Climate change projects for a sustainable solution

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Farmers in Sierra Leone

Effects of Climate Change in Sierra Leone

Climate change refers to an increase in average global temperatures. Natural events and human activities such as deforestation, increasing population pressure, intensive agricultural land use, overgrazing, bush burning, extraction of fuel wood and other biotic resources are believed to be contributing to an increase in average global temperatures. This is caused primarily by increases in greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2).

Sierra Leone is experiencing adverse climate conditions with negative impacts on the welfare of millions of Sierra Leoneans. Flooding during the raining season, off season rains and dry spells have sent growing seasons out of orbit; on a country dependent on a rain fed agriculture. Alarm bells are ringing. Lakes are drying up. There is reduction in river flow. The water table is at its lowest ebb. The red flag is up. No one is talking. The warnings are being dismissed. It’s been business as usual.

The result is fewer water supplies for use in agriculture, hydro power generation and other domestic purposes. The main suspect for all this havoc is climate change. This has been confirmed following release of the 4th IPCC Assessment report. Africa will be worst hit by the effects of climate change. Sierra Leone not exempted.

The agricultural sector contributes about 47.9% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and agriculture is the largest employer of labour with 80% of the population working in the sector. The dominant role of agriculture makes it obvious that even minor climate deteriorations can cause devastating socioeconomic consequences.

Read the full article: allAfrica

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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