The effects of climate change is greatly taking its toll on the world as a whole, but the impact on countries varies. People living in the communities around Malawi’s second largest lake, Lake Chilwa, who depend on the lake to make ends meet now suffer as a result of low rainfall caused by extremity in weather.
According to Mohamed Adow, director of the Nairobi-based climate and energy think tank Power Shift Africa, Africa is most affected and yet least responsible for climate change.
On Monday, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere already is capable of causing disruption for probably centuries.
According to Professor Sosten Chiotha, Regional Director of Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD):
“Water variations are normal however the connection with climate change is that the factors that drive the drying are actually periods of low rainfall. In our project, the Lake Chilwa Climate Change Adaptation project, we actually elaborated that if you have three consecutive rainy seasons, with rainfall below 1,000mm, then the lake is likely to dry.
“Climate change has introduced extremity in weather. So, we are having more dry spells and that is why the lake seems to be drying more frequently than it used to in the past. So, the current drying is not normal. The current fluctuations in water levels is not normal and that is because of the extremes in the rainfall.”
The Lake Chilwa basin is one of the most densely populated areas in southern Africa with over a million people.
Tackling the issue of climate change on the continent
“People in Africa are certainly aware of the overwhelming heat, rising seas and extreme weather on the continent, but if they are not being recorded by scientists it will be much harder for African voices to be heard in the climate debate to tackle it,” Mohamed Adow said.
“Sadly, it’s also producing the least scientific research, and this lack of research is hurting the region’s ability to adapt.
“We need to urgently address this and ensure researchers and funders come together and invest in filling these glaring gaps in climate research,” he added.
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.