HOW CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTS AGRICULTURE IN TANZANIA

By Faraja Ntilulagomba – Art in Tanzania Internship

‘Climate Change’ denotes to long-term change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns (e.g., temperature, precipitation etc.) over decades to millions of years of time. Climate on earth has changed over millions of years since the beginning long before human activity could have played a role in its transformation.

But the United Nation of Framework Conservation on Climate Change (UNFCCC), defined Climate Change as “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods”. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) definition of climate change includes changes due to natural variability alongside human activity. Australian Government’s DCCEE, on its website described Climate Change- ‘our climate is changing, largely due to the observed increases in human produced greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases absorb heat from the sun in the atmosphere and reduce the amount of heat escaping into space. This extra heat has been found to be the primary cause of observed changes in the climate system over the 20th century’.

Thus, in the environmental discourse different stakeholders have characterized Climate Change as mainly the change in modern climate augmented by human activities. The adverse human activities for example are burning of fossil fuel or deforestation, which are considered likely to bring change in some climatic  aspects.

Climate change is the global phenomenon of climate transformation characterized by the changes in the usual climate of the planet (regarding temperature, precipitation, and wind) that are especially caused by human activities or climate change is “a broad range of global phenomena created predominantly by burning fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to Earth’s atmosphere. Some aspects or examples of climate changes include increase in temperature (which is global warming), drought, floods, ozone layer depletion, shrinking ice sheets, rise in sea level, ocean acidification, greenhouse gases etc. Some causes of climate change are Industrial activities, meteorite impacts, quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, burning of  fossil fuel, deforestation etc. According to Rahman M.I(2012) said that Climate Change, the most uttered environmental term of present time has been used to refer to the change in modern climate brought predominantly by human beings.

European Research on Climate change funded by Seventh Framework Programme said that Climate change is arguably among the most pressing societal challenges of our times, and now certainly the most well-known amongst the public. From initial observations of global warming and proposed ideas about the root causes, a steady consensus has built up that climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world in the near future. It is very clearly stated in the recently released 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the physical science basis, that global warming is mostly caused by human activities.

Agriculture can be defined as the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other

products. It involves crop cultivation and animal keeping. Agriculture is a critical economic sector, representing 29.1 percent of Tanzania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and almost three quarters of the productive workforce. Moreover, it is the main source of food, industrial raw materials, and foreign exchange earnings. Since Tanzania is endowed with a diversity of climatic and geographical zones, farmers grow a wide variety of annual and permanent crops. This includes food and cash crops as well as fruits, vegetables, and spices. Major agricultural exports include tea, coffee, tobacco, cotton, and cashew nuts. In addition, some farmers raise livestock including cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, and chicken as well as small numbers of turkeys, ducks, rabbits, donkeys, and horses.

In Tanzania climate change affects agricultural activities. The following are negative impacts of Climate change on agriculture in Tanzania.

Reduction of Productivity in agriculture; for example, increase in temperature, drought, and floods can decrease the rate of production in agricultural sectors. Increase in temperature lead the dry of crops like maize and beans hence results low in production to farmers.

Reduction of water availability; for example, drought can result in loss of water in the agricultural sector. Water is the primary medium through which we will feel the effects of climate change. Also, water availability is becoming less predictable in many places, and increased incidences of flooding threaten to destroy water points and sanitation facilities and contaminate water sources. Higher temperatures and more extreme, less predictable, weather conditions are projected to affect availability and distribution of rainfall, snowmelt, river flows, and groundwater, further deteriorating water quality and insufficient supply of water. Due to these irrigation activities in the agricultural sectors, plant growth may fail due to lack of moisture in the soil.

Destruction of plants and decrease in number of animals; for example, Global warming affects plants and animals, some of which may die. Most plants and animals live in areas with very specific climate conditions, such as temperature and rainfall patterns, that enable them to thrive. Any change in the climate of an area can affect the plants and animals living there, as well as the makeup of the entire ecosystem. Some species are already responding to a warmer climate by moving to cooler locations. For example, some animals and plants in Tanzania are moving farther in other place or to higher elevations to find suitable places to live. Climate change also alters the life cycles of plants and animals. For example, as temperatures get warmer, many plants are starting to grow and bloom earlier in the spring and survive longer into the fall. Some animals are waking from hibernation sooner or migrating at different times, too.

Increase of evapo-transpiration; for example, increase in temperature result loss of water from water bodies by evaporation and loss of water from plants by transpiration. So excessive loss of water from plants results the decrease or loss of water in other soil, so crops or plants my fail to grow due to lack of moisture in the soil.

