30 January 2018

Southern Africa Feeling Climate Change Effects - Muchinguri

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is likely to experience higher land and ocean surface temperatures than in the past affecting rainfall,timing and intensity of weather events, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri has said.

Speaking at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Regional Workshop on Needs Assessment for Climate Services for Improved Water Resources, Muchinguri said although many sectors are addressing the impacts of climate change in their respective ways her ministry take exception to how water resources are affected.

"With the variability of our rainfall seasons now, it has become evident that much of SADC region's access to water is becoming even more challenging and problematic,

"As we speak Cape town in South Africa is living dangerously with only three months supply of water left. This underscores the importance and urgent need to implement initiatives on climate services for improved water resources management,

"If the Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) Strategy for the Water Sector provisions is implemented it will cushion the impacts of climate change through adaptive water resources development and management strategies and this will ensure that water management practices are in tandem with increased climate variability," noted Muchinguri.

She said Zimbabwe is a developing country located in the semi-arid subtropical region and is therefore very vulnerable to the impacts of climate variability and change.

"Future climate projections indicate increased rainfall variability both temporally and spatially and this makes a clarion call on the country to have an effective climate service that captures both short term, medium term as well as long term outlooks needed for planning purposes,

"Technical support should therefore focus on short and long term climate eventualities as well as high and rare incidences, we also need more investments in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) that will help in developing, understanding and improving our understanding on climate change through accurate predictive methods," she added.

"However in order to constantly check on water security, we now want to use modern technology such as drones to accurately quantify and collect data quickly.

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira emphasized that Science is important in understanding climate change as it helps in adaptability

"Drought and floods will always be there but there is need to be able to anticipate these disasters, Africa will need to effectively assess so these become low like in Europe,

"We also need to adopt the adaptive capacity so we have the ability to adjust to climate change to moderate the potential damage. Sensitivity to society is also important especially when floods begin to destroy live,

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