Africa urged to adopt policies to deal with climate change

Calls are intensifying for African governments to adopt pragmatic systems in dealing with climate change. At the opening ceremony of the 11th governing board meeting of the Interim Executive Director of West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Professor Jimmy Adegoke, said this was vital to ensuring food security on the continent. Reports indicate that decreasing annual rainfall and increasingly erratic rainfall patterns due to climate change is adversely affecting rural livelihoods on the African continent. In Ghana, communities in the north are faced with increasing challenges in dealing with extreme weather events, drought and flooding. Water is highly relevant to the thematic priorities and cross-cutting issues of Ghana’s development agenda but is increasingly becoming a scarce resource in northern Ghana due to climate variability. Statistics from the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation indicate the nation loses about 9.6 per cent of GDP due to climate change, a situation which can adversely affect food security on the continent. Professor Adegoke says governments should be interested in building resilient economies for climatic changes. “We should focus on reducing climate induced risks and create resilient economies that improve livelihoods.” Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, partners of WASCAL, Chistoph Retzlaff emphasized the need for farmers on the continent to move from rain-fed agriculture “Agriculture remains the foundation of the livelihoods of the people in Africa, and it’s vital that we pay attention to how we can diversify agric production.” Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Professor Frimpong Boateng reiterated government’s commitment to fighting climate change. WASCAL was established in 2013 after an agreement was signed between Germany and ten West African countries to address the growing challenge of climate change. The countries are Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote de Ivoire, the Gambia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

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By Grace Asare|3FM 92.7||Ghana ]]>