Decrease of income to farmers; This because climate change like global warming, ozone layer depletion, drought, and floods result low in production in agricultural sector hence income decreases because farmer have a low crop yield

Soil erosion: Increasing in available moisture, also called effective precipitation, would tend to promote both runoff and soil erosion on the one hand, and vegetation cover on the other. Since vegetation reduces erosion, we have another case of the result hinging on the net effects of “competing” processes. Effective precipitation result floods so hence lead soil erosion, this results the loss of nutrients hence bringing less growth of crops in agricultural sector.

Destruction of agricultural infrastructures, for example high rainfall and increase in temperature result the loss of vegetations. Also, floods may cause land degradation. So, climate change result destruction of agricultural infrastructure.

Delay of plant or crop growth, for example, when there are seasonal rainfall plants or crops my lack water for growth. When there are no rainfall crops may fail to grow and develop but if there is minimum rainfall crops mat develop and grow.

Reducing crop quality, due to the reduced growth period following high levels of temperature rise; reduced sugar content, bad coloration, and reduced storage stability in fruits; increase of weeds, blights, and harmful insects in agricultural crops.

Reducing land fertility; Due to the accelerated decomposition of organic substances; and increased soil erosion due the increased rainfall.

Therefore, Climate change is a rapidly growing concern for the Government of Tanzania and development partners alike. Policy and strategy processes related to climate change must be undertaken in some sectors in order to reduce climate change aspects, Climate change is a cross cutting issue affecting a number of sectors including forestry, agriculture, water, lands, energy, infrastructure, and others. So, we need to take action on climate change action (mitigation and adaptation) in order to reduce the effects of climate change on agricultural sector in Tanzania.

REFFERENCES

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The Challenges of Water Sustainability in Zanzibar

Romaisa Hussain – Art in Tanzania Internship

In today’s world, there has been intense struggle for water resources. This is due to rising population currently standing at 7 billion, their usage of water and extreme competition over water resources, water dependent crops and urbanization. Therefore, it is no surprise that the world is running out of fresh water every day. The need for water will continue to rise unless there are steps to conserve and recycle this crucial element. As of 2020, about 1.5 billion people are dealing with water scarcity due to climate change, drought, increasing population, poor management of water and increasing agricultural output under multiple stressors. This figure is said to increase to around 3 billion by 2025. Currently, the increasing population shows huge demand and competition over water resources in terms of household, commercial, and district uses which has been a massive contributing factor towards water scarcity.

As an outsider, Zanzibar looks like a wonderous cluster of coral islands off the east African coast. The island has white sandy beaches alongside the ocean blue water and a total of about 1.7 million population that survive on a mere £10 a week. This fast-growing population is faced by water shortage especially in areas like the Michamvi village and other small towns. Despite making multiple efforts to address the water issue, the Zanzibar islands heavily depend on the groundwater for domestic and commercial uses of water for their agriculture. The climate change and rising sea level largely affect the quality and quantity of water on the island which reflects the sensitivity of Zanzibar to such variability.

The Impact of Water Crisis in Zanzibar

The coastal island of Zanzibar off the mainland of Tanzania is faced with many challenges such as the high demands for agriculture, poverty, poor technological infrastructure, and availability of water resources particularly in the rural areas where clean and hygienic consumption of water remains difficult to achieve. This water scarcity largely affects women and children who end up walking for miles to obtain the vital source which is quite time consuming as it deprives the children of their education.

Zanzibar, like many other developing areas has obtained international aid for the establishment of wells, power cables, manufacturing desalinization systems, infrastructure and constructing sanitation systems in order to prove beneficial for the island. Unfortunately, despite huge foreign aid investments, the island failed to sustain these systems due to lack of education, resources and training resulting in only short-term benefits. To address this issue, an organization called Zanzibar Water Authority (ZAWA) was established which initiated Urban Water Supply and Sanitation project aimed towards enhancing the water supply mechanism and reconstructing the financial control of the distribution of water. ZAWA installed pay-stations for the citizens to pay off their water bills, but such system asked for a cultural change. If such change is adapted by locals, the future of this system seems fruitful but all-round accessibility to hygienic and safe consumption of water still remains a challenge in Zanzibar.

Addressing the Water Quality Issue

Access to clean and safe drinking water remains a huge challenge in Zanzibar as it is one of the driest areas around the world.  Because of the rise in sea levels, the underground water is growing saline and getting polluted due to increase in germs and wastewater. For this purpose, three German organizations joined together in 2015 to provide access to clean drinking water to public on the island.  These companies are supported by GIZ (the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) working on the behalf of the government of Germany. Due to their efforts, about 2000 locals in the areas of Kijito Upele and Michamvi have gained access to affordable and hygienic consumption of water. Moreover, this new system also enabled the local services to keep a constant check on the quality of water within Zanzibar.

