All of nature is infinitely connected. It is therefore no surprise that there are strong interdependencies between the resources that the land surface provides.
The floods which hit Malawi’s southern Shire River Basin in 2015 were the worst on record, according to the country’s Department of Disaster Management, causing widespread damage to roads, buildings, and farmlands. If the government wants to contain the risk of future flooding like this, it needs to plan with more than just the likely changes in rainfall patterns in mind due to climate change. They must also factor in changes in vegetation cover as farmers increase their footprint in the area, and people fell trees for firewood.
Welcome to the June 2019 edition of the Future Climate for Africa newsletter
AMMA-2050 presents their ground-breaking findings on climate change in West Africa to key stakeholders in Senegal at final annual meeting
The AMMA-2050 (African Monsoon Multi-disciplinary Analysis-2050) research group met for their final annual meeting in Senegal from 10 – 14 June attended by researchers from West Africa, UK, and France. Chris Taylor (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK) the lead of AMMA-2050 opened the meeting by encouraging everyone present to take advantage of this final opportunity to discuss, share and think about the research from individual streams of their work and to solidify the key messages of AMMA-2050 as a whole.
Lusaka is one of Africa’s fastest growing cities, and urban densification and economic growth will call for more strategic planning of its water supply and infrastructure. The Zambian capital has enough water supply for the foreseeable future, however the growing demand for this resource from city users, the hydro-power scheme on the river which supplies Lusaka’s electricity, and the sugarcane industry upriver of the city, will call for greater cooperation between the city and various government departments that are responsible for these different sectors.
Many farmers in Uganda receive important agricultural information in a one-way sharing process, from government agricultural extension officers directly to the farmer. This method does not allow farmers to share their own experience and opinions or to be part of the knowledge building process.
Here’s the scenario: sweet potato farmers in the Mukono region of northern Uganda are expecting a reasonable harvest this spring. But the country’s meteorological service has issued a seasonal forecast that doesn’t bode well. They’re predicting heavier than normal rainfall in April, and the root vegetable doesn’t like to have feet wet.
The old style of supporting farmers in Uganda was to send a government-employed agricultural extension officer out into the field. He’d travel from farm to farm with information on the latest in crop sciences, or a seasonal forecast from the local met office.
The Sahara has slowly been edging its toe southwards for decades, as heavy grazing, farmers cutting trees for firewood, and drought are turning the edge of the semi-arid Sahel region of Africa into a desert. The ‘great green wall’ is an ambitious tree-planting programme that aims to rope in the cooperation of 20 different countries, from Senegal in the west, to Sudan and Eritrea in the east, to throw a wall of green in its path, and arrest the desert’s spread.
The release this week of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on global warming of 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels marks a critical point in climate negotiations. Billed in the media as “life changing,” the report illustrates how crossing the ever-nearer threshold of 1.5℃ warming will affect the planet, and how difficult it will be to avoid overshooting this target.