We need strategies to mitigate severe effects of climate change - Daily Nation

We need strategies to mitigate severe effects of climate change

Wednesday February 14 2018

By LETTERS
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It is a fact that devastating effects of climate change are now being experienced in many parts of Kenya.

The revelation by scientists during the 48th Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook in Mombasa that La Nina phenomenon is on the horizon is bad news.

Thousands of Kenyans in arid and semi arid areas are already experiencing starvation as a result of failed rain.

Sadly, Uasin Gishu and other parts of Rift Valley ,which have traditionally been referred to as bread basket, are currently adversely affected by the ongoing dry spell and Fall Armyworm.

FLOODS

And famine, drought and starvation have become the order of the day in many parts of this country.

Needless to say, this country has witnessed devastating floods that left a trail of destruction in the recent past.

In fact, citizens have become perpetual victims of global warming and climate change.

While it is a Herculean task to calculate the vagaries of climate change with analytical precision, it is clear that prolonged drought and famine have continued to wreak havoc on our economy.

Climate change has a likelihood of rendering President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 'Big Four' agenda a pipe dream.

It is high time both the national and county governments develop strategies for dealing with these perennial monsters of poverty, hunger, starvation and malnutrition once and for all.

This is not a problem of mind-blogging complexity.

JOSEPH G. MUTHAMA, Thika

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Climate change is a natural phenomenon but it is mainly driven by human activities.

Climate change has been characterised by increase in temperature and a decline in precipitation.

As a result, mosquitoes have invaded habitats known to be malaria free or in areas where the disease was less prevalent.

Irrigation is now a mitigation effort against effects of climate change being undertaken by public and private sectors.

A major challenge with this scheme of farming is reduced water velocity in a warming environment, factors known to promote growth of snail population.

An upward trajectory of snail infections is predicated with increased irrigation.

Lymphatic filariasis, or elephantiasis, a parasitic infection currently threatening 406 million people in Africa, is projected to put more people in the continent at risk by 2050 depending on the climate scenario.

DISEASES
Sporadic heavy rainfall, a major weather pattern occasioned by climate change, has seen rise in water and soil borne parasites and livestock infections.

Tropical parasitic infections including cutaneous leishmaniasis (a devastating disease affecting affecting exposed parts of the body) spread by sandflies will become frequent.

The disease leaves the victims disfigured and in a lot of pain.

Deforestation, one of the major drivers of climate change, has led to collapse of natural habitats of animals that would otherwise be host to some parasites.

As a result, emerging parasitic diseases such as Zika and Chikungunya have assumed endemic proportions.

The most challenge in Africa is a week healthcare system unable to face emerging and re-emerging parasitic diseases.

DR P.M MUTUA, Kilifi