Challenges of Water Security and Climate Change in the Coastal Communities of Zanzibar

Similar to other small islands in the region, utilization and proper use of water sources are fundamental towards the elimination of poverty and food shortage in Zanzibar. Water management is also important in order to execute the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 set by United Nations especially the First SDG of “No Poverty”, Second on “Zero Hunger”, and sixth on “Clean Water and Sanitation for all”. This is due to the fact that this vital resource may reduce food shortage in local areas, decrease poverty, and enhance agricultural output. Even though Zanzibar has made multiple attempts in upgrading the water supply particularly in the domestic level in the past 10 years, in some villages around the coast, the availability and accessibility to water sources remain out of reach. Therefore, addressing the water security issue is important for the welfare and survival of human beings. Furthermore, people living in these areas rely on well and water from caves which are vulnerable to contamination and climate change.

The factors that depend on climate and local sources of wells and caves include household needs, livestock keeping, and crop farming as it largely depends on rainfall. It is also understood that water supply is not consistent but instant variable around these islands which allow the locals to experience water insecurity both in domestic and commercial level. Ultimately, those with less access to local water sources are more prone to water insecurity. Apart from arduous access to water supply, the communities also face other challenges including poverty and hydrogeology which contribute to water insecurity. Despite making efforts to improve water quality and quantity in Zanzibar, there is also potential for collecting rainwater to address the water issues. This harvest would not only improve water security in domestic level but also support the communities that are prone to climate change and depend on local sources in Zanzibar.

Access to Clean Drinking Water by Rotarians Despite Pandemic

The Zanzibar Island is said to have rich and freshwater aquifers which constantly face challenges including environmental sustainability, lack of water management and tourism. Even though Zanzibar experiences a huge number of tourists entering these islands, only 2.5% of the total population i.e. 30,000 of the people are employed. These tourists take up ten times more water usage than the local residents and few of the hotels dispose of their sewage into the sea which forms a thin line of soil over the coral areas. 

The tiny settlements on the island acquire water through wells which are getting more and more polluted due to tourists, rise in population, and insufficient sewage treatment. Zanzibar Rotary in partnership with the Rotary club of Oadby Launde, a project formed in Leicester, United Kingdom, financed £1,000 and raised further £500  for the project Kiss Solar Energy to provide clean and safe drinking water in Mpadeni village. Despite the delay in project due to COVID-19, a sample was taken from the well dug about 20 meters deep in the Mpadeni village in October 2020. After being tested by ZAWA, it was passed as good quality of water.

By Romaisa Hussain

Sources

Ayoub, S. Y. (2019). The Impact of Population Growth on Water Resources Availability in Western District, Zanzibar. Retrieved from University of Tanzania: http://repository.out.ac.tz/2541/1/DISSERTATION%20-%20SALMA%20YAHYA%20AYOUB%20-%20FINAL.pdf

Boston University. (2016, February 28). Water Sustainability in Zanzibar. Retrieved from Global Health Technologies BU: https://www.bu.edu/globalhealthtechnologies/2016/02/28/water-sustainability-in-zanzibar/

GIZ Tanzania. (2017, March 20). Clean drinking water for Zanzibar. Retrieved from GIZ in Tanzania: https://www.giz.de/en/mediacenter/44092.html

Kayuni, A. (2018, January 24). Tanzania: Measures in Place to End Isles’ Water Problems. Retrieved from All Africa: https://allafrica.com/stories/201801240728.html

Makame Omar Makame, R. Y. (2018, May 18). Water Security and Local People Sensitivity to Climate Variability and Change Among Coastal Communities in Zanzibar. Journal of Sustainable Development, 11(3). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.5539/jsd.v11n3p23

Niblett, J. (2021, May 4). Rotarians overcome pandemic problems to provide clean water to Zanzibar village. Retrieved from Rotary Great Britain and Ireland : https://www.rotarygbi.org/rotarians-overcome-pandemic-problems-to-provide-clean-water-to-zanzibar-village/

CLIMATE CHANGE IN TANZANIA

ARTICLE ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN TANZANIA

By Japhet Mgona – Art in Tanzania internship

Introduction to Climate Change

Since centuries ago, climate change has been a matter of grave concern globally. It is also one of the substantial global challenge in the 21st century. Many scientists and local people, through contemporary and indigenous practices respectively, have diverse views pertinent to the meaning, source, and impacts of climate change. In terms of the meaning, it is scientifically agreed that, climate change is a long process at which the components of climate systemvary for many years.

Climate change is further defined by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) as a statistically significant variation that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It includes shifts in the frequency and magnitude of sporadic weather events, as well as slow continuous rise in global mean surface temperature.

