31 January 2007

Cameroon: Climate Change, Source of Worry

Due to the drastic change in climate, most people suffer from certain air borne diseases such as catarrh and cough.

For close to two months, inhabitants of the capital city have been observing drastic climatic changes. After passing through cold weather conditions, the weather in Yaounde now is extremely hot. Due to the drastic change in climate, most people suffer from certain air borne diseases such as catarrh, cough, etc. According to Professor Dr. Maurice Tsalefac, climatologist department of geography in the University of Yaounde I, the climatic changes being observed now are changes that are supposed to take place during this period of the year.

This period of the year, according to him, corresponds with the winter season in the northern hemisphere. During this period, cold winds descend towards the south, especially in the month of December. "As from December 21st there is winter in the northern hemisphere and so we must have cold weather but not as much as in Europe," he said.

According to Prof. Tsalifack, there is some cold now but since the air is dry the temperature variations are sudden. For now we are moving towards equinoxes ie the sun is vertical above the equator. As we are moving gradually towards the month of March, the weather will be hotter. Since there are not much clouds on the atmosphere temperature variations are sudden.

"It is also evident that we are going through a period which is generally hotter. This month of January is a bit hotter than the previous months of January," he said. During this period there is an increase in the spread of tropical diseases such as malaria. The effect of malaria can easily be detected in the forestry zones in the south such as the Littoral Province where there is water.

There will also be an increase in epidemics such as meningitis. Apart from the effect of such drastic climatic changes on human life, the effects on plant and animal life is also visible. Professor Tsalifack explains that with animals it is easier as they move from place to place when climatic conditions change. As for plant life, the vegetation becomes dry and there will be an increase in bush burning which is also dangerous to the environment.

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