Algeria’s wildfires: A wake-up call to the dangers of climate change

algeria/ wildfires

Algeria’s wildfires: A wake-up call to the dangers of climate change


In a déjà vu of devastating proportions, Algeria finds itself battling yet another outbreak of wildfires as of September 16, 2023. Emergency crews are once again in action, racing against the flames that have erupted in the northeastern provinces of Bejaia and Tizi-Ouzou. What’s particularly alarming is the speed at which these fires are spreading, fueled by relentless winds, and now they’re infringing upon local hamlets. While there haven’t been reports of casualties or property damage so far, the situation is teetering on the edge.


Unfortunately, this region already bore the brunt of nature’s fury in July, when forest fires wreaked havoc, devastatingly impacting 6,000 families. The Algerian Government counted a tragic toll of 34 confirmed deaths. These wildfires didn’t just consume trees; they devoured livelihoods, especially for communities heavily reliant on crops and livestock. Beyond the economic toll, it also took a toll on health, with thousands suffering injuries from the flames and smoke.


Algeria currently finds itself under the scorching grip of a heat wave, with temperatures soaring past a blistering 45°C. The wind whips at speeds exceeding 40 km/hour, and humidity levels are scraping the bottom. In such hostile conditions, wildfires thrive and multiply, posing a dire threat to communities.


This scenario paints a stark picture of Africa’s predicament in the face of climate change. It’s an unfair burden, considering the continent contributes the least to greenhouse gas emissions. The World Meteorological Organization emphasizes that the extreme weather events witnessed worldwide are clear signals demanding urgent climate action. Africa’s suffering is a painful reminder that the consequences of climate change spare no one.

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