Historical Background of Climate Change;

Climate change began in the early of 19th century when the ice age and other natural changes in paleoclimate were first suspected and the natural greenhouse effect was first identified. In late 19th century scientist first urged that human emission of greenhouse effect could change the climate, also many other theories of climate changes were advanced involving, forces from volcanism and solar variation. In 1960 the warming effect of carbon dioxide become increasing. Some scientists also pointed out that human activities that generate atmospheric aerosols example pollution could have cooling effect as all. During the 1970s scientific opinions increasingly favored the warming effect. By 1990s, as result of improving observation work and confirming the Milankovitch theory of ice age consensus position formed greenhouse gases were deeply involved in most climate change and human cause emission are causing global warming  

Moreover, there are some scientists who urged on the urgency on climate change, starting by Joseph Fourier (1768-1830) who started talking about something called the greenhouse effect. He knew that the atmosphere protects us from the sun, and he suggested that the composition of atmosphere will change and could lead to the warming of the earth. A few decades later in 1861 another scientist known as John Tyndall(1820-1893), identified the gases that may cause such effects when he was investigated the absorption of infrared radiation in the different gases, he found that water vapour and hydrocarbons like methane and carbon dioxide, strongly block the radiation and lead to cause the warming in the earth. Other scientist like James and peter kropotkin suggested that ice ages and other climate change were due to change in number of gases emitted in volcanism but was only one of possible causes. Another possibility was solar variation and shifts in ocean current which identified by them.  (Croll, 1875)

According to the reportof United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that gathered at Copenhagen in December 2009 to try to reach agreement on global action to combat climate change for the period until the 2012 successor to the Kyoto Protocol that will come from Africa. Based on what is Africa’s interest in this global effort to meet key climate change objectives? how will Africa perform in Copenhagen? will Africa make a difference to the outcomes of the negotiations and the Copenhagen Agreement, given its passive role in Kyoto?

 Most analyses of the impacts of climate change that have influenced UNFCCC agreements focuses on medium to long-term projections of carbon emissions and forecasting models of global warming, and cover mainly countries and regions for which relevant data are readily available. This leaves out most developing countries and regions, particularly Africa, due to unavailable data and trajectories. From an African perspective, this is serious and costly. As the poorest continent, Africa is considered most susceptible to climate change due to its vulnerability and inability to cope with the physical, human, and socioeconomic consequences of climate extremes.

 Moreover, existing adaptation mechanisms and resources under the Kyoto agreement designed to mitigate climate change’s effects on Africa and other developing regions have been directed at limiting future carbon emissions, rather than addressing the region’s vulnerability and lack of resilience to the impacts of climate change on its economies and populations. As lof ate as April 2007, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that Africa was not acting quickly enough to stem the direct economic and environmental consequences of greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC, 2007). What this report seemed to have missed or overlooked is that Africa’s concern about climate change is not mainly in terms projections of carbon emission and future environmental damages. It is more about the links between climate change and droughts, desertification, floods, coastal storms, soil erosion contemporary disaster events that threaten lives and livelihoods, and hinder the continent’s economic growth and social progress.  (Solomon & Qln, 2007)

Causes of Climate Change

There have been diverse views about the origin of climate change. The debate on the origin covers two major aspects.

First, tells that climate change has been in place for millions, thousands, hundreds and tens of years ago (decades). The proponents of this notion mention the disappearance of flora and fauna species like the dinosaurs which were extinct not because of human, rather due to variations in temperature and rainfalls. They further connect their views with mass extinctions which occurred millions of years ago. Previous studies have presented the first dimension which assert that, climate change is due to natural forces. They associate earth’s orbital variations, Sun rise and set, volcanism etc. as natural events which in turn cause unusual weather patterns out of human control Furthermore, their arguments maintain that, natural forces like land masses drifting, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanism etc. fueled climate change. 

The second perspective urges that, climate change began in the early 19th century when ice ages and other natural changes in paleoclimate were first suspected and the natural greenhouse effect first identified. This notion went far to link that, human activities has been the cause of climate change as they rightly observed the industrial revolutions notably mounted from19th with immense greenhouse gases emissions.  They associate Human activities like industrial activities, agricultural activities, mining transportation, and others cause emissions of gases hence lead to drought, floods, etc. not only that but also God’s punishment due to unrepentant human sins, and disobeying fore ancestor’s cultural setups is believed as the cause of climate change to same of the believers.

In Tanzania also there are various human activities which contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases hence influences climate changes. activities like industrial activities, agriculture activities, deforestations, mining activities and burning of fuels are among of the human causes of climate change.

Trigger’s force of climate change and its impacts

IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN TANZANIA

Over the centuries and decades, climate change has been perceived as a double sword in terms of its impacts to sectors of economy, living, and non-living worlds.

