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#ClimateJusticeThursday: Climate crisis in Africa remains underreported

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#ClimateJusticeThursday: Climate crisis in Africa remains underreported

Hello readers.

Welcome to #ClimateJusticeThursday on CleanbuildVoices!

Communities in Africa are experiencing an increased temperature that is causing deadly heatwaves. Also, varying rainfall is resulting in flooding in some areas and droughts in others and this is leading to reduced agricultural production, increased food insecurity, and a hike in the price of food.

In addition, many of the inhabitants of these African communities are being forced to migrate to already overcrowded urban areas and countries that are either ill-equipped to bear the burden of battling their own climate-related problems.

As global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and cause the atmosphere to become hotter, the hottest on record in the past 10 years if we might add, it’s another ball game for Africa altogether because the temperature rise in the region is double the global average.

The temperature rise in the continent is causing the seas to get warmer and creating cyclones which make for the right breeding ground for locusts. Locust infestation is already causing misery across a broader strip of East Africa.

While all these events are the realities of the communities in Africa, such events still go unreported in some parts of the continent and are underreported globally.

To put this in context, the famine in Madagascar and the wildfires in Algeria were reported globally, the devastating effects of cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique in 2019, the severe flooding experienced by Uganda and Nigeria in 2020 and 2021, as well as numerous climate-related crisis in Zambia, Kenya, Madagascar, and some parts of the Sahel were largely underreported.

In fact, the International Disaster Database, which is the world’s largest, only documented 2 heatwave disasters in Africa since the turn of the 20th century while it reported 83 heat waves in Europe.

These reporting gaps have severe consequences on Africa because the failure to identify and document when heat waves occur in these areas will lead to inaccuracy in accessing mortality rates and this will result in a lack of adequate information needed for policymakers to formulate and execute adaptation and mitigation strategies.

The climate emergency is on the front pages of international newspapers, on TV stations, on radio, but how much of the information that makes it to those media actually, truly cover the climate crisis in Africa?

It is, therefore, important for indigenous journalists to step up to the task and amplify the various climate disasters that continue to plague these African communities. If Africa is to truly get help, her climate stories need to go mainstream and who better fit to do the reporting than Africans themselves?

For this and more reasons, climateaction.africa was established!

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