The Health and Human Rights Approach to Climate Change

Climate Change Vulnerability Index 2016

​The Climate Change Vulnerability Index evaluates the vulnerability of human populations to extreme climate related events and changes in major climate parameters over the next 30 years. It combines the risk of exposure to climate change and extreme events, with the current human sensitivity to that exposure and the capacity of the country to adapt to, or take advantage of, the potential impacts of climate change.The Climate Change Vulnerability Index is part of Verisk Maplecroft's 2016 Environmental Risk Analytics, which features comparable business risk data and sub-national mapping for 198 countries across 48 separate issues, including climate change vulnerability, ecosystem services, greenhouse gas emissions, natural hazards, and environmental regulation. The Environmental Risk Analytics is available via an integrated data and mapping portal, alongside an extensive portfolio of indices quantifying the key political, economic and human rights risks, which has been developed to enable multinational organisations to identify, prioritise and manage threats to global operations, supply chain continuity and corporate reputations.    

Climate Change in Africa

Study shows birds species reduction due to Climate Change

      According to a study that looked at 12 fynbos bird species and compared the information with data captured 15 years ago, scientists from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute at UCT in collaboration with the Centre for African Conservation Ecology at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, several bird species in the Western Cape are reducing in number due to varying climate conditions. Further, changes in climate were also assessed for the same period. The resounding result that was observed was that there was a remarkable decline in numbers across all the bird species.Some of the factors associated with climate change such as man-made conditions are driving the birds out of their habitats. The man-made conditions include heat, forest fire and others natural factors such as reduced rainfall are also proving detrimental.The study to be published in the Oxford University Press journal Conservation Physiology next month, includes some well-known species such as the malachite sunbird and the familiar chat. Lead researcher Susie Cunningham said the findings could inform plans for better conservation strategies.
"Fynbos birds are particularly important in this regard because they live in an area that has been extremely stable, climatologically speaking, for a very long time. So changes in climate are not something they are used to. Furthermore, six of the species we studied are endemic to the fynbos, so if we lose them from this biome, we lose them altogether."
      A major comparison of climate and bird population data with the "thermal tolerance" of each bird species forms a basis for the study. Assessment to what extent birds can adapt to different temperature and whether this is the primary indicator of changes in bird abundance was made.A caution is however given that these findings should not make scientists to quickly conclude about bird physiology when assessing the effects of climate change.    "The main findings are that physiology, though often considered the ultimate factor limiting species distributions, may not be the factor responsible for warming-related declines in most Fynbos birds."
      Some of the key findings include:    
  • All 12 of the study species, which included both endemic and non-endemic fynbos birds, show range declines over the 15-year period
  • Bird species living in naturally warmer areas are generally faring better than those in cooler areas, but species experiencing greatest warming within their ranges are declining fastest. These patterns are strikingly similar to patterns observed in the Northern Hemisphere, suggesting warm-adapted birds are faring better under climate change, globally.
  • Endemic bird species, which typically favour cooler habitats, appear to be more vulnerable to climate change than non-endemic species
  • Highest rates of climate warming were recorded in inland (mountainous) areas, whereas some coastal areas have cooled.
  • Eight of the 12 study species (and five of six Fynbos endemics) show declines in reporting rate or local extinction in more than half of their habitat range.

    Kenyan Communities Response To Climate Change

    Kenyan Community

    The uncertaintyand risks of climate change are challenges facing the Kenyan community today. Theseeffects are a result of human activities that are either direct or indirect andhave shown adverse effects in a diversity of livelihoods in the country. Climatechange has accelerated poverty and inequality among Kenyan communities as thosein arid and semi-arid areas are mostly affected especially the pastoralists. Theeffects are such intense that the most valuable treasures of the Kenyancommunity have been affected ranging from the economic opportunities,ecosystem, health of Kenyan people, its infrastructure, agriculture, wildlife,rangelands, water resources and tourism, Forests, energy and marine life. Forinstance the increasing temperatures have lead tosnow melt especially on mount Kenya which are tourist attraction sites thusaffecting the tourism sector. Rise in sea level at the coastal land has madefishing dangerous and has led to displacement of people in the coastal areas,Use of charcoal as a source of energyhas led to desertification of Kenyan lands exposing the land to drought,flooding causing destruction of physical infrastructure as well as healtheffects (diseases that are water borne e.g. cholera, malaria).Destruction offorests for resettlement, farming and charcoal burning has also destroyed thehabitats of our wildlife leading and destruction of water catchment areas.