Climate change projection indicates that the frequency and severity of extreme climatic events will increase. In the last 40 years Tanzania has experienced severe and recurring droughts with devastating effects to agricultural, water and energy sectors. Currently more than 70% of all-natural disasters in Tanzania are hydro-meteorological, and are linked to droughts and floods. Climate change Impacts various sectors in Tanzania as follows

Agriculture and Food Security

Changing climate has resulted in a general decline in agricultural productivity, including changes in Agro-diversity. The prevalence of crop pest and diseases is also reported to have increased, posing more challenge to agriculture. Furthermore, due to the change in weather patterns that have disturb the agricultural production has impacted food security.

Adverse impact of climate change in agriculture activities

Fresh Water Resources

Increasing rainfall variability and prolonged droughts cause serious pressure in the country’s available water resources. Severe and recurrent droughts in the past few years triggered a decrease in water flows in rivers, hence shrinkage of receiving lakes, declines of water levels in satellite lakes and hydropower dams. Furthermore, some of the perennial rivers have changed to seasonal rivers and some wetlands have dried up.

Human Health

Variability in precipitation may have direct consequences in infectious disease outbreaks. Increased precipitation may increase the presence of disease vectors by expanding the size of existent larval habitat and creating new breeding grounds. In addition, increased precipitation may support growth in food supplies, which in turn support a greater population of vertebrate reservoirs. Alternatively, flooding may force insect or rodent vectors into houses and increase the likelihood of vector-human contact. IPCC, 2001 indicates that many vector, food and water-borne diseases are sensitive to changes in climatic conditions.

There are also a wider set of indirect impacts from climate change on health, which are linked to other sectors such as food security and malnutrition through reduced agricultural productivity as a result of changes in soil quality, increased crop and livestock pests and diseases, prolonged drought and water scarcity. Reduced agricultural productivity associated with climate change/variability exposes communities to other health risk factors, such as HIV or AIDS.

larval habitat due to floods at Kinondoni

Coastal and Marine Environment

Major climate change related impacts are a result of increases in sea surface temperatures and associated sea level rise. Some of the impacts are destruction of coral reefs, coastal erosion, submergence of small islands, destruction of coastal infrastructures and human settlement, intrusion of sea water into freshwater wells, and degradation of mangrove.

Energy

As a result of increasing climate variability, over the last years, the country has experienced increasing incidents of recurrent and prolonged droughts with severe implications on hydro power generation. Power rationing and black outs have become a common phenomenon in Tanzania. This affects individuals’ household and industrial income generating activities. Consequently, additional resources which were committed for other development programs are sometimes being reallocated for thermal electricity generation

Forestry

The common impacts to all forest’s types include loss of biodiversity; disappearance of wildlife habitats, increased risk of bush fires, limited availability of forest products (timber and non-timber products) and ecosystem shift

Biodiversity

Overall, a very high possibility of irreversible losses of biodiversity as a result of such changes in climate are projected with many terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species being placed at a much greater risk of extinction than before. Water shortage for the large mammals especially in the years with low rainfall is one of the main challenges facing the wildlife. The places that naturally used to hold water during the dry season no longer hold water long into the dry season. For instance, water dependent animals especially hippopotamus, crocodiles, buffalos and elephants are often found crowded in few remaining water ponds, for example in the Ruaha and Katuma River system

Hippopotamus congregation in small water pools due to water shortage in Katavi River system in 2009

Tourism

Tourism has close connections to the environment and is considered to be a highly climate sensitive sector. Climate variability determines the length and quality of tourism seasons thus plays a major role in the destination choice and tourist spending. Climate also has an important influence on environmental conditions that can deter tourists, including infectious disease, wild fires, insects or waterborne pests, and extreme events such as tropical cyclones. the sector is already being impacted by climate change. The manifestations of climate change are highly relevant for tourism destinations and tourists alike. For instance, Mountain Kilimanjaro has lost 80% of its ice cover between 1912 and 2000

Apart from the impacts of sea level rise, which have destroyed cultural, historical, archaeological and heritage sites along coastal areas in the country, heat stress and drought have also caused massive wildlife deaths in the northern tourist zone. Destruction of infrastructure such as roads and bridges are devastating. Road maintenance becomes particularly difficult and expensive during prolonged heavy rains in many parts of the country. For example, the 2006 El Niño rains, left many park roads impassable for a long period of time, and resulted in reduced tourist visits and loss of revenue

Decrease ice coverage at Mount Kilimanjaro as the effect of climate change

Furthermore, climate change has impact on livestock sector, industrial sector, fishing sector infrastructures and transport sector, human settlement, land use and planning and education sector of which these sectors are important for development, employment opportunities and back born of the economy.

CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVES IN TANZANIA

In addressing climate change at national level, and local levels various initiatives and programs have been undertaken in Tanzania in the context of UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol. implementation of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol is further supported by the enabling environment including the National Environment Policy (1997) and the EMA. Not only that but also private sectors and private organizations has played an advantageous part in addressing climate change in Tanzania. Furthermore, climate change adaptation strategy and climate change related programs in the country including REDD and REDD+ projects are among of the initiates towards climate change mitigation, adaptation and coping strategies.

MITIGATION, ADAPTATION AND COPING MEASURES TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN TANZANIA

It is evident that, climate change is happening and will continue to ravage sectors and our livelihoods. Various studies have revealed that, people from different areas have been mitigating, adapting and/or cope with it in order to make lives goes on. In Tanzania also communities mitigate, adopt and cope with climate in various ways through in small extent due to poor awareness on climate change and normally the following are some of the measures taken and suggested for mitigating, adaptation and coping with climate change

Mitigation measures to climate change

Mitigation involves the efforts undertaken to reduce anthropogenic (greenhouse gases) emissions or to enhance natural sinks of greenhouse gases so as to reduce the threats of climate change (to lower the risks). Mitigation measures suggested and taken in Tanzania are like:

  1. Afforestation
  2. Reforestation
  3. Intercropping/agroforestry
  4. Building water reservoirs like dams, ponds etc.
  5. Use of environmentally friendly energy sources like geothermal, natural gas, solar, and wind energy than charcoal, coal and fuelwoods.
  6. Use of organic manure which prevent nutrient and water loss.
  7. Soil as the biggest carbon sink on the planet, sequestrate greenhouse gases by proper soil conservation methods like contour planting and no-till farming which do not disturb the soil.
  8. In reducing methane, farmers may prevent submergence of rice fields and cultivate uplands rice or other upland crops.
  9. Destocking
  10. Establishing greenhouse emission reduction projects like Carbon trading, carbon sequestrations, REDD, REDD+, CDM.
  11. Planting tree crops


Adaptation to climate change

Adaptation to climate change involves the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects, in order to moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In Tanzania adaptation measures undertaken and suggested are like:

  • Farmers planting different crops for different seasons
  • Levees against sea level rise
  • Temporary and permanent migration
  • Destocking
  • Building water reservoirs
  • Re-use, recycle and Reduction of the use for resources like water
  • Rain water harvesting and retention
  • Changing the planting seasons
  • Intercropping
  • Use less greenhouse gases sources of energy
  • Livelihood/occupational diversifications
  • Growing early matured crops
  • Rearing drought resistant livestock.
  • Formulation of social climate resilient groups venturing in rural savings, table banking schemes, getting funding from innovations funds and micro-financing institutions.
  • Conservation agriculture (mainly reduced tillage soil cover).
  • Crop rotations
  • Establishment of community-based climate change adaptation Organizations
  • Establishing climate early warning systems
  • Farming intensification and extensification
  • Mulching to conserve moisture during droughts.
  • Kitchen gardens
  • Pumping irrigations
  • Chemical weed control
  • Switching to off-farm activities

COPING STRATEGIES/MEASURES

However, once we go deep to explore the adaptation measures, one has to find out that there are measures which take a long time to adapt and others take a short time. In this context, those measures that take a short time are referred to as coping mechanisms, as they may not demand adjustments to ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects or impacts. Therefore, the coping strategies practiced in Tanzania and those suggested are like:

  • Receiving remittances from children/ relatives living in urban
  • Borrowing cash to buy food
  • Reduce the number of meals per day
  • Renting land for cash
  • Food borrowing

LIMITATIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION, ADAPTATION, AND COPING STRATEGIES IN TANZANIA

  • Population growth
  • Lack of mitigation and adaptation technologies
  • Little awareness and researches on climate change
  • Lack of information on climate change impacts
  • Limited resources
  • Lack of access to early warnings and unreliable of seasonal forecast.
  • High cost of adaptation
  • Inadequate farm inputs
  • Weak institutional coordination and support
  • Low institutional capacity
  • Poor extension services
  • Poor enforcement and implementation of laws and by-laws
  • Too much bureaucracy
  •  Insurance coverage
  • Conflicts between farmers and pastoralists
  • Satisfied that climate change is the will of God
  • Reluctant to take changes
  • Believing superstitions

Generally, most of disasters in Tanzania are related with the climate change impacts there fore mitigating, adopting and coping with climate change links with disaster risks reduction and management activities. And regarding various climate change related impacts Climate change is indeed real and evident, it is inevitable, and it has to be appropriately and sustainably addressed.

WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE AND WHAT ARE ITS EFFECT ON OUR PLANET? PART 4

By Gabriel Andre – Art in Tanzania internship

THE RESPONSE OF INSTITUTIONS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

1. UNEP and UNDP 2016-2021 environmental and development strategy

Through a country programme, UNEP (United Nation Environmental program) and UNDP (United Nation Development program) proposed a strategy to counteract climate change issues while improving the Tanzanian economic development. Based on a theory of change where better governance and better placed investment could decrease poverty as well as environmental degradation. In the same way, the goal is to enhance the participation in economic, environmental, and governmental issues of women, youth, and disabled individuals. To anchor sustainable development, UNEP wants to implement sustainable interactions with all institutions such as both private and public partners. In partnership with those institutions as well as the government, UNEP will be able to achieve sustainable development projects. Those projects will mainly focus on environment, natural resources, climate change governance, energy access and disaster risk management.

Þ Forestry, biodiversity, and ecosystems 

The forestry sector is leveraged with the agriculture of the Tanzanian developmental economy representing 90% of the country’s energy resources and ½ of his supplies in construction materials. Because of the high dependency on agriculture and the rapid population growth, pressure on the environment and natural resources have largely increased in the last few years. Deforestation, it’s becoming one of Tanzania’s major challenges. 

UNEP is taking action to improve institutional and regulatory frameworks for safeguarding protected areas and preserving biodiversity. To fight against deforestation and deteriorating environmental quality, the institution is focusing on many interventions: 

  • mainstreaming environmental concerns into development plans
    • Facilitating environmental laws and regulations
    • Scaling up community-based environmental protections initiatives

As well, to protect natural resources and avoid ecosystem degradation, UNEP actively works on: 

  • Improving conservation of forest biodiversity, ecosystems         
  • support efforts to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade     
  • Scaling up sustainable land management practices
  • Supporting community based-forest management initiatives 
  • Promoting conservation agriculture

Finally, UNEP is highly supporting and promoting the REDD+ program. This program creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development. Developing countries would receive results-based payments for result-based actions. REDD+ goes beyond simply deforestation and forest degradation and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.  

Þ Sustainable Land and Watershed management 

According to the UNEP, the Tanzanian land faces many challenges because of its fast development expansion and its demographic growth. Those challenges are the following: 

  • unplanned human settlements     
  • encroachment into forest areas   
  • inappropriate farming and livestock management practices       
  • unregulated mining activities       
  • poor inter-sectoral cooperation   
  • weak stakeholder linkages            
  • poorly planned and uncoordinated action 

To fight against those challenges, UNEP and UNDP (United nation development program) will take example in the Sustainable land management (SLM) program implemented in other 

Countries that have been successful. The lack of financial resources and adequate capacity in Tanzania remains a key barrier to this program. Both institutions will mainly focus on building institutional capacity and strengthening coordination between stakeholders, implementing practical SLM interventions to land degradation in forest, rangelands and arable land. Finally, they will promote watershed (hydraulic pool) management interventions to show environmental challenges to the Tanzanian community. 

Þ Climate change adaptation and mitigation

As a result of climate change manifestation, Tanzania will face a rise in extreme events as droughts, floods, the rise of sea level, dwindling water sources as well as impacts in the agricultural sector, energy sector and health sector. UNDP’s plan proposed support by promoting the implementation of sustainable strategies through high-capacity building initiatives and the establishment of proper institutional, policy and financial frameworks in collaboration with all key stakeholders, including the private sector. At the local level, implementing small scale climate change adaptation projects to create livelihood opportunities particularly in the agricultural sector as population depends on rain-fed agriculture as a source of livelihoods, income, and consumption. 

For example, promote and help the IITA (international Institute of Tropical Agriculture) in their work with farmers to get agricultural expertise’s. Debate sessions are organized to discuss essential topics such as “What crop can I grow with this irregular rainfall season?”. The final goal is to help those farmers to have sustainable agriculture. 

Moreover, UNDP wants to focus mainly on the implementation of COP21 Paris Agreement outcomes, under the United Nation Framework on climate Change. They will focus on supporting the government in order to create a framework for the implementation of INDC’S (Intended National Determined Contribution) which will be leading to greenhouse gas emissions reduction. 

Þ Sustainable energy 

To tackle the development of the fossil industry and transit to sustainable energy, UNDP implemented the SE4ALL (Sustainable energy for all) program to be achieved by 2030 in Tanzania. This program focuses on three targets: 

  • Ensuring universal access to modern energy
    • Doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency
    • Doubling the share of renewable energy in global energy mix

The institution was able to mobilize significant political support before RIO+20 and continued to provide coordination and technical assistance around those three targets. 

Thanks to UNDP, sustainable energy access for all in Tanzania is moving fast. By coordinating the implementation of the SE4ALL initiative, an Action Agenda and an investment prospectus has been created. It brings poorer communities appropriate, reliable, and affordable energy technologies. This can be possible mainly by improving policy and regulatory framework, improving institutional framework and human capacity, strengthening the M&E (Monitoring and evaluation) framework as well as generate relevant data. 

