Wanted: climate change policy

Zimbabwe, like many other countries in southern Africa and beyond, is reeling under the adverse effects of climate change. Unfortunately, it is clear that government is not doing enough to confront this scourge.

Evidence of the negative impact of climate change is there for everyone to see – frequent droughts are the main problem.

The increase in the number of dry spells has acutely affected agricultural production. The majority of the population— specifically vulnerable rural communities—is now dependent on donor philanthropy, especially given the fact that our poor government cannot provide assistance.

Most households have to be frugal in their meals as food insecurity rises. That, of course, has a negative impact on nutrition and health, especially at a time when we are saddled with one of the highest HIV rates in the world – 13%.

Poor rainfall has also impacted on livestock. Domestic animals that are crucial for income, food and draught power are forced to compete for the scarce water in our dying rivers. Irrigation schemes that provided livelihoods for poor communities are also crumbling.

These basic facts about climate change surely ought to shock the government into action. But there is little, if any, proof that it has awakened to the encroaching disaster.

All we have thus far are half-hearted, uncoordinated remarks and actions about climate change here and there – but absolutely no comprehensive policy to tackle the problem. We need a clearly articulated and proactive policy on climate change that talks to a whole range of issues, including awareness campaigns, mitigation, early warning mechanisms, disaster preparedness and engagement with the developed world largely responsible for the unpalatable change in climate patterns.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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