    In order to achieve themillennium development goals and vision 2030 on climate change a lot must bedone in response to this. Due to these changes in climate changes and globalwarming natural climate has much been affected and its reliability is no longerpromising thus measures should be put in place to mitigate these adversechanges. Seasons of drought (food and pasture for livestock) and water scarcityhave been experienced in the past consecutive years and the Kenyan communitywith the help of the governing authority has reacted in response to thesechanges by adapting to new practices that are favorable to enhance communityresilience in the current climate. These responses are in the agriculturalsector, livestock/ Pastoralism, wildlife, water and forest sectors. Greatimprovements have noted in these sectors since new measures were incorporated.

    The following are someof the Kenyan community responses in regard to climate change. The Kenyancommunity has adapted the practice of producing crops that are droughttolerant, pest and disease resistant and growing of crops that have earlymaturity.(sorghum, millet, cassava,).This has ensured guaranteed harvest even when the crops are cutoffby the inadequate rains. On theother hand the early maturing species are harvested early before rainsdisappear.

    With this, foodsecurity has been guaranteed to the Kenyan community even in times of droughtas surplus is stored to be used in these dry seasons.

    Diversification of rural economiessuch as apiculture (bee keeping) is another response in the agriculturalsector. The practice of bee keeping is carried out even in the arid areas and thishas avoided reliance on climate sensitive agricultural practices such asgrowing of maize and beans.

    Irrigated agriculture has been putinto practice mostly in villages where hand dug wells powered by solar powerare used to provide water for drinking and gardening. This is has proven moreeconomical and efficient at the village level for sufficient food and watersecurity.

    Minor crops such as cassava, pigeonpeas and sweet potatoes have been cultivated that have improved foodavailability and security. Activities such as agricultural post harvesting,processes and storage have been promoted.

    Prevention of land degradation hascontrolled soil erosion, reduced runoffs and allowed rain water to infiltrateto the soil. When crops are grown in this piece of land maximum production isexpected as enough moisture and fertility is present in the soil.

    The practice of grass preservation andplanting of perennial trees that preserve wetlands during droughts has beenimplemented. Livestock can be moved and grazed in these areas during dry seasonavoiding migration and loss of many numbers of livestock through drought whichis a great loss to the community creating loophole for poverty andbackwardness.

    Water harvesting: Dams have beenconstructed for preservation and storage of water for animals especially duringthe dry spell. The water can in return be used to grow folder for the livestockand food for the people when irrigation is done.

    Pastoralists who aremostly occupy the arid and semi arid areas of Kenyahave also suffered food and water insecurity for their livestock. During rainseasons these communities have plenty of food. They harvest and store folderfor their animals to use during dry season and migration in search of food andpasture is controlled.

    Reduced rainfall whichis effect climate change has resulted in insufficient availability of waterboth for animals and Kenyan community, during much rains practices of waterharvesting especially the roof catchment at household level have been employedand provided adequate water that is stored for use during dry season.

    Retention of water through boreholewater ways have been constructed to help in harvesting and retention of waterduring floods or heavy rains that can later be used during the dry season.

    Farmers have also embraced breeding animalsfrom different ecological zones that adapt well to climate changes i.e. are notprone to pests and diseases and can adapt to harsh climatic changes.

    Due to recurrent drought, migrationsespecially in the pastoralist communities have been unavoidable. This allowsintermingling of animals and to avoid infections regular vaccinations are doneto ensure all animals are safe from infections.

    Pastoralists have joined livestockrearing with cultivation of drought resistant crops allowing economy diversificationand this means when one alternative fails they go for the other and this givesfood security to both the farmer and the livestock.

