1 December 2011
African Development Bank (AfDB) experts stressed the severity of the impact of climate change on water resources in Africa and the importance of putting water at the center of climate negotiations, at a discussion held during the COP 17 climate conference in Durban.
The experts said that climate change is being felt mostly in water-related natural phenomena, and Africa, they reported, is the continent that is most vulnerable to changes in weather patterns affecting water resources because of the low adaptive capacity.
“When is it going to rain again?”
That seems to be the question being asked all over Africa. Irrigation levels are low, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where less than four percent of cropland is irrigated, which means farmers tend to go for rainfed agriculture.
This compares to 40 percent irrigation in south Asia, which is the world’s next poorest region after Africa, and 18 percent globally.
Africa is the most vulnerable continent to the adverse effects of climate change, and urgently needs to deal with them. But doing so will be costly.
The cost of adapting to the harm being done to the African continent such as severe weather changes, drought, desertification and so on could be as much as USD 20 to 30 billion a year.
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