Written by on March 6, 2019

REPORTS coming through from Southern Province and many parts of Zambia indicate serious crop failure this year due to the prevailing dry conditions.

Many farmlands around Lusaka are also reported to be witnessing serious crop withering due to lack of water or rains.

There is no doubt that Zambia, and many countries in the region, will be facing the biggest environmental challenge ever seen in the last few decades.

As climate change worsens, dangerous weather events are likely to become more frequent or severe in Zambia and indeed the rest of the world.

There will therefore be need for Zambia to ensure it moves toward 100 percent renewable energy and address local climate threats by implementing practical measures that improve water supplies air quality, protect and reduce urban flooding.

Obvious on top of the list in this climate change fight is charcoal burning in Zambia which has diminished forests to near depletion yet extremely crucial to rain cycles as we all know it.

Each day, trucks, laden with charcoal, are driving into the numerous towns and cities to deliver the commodity which is being used as a cheaper and readily alternative source of energy.

If it is not trucks, it is charcoal burners themselves transporting it on bicycles, especially the kind one often sees on the Great East Road coming from Chongwe areas which have reportedly been reduced into mini deserts.

It is also obvious that the men who daily cut down trees for charcoal have no idea what damage they are doing to the environment or the consequences of their action. Climate change is real and unless we begin to seriously take action to prevent what is already with us, we are yet to witness the worst.

Zambia would then be condemned to unusually dry weather that causes problems such as crop damage and water supply shortage as the case is now in many parts of the country.

Climate change could also bring about flooding with serious crop failure, environmental degradation, such as soil erosion.

Zambians should be made to understand fully that those forests are home to many of the world’s most endangered wildlife.

They also protect the planet by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2), a major source of pollution that causes climate change with devastating consequences.

While the onus is on each and every government to play a central role in tackling climate crisis, it is also incumbent upon the general populace to play their role in fighting climate change.

It has been reported elsewhere that for most of the developing countries, like Zambia, their level of fundamental and social vulnerability, are a dangerous combination.

This is because climatic spectacle, such as tropical storms, floods and droughts, more often become tragedies in these countries.

We can ignore the effects and causes of climate change at our peril because climate change will affect rainfall, temperature, and water availability for agriculture.

Perhaps the starting point would be a vicious education campaign by all stakeholders, such as the United Nations (UN), to educate the people on the dangers and how to minimize the effects of climate change in Zambia.

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