    Agricultural practices such ascultivation along river banks has encouraged silting in water bodies. This hascaused silting in the water bodies reducing the carrying capacity, waterstorage and quality of water. De-silting of these bodies has been employed toexpand the water holding capacity and water quality that is useful in times ofdrought for household, irrigation and livestock use.

    The initiatives of protection andpreservation of water catchment areas have been employed e.g. movingpeople from water catchment areas andpreventing tree cutting in such areas as cutting them exposes the sources tothe scorching sun that cause them to dry up.

    As it pertains forestry, activitiessuch as aforestation( planting of tree in a freshgrounds) and reforestation (planting of trees where they have been cut down)have been put in place to ensure trees protect water catchment areas .Theintensity of the forests also helps in climate control and protection andmaintenance of livestock. Its habitat for most wildlife.

    Since forestry has a myriad ofdiverse ecosystems, the introduction of diversity of tree species includingfast maturing, drought tolerant, pest and disease resistance have been plantedin regard to the changing climate changes in Kenyan. This has conserved thenatural habitat for Kenyan wildlife that has been a key attraction of touristsin the tourism sector. The early maturing species alternate with the latematuring so there will not be at any point depleted forests in Kenya. Droughtresistant trees will even thrive in harsh conditions and this will ensurecontinued forest growth and conservation.

    The practice of agro forestry (growingof trees and planting of crops) has been encouraged and embraced by the Kenyancommunity as a response to the changing climate in the country. The treesenable communities to meet their subsistence needs (food) and energy needsinstead of cutting down forests for fuel and timber.

    Charcoal production is one of theleading activities that have greatly contributed to climate change and forestdestruction in Kenya. Kenyan community has adapted to alternative sources ofenergy such as biogas, solar wind, and bio fuels. This has led to conservation oftrees and forests that would be destroyed through charcoal burning for use asfuel. Solar energy is readily available and highly sustainable all over Kenyaand to all communities without any cost. No adverse effects have beenassociated with solar or wind energy making them more efficient and moreavailable to all communities even those in arid and semi-arid areas as well assustainable. Conservative cooking equipmentsuch as jikos, stoves that do use very little energyin a highly efficient manner are being adopted and used and proving veryefficient and economical.

    These are some of themajor practices/responses the Kenyan community has put in place to cope withthe changing weather patterns. The responses have given the Kenyan communityalternatives for sustainable living even with changing climatic conditions andglobal warming.

    Climate change is a threat not only to the Kenya communitiesbut to the entire world. Cooperated efforts of communities, nations, countriesand governance all put together can successfully help curb the disaster andnegative effects of climate change. Putting into practice strategies andmeasures outlined by different agencies and institutions in each country willbe a great step in preventing climate change. Joined efforts by the whole worldcan stop more emissions into the atmosphere and reduce the severity of theeffects of climate change on livelihoods.


    1.Osbahr,H. & Viner, D. (2006). Linkingclimate change adaptation and disaster risk

    management for sustainable poverty reduction: Kenya Case Study, EC.

    2.Government of Kenya (GoK)(2006). Disaster Risk Reduction Strategyfor Kenya 2006 –

    2016: A Resilient and SaferNation


    Heat Waves in Africa


    A heat wave normally is a sustained period of excessivelyhot weather. This may at times be accompanied by relatively higher levels ofhumidity, particularly in oceanic climate countries. It is normally measuredrelative to the usual weather of the given area and relative to the normaltemperatures of that particular season. This means that temperatures thatpeople from a hotter climate are used to can be termed a heat wave in otherareas that normally have a cooler weather pattern. It is considered extremeweather and a danger to both animals and people because the sunlight and theheat involved may lead to overheating of the human body and affect the normalphysiological functions. To most scientists, the daily maximum temperature of agiven region should for more than five consecutive days surpass the averagemaximum temperature of that specific region by 5 °C or more fora heat wave phenomena to be announced.

