Climate change is one of humanity’s most insidious threats. Manifesting mainly as drought and floods in the majority of developing countries, it is to blame for the general decline of resources, wildfires and attendant transboundary conflicts.
Over the past decade, Kenya has witnessed extreme weather events that have adversely affected the agriculture sector. It’s obvious that the country relies on agriculture in driving its economy as a source of food, income and employment.
The indeterminacy of weather has made it difficult for farmers and herders to monitor seasons and plan accordingly. Statistics reveal that agricultural losses attributable to climate change directly and indirectly are quickly bulging, complicating the country’s food security situation.
As the climate change challenge keeps growing, the poor, who have low coping capacities, are affected the most. Shifting weather patterns, which can sometimes be characterised by rising sea levels, prolonged episodes of drought, mud floods and avalanches, make climate change adaptation quite a hustle.
Among nomadic communities, who have to move from place to place in search of water and pasture, it heightens the possibility of conflicts.
Climate change also leads to conflicts between wildlife and the local people. The herbivores often migrate from their enclosure due to dried grass or lack of green pasture and water.
The carnivores attack people due to lack of prey, or the prey have died or migrated. That leads to death of people and wildlife as they compete for supremacy.
This is an issue of concern since it causes conflict between Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) and the locals, hence it’s important to conserve the environment in order to curb climate change.
Let’s stop cutting down trees. The impacts of climate change that were considered as temporary and easily manageable are now graduating to a nut too hard to crack, unless urgent interventions are made to reverse the trend.
Diseases affecting plants and humans, conflicts and the reducing potential of the soil to produce food are catalysed by a warming climate.
As much as it is debatable on what causes climate change, science suggests that humanity, through mismanagement of our common home, is to blame for it.
The country’s overdependence on agriculture makes climate change a greater emergency for the entire population. Agriculture is directly and indirectly affected by the impacts of climate change.
From the preparation of the field, through planting and harvesting, storage and transportation to the market, if the rains don’t fall in their measure, it’s possible that food insecurity will worsen in the future. We must act now.
Eunice Ondeche, Kisumu