Talk Africa: What can be done to mitigate the effects of El Nino and Africa’s drought?

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Since late last year, Southern and Eastern Africa have been gripped by the worst drought to hit the region in decades. From South Africa to as far north as the Sahel, crops are failing, livestock dying, and food prices are soaring. Some 23 million people are now in need of food support, and that’s expected to exceed 50 million by the year’s end. And experts are placing the blame firmly on climate change.

So as global leaders fly into Marrakech next week for COP22 to discuss ways to combat changing global weather, what decisions will be taken to ease the burden of people in Africa? And what can be done to mitigate the effects of El Nino and Africa’s drought?

For many parts of the continent, the drought currently being experienced is the worst in 60 years, and this is all being exacerbated by climate change. In Southern Africa it started in 2015, and most countries in the region have declared a state of national emergency and have instituted water rations.

Now scientists in Zimbabwe have developed a seed variety that can withstand extreme heat and drought conditions – potentially rescuing millions from hunger in years to come

Droughts across Africa are becoming more frequent and severe as a result of increasing global temperatures, and in Kenya it has left over a million in need of emergency relief. The government has started distributing aid to the affected areas – but acknowledges that much more is needed.

Further north they haven’t escaped the drought either, but they might have a short-term solution. Uganda’s cattle corridor has been hit hard by drought leading to loss of livestock and crop failure. But Farmers are now are planting drought resistant crops to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Next week global leaders will converge in Marrakech, Morrocco, for the UN’s conference on Climate Change or COP22, and with the conference being held on the African continent, the current drought experienced by many is sure to be on the agenda.

Watch the video below as Beatrice Marshall and her panel of experts delve into this issue, on Talk Africa.

 

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