    Heat wave in Africa

    The current heat wave over South Africa in places such asLimpopo, Gauteng and Mpumalanga, has recorded at least five degrees more thanthe mean maximum of the hottest month. Some of the hottest temperatures so farrecorded include 37 degrees Celsius in Pretoria, 42 in Skukuza,36 Mbombela and 33 in Polokwaneand Johannesburg. This represents a big difference keeping in mind that thehottest day ever recorded in Pretoria was November 24, 1941, when thetemperatures hit 39.2C while in Johannesburg; a high of 35C was recorded in1925. Heat wave is normally applied both to extraordinary spells of heat whichmay occur only once a century and to routine weather variations in a givenregion. These phenomena have resulted in thousands of deaths from hyperthermia,catastrophic crop failures and widespread power outages due to increased use ofair conditioning.

    Heat waves result from high pressure up in the atmospherethat traps heat near the ground surface. The high pressure can be at3,000–7,600 metres (10,000–25,000 feet) above theground surface where it may remain and strengthen over a specific region forseveral days and up to several weeks. It is normal for this to happenespecially in summer as the jet stream 'follows the sun' (in both Southern andNorthern Hemispheres). Usually, wintertime weather patterns change faster orare more responsive than the summertime weather patterns that are slower tochange. This, therefore, means that the mid-level high pressure developed inthe summertime also moves slowly. With the high pressure, the air subsidestowards the earth's surface. This subsiding air acts as a dome that caps theatmosphere traping heat instead of allowing it tolift resulting in a continual build-up of heat at the earth's surface.

    In South Africa, in the Western Cape Province, a heat waveresults when high-pressure inland and a low-pressure offshore combine to form aBergwind. Humidities areusually very low at this time as the descending air warms from the Karoointerior. Temperatures can reach over 40 °C in during this time and the highestofficial temperatures recorded during a bergwindalong the Eastern Cape coastline was (51.5 °C). The heat is caused by theSouthern hemisphere heat waves and is expected to affect mostly thenortheastern provinces of Gauteng. With the heating phenomena, extremely highfire danger conditions arise. This has resulted in fire warnings being issuedin certain places such as the West Coast district, southwestern parts ofLimpopo, Northern Cape province and the and south-western Winelands.Places along the coast and the Northern Cape interior were the first places toexperience the heat wave before it spread to the eastern interior of theWestern Cape. Botswana and Zimbabwe have also been hit by this phenomenon withtemperatures in some of the areas in these countries expected to go beyond 45degrees. The Meteorological services department has warned that the low-lyingareas like Beitbridge are likely to be the worstaffected.

    This comes in the news that meteorologists may have come upwith a technique that can help predict the onset of some killer heat wavesthree weeks in advance. At the moment, the best they can do is around ten daysin advance. Such a system would be ideal in helping cities prepare for theeffects of the heating and thereby reduce the loss of lives that occursespecially with the elderly. The key in this approach is the pattern of low andhigh-pressure spots across the world. Whenever such a pattern shows up, thereare chances for an intense heat wave, according to the results that werepublished in the journal Nature Geosciences. The scientists at the National Centerfor Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, did thousands of computersimulations and concluded that when high and low-pressure systems line up in aparticular way, it foreshadows heat to come in about 15 to 20 days.

    With the heating in South Africa, the emergency medicalservice provider has urged people to keep hydrated at all times and wheneverpossible to stay in the shade.The heatexhaustion from the heating can lead to serious complications such as heatstroke that is life threatening.In theUnited States, deaths from excessive heat reached 2,190 between 1992 and 2001,this differs greatly as compared with other weather events such as hurricanes(150) and 880 deaths from floods over the same period. It is estimated thataround 6,200 Americans are hospitalized each summer as a result of excessiveheating; this is according to the Agency for Health care Research and Quality.In Europe, more than 70,000 people died following the 2003 European heat wave.In India, a severe heat wave struck in May 2015 and as of 3 June 2015 more than2,500 people had died. Around the same in Pakistan, 2,000 deaths were recorded,and countless loss of agricultural livestock and zoo animals occurred.

