In recent years, climate change effects have been putting the world in a disastrous situation affecting the ecosystems, communities’ livelihoods and economic developments. These changes manifest as global warming, prolonged drought and unreliable rainfall.
In East African region it is anticipated to be affected with an increase in mean annual temperature of between 0.7ºC and 1.5ºC by 2020’s and of 1.3ºC and 4.3ºC by the 2080’s with a significant increase in mean annual rainfall received in the region by 2060 with the highest percentage in the months of December, January and February. Also changes in the severity and frequency of extreme events such as floods, droughts, heat waves and storms. This can be proved from once beautiful and glamorous mountains in the region as global warming has induced the gradual melt of Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya and Rwenzori ice caps. It is estimated about 83 and 40% of ice caps have been lost on mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Rwenzori in Uganda respectively.
Drought periods have been experienced for example at Makalia falls in Nakuru national park Kenya and river Mabuku in Kasese, Uganda while it has been forecasted that by 2014 a 75 percent of the entire polar ice cap will melt during the summertime.
This has been a result of rapid growth of economies especially industries that emits large quantities of the greenhouse gases to the atmosphere especially form the first world countries particularly United States of America, European Union and some of the developing countries such as China and India, rapid population growth especially in developing countries, agricultural developments, burning of the biofuels and fossil and deforestation.
The recent climate change summit that was held in Copenhagen revealed that the big nation of 120 heads of states still are reluctant to agree on terms of reducing the emissions of the green house gases such that it threatens the efforts to combat the situation.
The better solution to this is to build resilience through short term and long term climate change adaptation initiatives which requires proactiveness of everybody to take appropriate action given that we are all part of the problem and hence we should be part of the solution as business as usual is not a solution to the uncertainties and risks associated with climate variability.
For the YET’s and Civil Society Organizations, we should be key actors in proposing actions for climate change adaptation such as;
Awareness creation about climate change, associated impacts among stakeholders to enlist appropriate climate change adaptation actions,
Policy lobbying and advocacy for integration of climate change in development planning and policy processes at national and local and associated resource allocation to support climate change adaptation actions at the local level,
Strengthening partnership and networking on issues of climate change at local, national and regional levels.
Lets now APPEAL - ACT NOW OR PERISH.