different capacities, and it is important to draw upon and integrate all of them in plans for mitigation and long-term development.

Poverty hinders the development of a country. Action is needed now in Southern Africa to come up with solution on Climate Change.

Enos Den here is a Journalist based in Zimbabwe. Enos has been invited to attend UN Nations Africa Climate Week 2020, which will be convened in Kampala, Uganda, 9-13 March 2020. He is looking for a sponsor to meet all the logistics. Email App +263773894975
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