    The most vulnerable are normally babies, the elderly and thesickly. Some of the measures that the public in South Africa has been advisedto adhere to include: staying out of direct sunlight, stay well hydrated bydrinking a lot of water, ensure pets have a cool place to relax and cool cleanwater to drink as well, keep a close eye on babies, the elderly and childrenand ensure they stay well hydrated, wear the appropriate clothing and usesunscreen, do not leave children and pets in a vehicle, even with a windowopen, if you are going to spend time in a pool, ensure your safety and that ofchildren around you. Ensure that they are supervised while around and in thepool and limiting participation in outdoor activities. If you plan onparticipating in outdoor activities, ensure you rest and keep hydrated.

    Some of the symptoms of severe exhaustion or heat stroke tolook out for may include: A severe headache, muscle cramps, nausea andvomiting, weakness or disorientation and severe thirst. Once the heat wave isover, a hot and dry summer season is on its way in the next months.

    This is due to the effect of the El Niño. This has broughtabout a shift in the winds in the Pacific Ocean, causing a warming of the watermore than usual and triggering a change in global weather

    patterns. A report that wasrecently released by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)said that 2015 might be the warmest year that Africa has ever had. According tothe CSIR report, this is due to the El Nino effect and partly due to theclimate change.

    Temperatures recorded over the subtropical southern Africahave more than doubled the global rate over the last fifty years. As a resultit is believed that there will be further heat waves across Africa, and

    South Africa will not be alone in experiencing this heating.Global warming and climate change are said to promote the probability of suchextreme weather events more than they boost the more moderate weather events.



    Climate Change

    The reality of climate is onethat cannot be ignored. In Africa, climate change is clearly evident in mostparts of the continent. For example, Eastern Africa has been experiencingdroughts which are intense and prolonged while Western Africa has been facedwith the serious problem of floods as a result of heavy rains. There has alsobeen a substantial decrease in the number of rain forests found in EquatorialAfrica while the Southern African coast has seen a rise in ocean acidity. Thesevast fluctuations in the climate and weather patterns pose a danger to thehealth of the people of Africa as well as decreasing the pace of the growth anddevelopment of the continent. The Intercontinental Panel on Climate Changeindeed concluded that global warming and climate change are a reality. What iseven more worrying is the fact that human activities contribute to globalwarming. If not dealt with, global warming will result into the mostproblematic health issues in the 21st Century. Despite this, healthis not really given a priority during international climate negotiations.

    When considering the potentialoutcomes and issues of climate change, the how climate change affects healthcan be undermined. There is evidence which show that putting an end to climatechange is crucial for health reasons. According to observations carried outrecently by IPCC, climate indicators such as high temperatures are almostreaching those projected in 1990. There will be numerous negative effects of awarmer climate. These are;

    (i)Injuries, shortage of food,contagious diseases, deaths and water contamination due to extreme weatherchanges,

    (ii)Malnutrition, deficiencies due tolack of nutrients and even starvation as a result of significant reduction ofagricultural output due to droughts or heavy rainfall,

    (iii)increment in number of people withrespiratory diseases due to increased air impurities as there will be higherinstances of fires in forests recorded,

    (iv)There will be rampant exposure tovector borne diseases over a wide area affecting several populations.

    There are severalimmediate improvements to health that can be derived from the various measuresput in place to reduce to emissions from greenhouse activities. This is due tothe reduction in unexpected short-lived greenhouse emissions and the reductionof the general toxic gases. The former has more consequential effects tohealth.Due to the resulting positiveeffects on health after climate change mitigations to reduce its negativehealth impacts, there is need to included interventions of health as a criticalissue in the international climate discussion. Hence professionals in thehealth sector have a big role to play in ensuring that these interventions aretaken seriously.

    There are both the direct andindirect effects on health where extreme weather events such as droughts,floods and forest fires causes the direct effects while the indirect arederived from natural systems abnormalities leading to increased air pollution. Suchimpacts on health are discussed below trying to show how climate change impactshealth across the continent.

    Through diverse impacts ofclimate change it can lead to displacements of the vector-borne diseaseaffecting its behaviour, reproduction, development and dynamics in population.Around the world an approximate of about 260 to 320 million more people by 2080will be affected by malaria (Costello, 2009) and many more millions are beingexposed to malaria, already a leading cause of death in Africa, due totemperature increases and intensifying rains which affect previouslymalaria-free areas such as the Kenyan and Ethiopian highlands. It is alsoalarming since most deaths caused by malaria occur in infants and childrenunder five years. There have being noticeable changes in the occurrences of theRift Valley fever and West Nile Virus due to increment in precipitation andrising temperatures from climate change.

    In Africa, the main causes ofinfectious and water borne communicable diseases are rising temperatures,natural disasters brought about by climate change and lack of safe water fordrinking due to the lack of rainfall over long periods of time. Also apercentage of disease spread in Africa is linked to poor water and sanitation,which is greatly influenced by the changing climatic conditions. Effects ofclimate change such as ecosystem degradation, affect health indirectly bycontributing to cholera, diarrheal and malnutrition especially in children andto the extreme child mortality. With prolonged drought in parts of Africa,there has been a reduction in food availability and distribution. Hence,malnutrition and hunger are very realistic consequences which will beexperienced by the African people, consequences which contribute to a physicaland psychological stunted development, as well as more general health problemsand often, death (Justice et al., 2005; Smith, 2006).

    When you consider the importantrole water plays in maintaining sanitation and the spread of infectiousdiseases, lack of water threatens the health of the African population. Theconservation measures put in place to ensure that the little available watergoes along way brings about unhealthy sanitation measures. For instance inNorth East Uganda, which is regarded as a drought stricken area, meningitis isknown to dominant. While in other areas where they don't face water scarcityissues due to climate induced natural disasters, they face diseases linked towater contamination.

    Also a disease that is known toslow economic growth, that is malaria, has resulted to about 2 million deathsper year in Africa. The effects of climate change has seen an increment in theoutbreak of malaria. There are about 500 million cases of malaria world-wideannually and a high percentage of these cases happens in Africa. Theinternational community has had many attempts to limit the occurrences of newcases of malaria in Africa but the unending consequences of climate changethreaten to inhibit such attempts due to the rising temperatures and poor waterand sanitation.

    Increases in temperature not onlymake it easier for mosquitoes to breed in areas where they are normally found,but it enables them to breed in new locations at higher altitudes. These areashave never been exposed to malaria and its residents have therefore never builtup immunity to help fight against it, leading to drastically higher mortalityrates. In 1987, one highland area of Rwanda experienced a 337 percent increasein cases of malaria and 80 percent of this increase could be accounted for bychanges in temperature and rainfall levels resulting from climate change(WGCCD, 2005). These higher rainfall levels, as well as natural disasters,leave large amounts of stagnant water behind, creating environments that areideal for the breeding of mosquitoes that carry the virus (Smith, 2006). As aresult, flooding in South Africa, for example, has doubled the area that issuitable for malaria-carrying mosquitoes to breed, putting some 7.2 millionpeople at risk of contracting the disease (WGCCD, 2005).


    Africa has a lot to lose as aresult of climate change and it's expected to exacerbate the occurrence andintensity of future disease outbreaks and perhaps increase the spread ofdiseases in some areas. It is known that climate variability and extremeweather events, such as high temperatures and intense rainfall events, arecritical factors in initiating malaria epidemics especially in the highlands ofwestern Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda and Madagascar (Zhou et al.,2004). While other factors, such as topography and health preparedness caninfluence the spread of malaria, scientists have found a correlation betweenrainfall and unusually high maximum temperatures and the number of malariacases (Githeko and Ndegwa,2001; Zhou et al., 2004). From 1920 to 1950, the highlands of eastern Africaexperienced infrequent malaria outbreaks; however, since then, the currentpattern is characterized by increased outbreak frequencies, expanded geographicrange, and increased case- fatality rates (Zhou et al., 2004). The survival ofmosquito vectors (Anopheles spp.) and the mosquito parasite that causes malaria(Plasmodium falciparum) are also effected by climate. Temperature affects thedevelopment rates of vectors and parasites while rainfall affects theavailability of mosquito breeding sites (Zhou et al., 2004; Craig et al.,2004). The spread of malaria is seasonal and limited to the warm and rainymonths; however, changing climate conditions, such as the persistence of warmand rainy days for more of the year can increase the incidence of malariaevents (Craig et al., 2004). In addition to longer seasons that are suitablefor malaria spread, temperatures have also been warming in formerly cooler,higher-elevation East African highlands. Subsequently, these areas areexperiencing a spread of malaria in populations that had not previously been frequentlyexposed to the disease (Patz et al., 2005; Zhou etal., 2004).

    The paper seeks to demonstratethe devastating and increasingly threatening consequences that climate changeposes for the African continent. As a result of the intimate relationship andreliance that Africa and its citizens, societies, and economies have with theenvironment, the costs that climate change can impose upon the continent areenormously high.


    Costello,A., et al. (2009). Managing the health effects of climate change. The Lancet.373:1693-733

    Craig, M.H., I. Kleinschmidt, J.B. Nawn,D. Le Sueur and B.L. Sharp. 2004. Exploring 30 yearsof malaria case data in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: part I. The impact ofclimatic factors. Tropical Medicine and International Health 9: 1247-1257.

    Zhou, G.,N. Minakawa, A.K. Githeko,and G. Yan. 2004. Association between climate variability and malaria epidemicsin the East African highlands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesof the United States of America. 101: 2375-2380.

    Patz, J.A.,D. Campbell-Lendrum, T. Holloway and J. A. Foley.2005. Impact of regional climate change on human health. Nature 438: 310-317.


    African initiative in curbing climate change

    Ever heard of the term climate change?Technically it's the changes in weather patterns for a prolonged period oftime. Only a few numbers of people are in a position to tell the great changesin the weather patterns. This article illustrates the role of Africa infighting climate change.

    Africahas a great role to play in the fight against climate change. Effects of climate changevary from one region to another overthe world including the African continent and for this reason it's significantfor Africa to put in place measures to the adaptation of climate change.

    Measure that the Africancontinent should address in controlling climate change effects

    Common measures that have been put in place


    Effective, innovative and sustainableadaptation and mitigation programmes in fightingclimate changes and its influence on the people and their economy is Africa'sbiggest achievement. The issue of climate change and its concern is not a oneperson/party issue as its impacts are felt worldwide with the African continentbeing the worst hit. Shared concern such as lack of ability and capacity toaccess the global climate change and lack of funds that would help inmitigation initiatives coupled with difficulties that the continent face in adapting to new technologies which are greatinstrument in reducing the catastrophic disasters of climate change (floods anddrought) have been raised. Africa, through a united approach has collaboratedin sharing these problems and experiences and questioning experts and availableresources in conferences held on climate change. This has strengthened lobbyingcapability in turn.

    The Africa continent needs globalsupport financially, technologically and through provision of other resourcesfor effective achievement in fighting climate change. This approach would helpAfrica to collectively push for compensation from damages caused by these climatechanges which it largely suffers yet it's the lightest polluter. As a whole,the united African approach will achieve the challenges of global funding tosupport projects for sustainable development as their voice is critical

    2.Leadership (coordinated and common Africanposition)

    AfricanLeadership has a great role to play in curbing the outcomes of climate change.Together they have realized the need for negotiations with other global leadersand have actively been involved in global change negotiations that have ensuredthe need and interests of Africa are met. Their active involvement will placeAfrica in better positions to active participation in attempts to meet theadaptation objectives that are of importance to the continent bearing in mindthat this is a continent strongly hit by the impacts of climate change.

    Through working with sub-regionalorganizations and institutions such as the African Union(AU) and South AfricanDevelopment Community (SADC) has effectively ensured the concerns of thevulnerable African continent is heard, their interests considered andinitiatives on adapting to climate change put in place.

    3.Knowledge and capacity building on climatechange

    For successful fightagainst climate changes, Africa has developed it'smeteorological capacity for research and data collection infrastructures tohelp in observing the everyday increasing impacts of climate change. Increasedawareness and educational capacity building on climate change and its effectshas been done and is ongoing in various private and civil society institutions aswell as learning institutions. This has led to communities which includefarmers and general population being sensitized on these issue. Inaddition to development of capacity, the African continent has devised rulesand has put into place practice strategies to protect their natural resourcesthat include the forests, rivers, mountains and water sources and conserve energy.For effective sustainability of these policies all stakeholders have beeninvolved including from those at grassroots and community level in the planningand execution of these programmes to minimize theeffects of climate change on ecosystems and the economic development.


    Africacontinent produces the lowest emission yet it suffers the great effects resultingfrom those emissions (drought, floods, reduced crop yield, diseases, ecosystemsand infrastructure) not being able to be predicted and mitigated in a timelymanner due to lack of technology, funding as well as capacity. Seasons are nolonger the same again as they have been affected by the climate change effects.This has called for attention on what should be done on the changing climate toensure disasters such as droughts that have claimed livelihoods has put undercontrol. Innovations both locally and internationally are being developed toenhance quality of live in the whole world. Locally, a lot has been doneincluding sensitizing farmers on farming methods to adapt to climate changeincluding encouraging them to use appropriate management and grazing systems,by enhancing adaptive initiatives for climate change, supporting innovating technologyinvesting in energy efficiency (using energy saving jikosand solar) sustainable use of land and proper management of forestry are someof the ways of adapting to climate change. In agriculture use of simpleaccessible innovations such as growing early maturing crops, drought/pestresistance crops have been adopted to enhanced increased crop yield to savelivelihoods.


    Increased cooperation internationallyand locally will place Africa at good position of fighting climate change. Thismeans collaboration internationally with those countries outside Africacontinent who have enhanced and developed technologies and innovations to provide technicalassistance and capacity building to support this approach. This can be donethroughpartnerships and agreements which emphasise better strategies in fightingclimate change and disaster reduction. Africa as a continent needs to cooperatein its plans and strategies for successful outcomes.


    1.CollierP., Conway G. and T. Venables (2008). "Climate change in Africa," Oxford Reviewof Economic Policy. Vol. 24, No. 2: 337-353.

    2.WorldBank (2009). World Development Report 2010: Developmentand Climate Change. Washington DC.

    3.Commissionon Climate Change and Development and the UN International Strategy for DisasterReduction (ISDR) (2008). Links betweenDisaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change. Geneva.

    16 Billion Dollars ($16B) Needed to tackle Climate Change in Africa
    The World Bank is calling for $16 billion in funding to help Africa and its people adapt to climate change or face diseases and crippling food price inflation. The Africa Climate Business Plan will be presented on November 30 at the COP21 environmental summit in Paris.

    ​​ Described by its organizers as "crucial", ​COP21 will see the world's leaders, scientists, pressure groups and United Nations agencies attempt to thrash out, "a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius." "Sub-Saharan Africa is highly vulnerable to climate shocks, and our research shows that could have far-ranging impact -- on everything from child stunting and malaria to food price increases and droughts," World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a press release.

    "This plan identifies concrete steps that African governments can take to ensure that their countries will not lose hard-won gains in economic growth and poverty reduction, and they can offer some protection from climate change," Kim added.

    ​​ According to the plan, based on current estimates, Africa will need between $5-10 billion every year in order to adapt to global warming of two degrees. Three areas of action are identified in the plan. The first will seek to improve the resilience of African assets, comprising natural capital, physical capital and human and social capital. The second area will focus on, "powering resilience, including opportunities for scaling up low-carbon energy sources." The third area will look at enabling resilience via the provision of data and information to aid "climate-resilient development across sectors." "The plan is a 'win-win' for all especially the people in Africa who have to adapt to climate change and work to mitigate its impacts," Jamal Saghir, the World Bank's Senior Regional Adviser for Africa, said. "We look forward to working with African governments and development partners, including the private sector, to move this plan forward and deliver climate smart development."