Þ Resilience and disaster risk reduction

Resilience is the ability of the system, community, and society to resist, to accommodate against hazards. Over 70% of all-natural disasters are hydro-meteorological and the major disasters have included droughts, floods, and epidemic diseases. All of them, affecting humans and wildlife.

As an example, let’s take the “El Niño phenomenon” that occurred in Tanzania in 2011. It causes massive floods which wash away crop farms and damage transport infrastructure, such as roads and railways. As well as destroying houses making people homeless. It also increased diseases. We’ve seen the impact of an RCP 8.5 scenario; phenomenon’s like “El Niño ” will occur increasingly frequently. 

As a response, UNDP’s proposal is to strengthen the institutional framework of meteorological institutions, including the establishment of a 24/7 Emergency center for climatic disaster management. Improve weather and climate forecasting infrastructure throughout the procurement of the installation of highly sophisticated hydro-met technologies to improve collection of the hydro-met data. 

Also, they want to improve analysis, interpretation, and customization of data in order to provide relevant information to groups including farmers, urban and rural dwellers, and aviation. Finally, the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) to improve coordination in dealing with disasters between the relevant institutions. 

2. Climate Action Network International implication for Tanzania

Moreover, other than the United Nations institutions, other NGOs stand out for their innovative projects and their response to the global warming threat. It’s the case of Climate Action Network (CAN) International, very active in Tanzania. 

Þ Climate Action Network Annual Strategy Session 2020 in Arusha

In February 2020, CAN organized the Annual strategy session about Climate change in Arusha. This event, which brought together several major climate actors, was an opportunity to discuss two major topics: “What does it mean for society/funders to build power in this climate emergency?” and “What are they doing to respond to the crisis and what do they believe is CAN’S role?”.

Through many debates and workshops all these actors agreed on the priority areas where investment is needed in terms of funding, human energy, and collaborative strength. Centering climate impacts and people to ensure governments act with urgency as well as exposing and undermining the fossil fuel industry, are the two priorities CAN and other NGOs should focus on. 

Major events are going to take place in the next five years depending on the pandemic situation. These gatherings involving actors from all over the world (government, NGOs, the private and public sector industry) will be an opportunity to put these two issues on the table on a larger scale in order to take urgent action for our planet.

Þ CAN interventions and actual projects

In the meantime, while awaiting those gatherings, CAN already started its fight for the climate by working on diverse projects and implementing solutions for the Tanzanian community. Here is the major one’s: 

 Water Purification & Biogas Plant (TAHUDE Foundation) is an initiative to build low carbon and resilient communities by providing access to clean drinking water and energy. 

 Climate-Smart Agriculture (ACT) is a community-led action agricultural initiative, which provides training to farmers on climate smart agriculture techniques such

as water conservation (bases/pots technique), short harvesting period, intercropping and mulching materials. 

 Climate-Smart Coffee Farming by Solidaridad is also a community-led initiative which provides training to coffee farmers on climate-smart coffee farming practices such as developing pest resistant methods, water harvesting/ conservation, short harvesting cycle crops, nursery practices, intercropping and shade coffee management. 

 Water for Livestock (Oikos) is part of the ECOBOMA initiative which is a project to build the adaptive capacity of the vulnerable Tanzanian community to cope with the adverse effects of climate change and reduce poverty in rural areas. 

 Tree Planting & Forest Conservation (Arumeru District Government)

 Media Training Bootcamp: a practical skills session to build the capacity and strengthen the member’s ability to be spokespersons and to deliver powerful messages for press conferences and interviews. 

 Leadership & Diversity and Building a Grassroots-Driven Network Bootcamp: the objective of this session is to build members’ knowledge and understanding of how to link policies with people and navigate power and privilege to facilitate diverse inclusion and create safe, engaging spaces for grassroots leadership and organizing across CAN. 

 Developing Funding Proposals Bootcamp: the purpose of this session is to provide members with concrete ideas and shared thinking on good and effective fundraising. The bootcamp facilitated discussions on key elements of fundraising,

a good elevator pitch and how to approach funders and keep the communication lines open.

Shape, rectangle

Description automatically generated Fossil Fuels Non-Proliferation Treaty Bootcamp: this session provided members with a background and overview of the Non-proliferation Treaty for Fossil Fuels Initiative. This initiative uses the experience and outcomes of the Non-proliferation Treaty on Nuclear as a basis and is trying to adapt this to dealing with fossil fuels. The session explored a set of high leverage strategies that this initiative could galvanize around such as the phase-out of fossil fuels and shifting narratives on fossil fuels, strengthening local action to stand against fossil fuel expansion, and encourage international cooperation to stop fossil fuel proliferation through a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

After the announcement of all these projects, we can better understand the involvement and dedication of the institution to change the habits of the Tanzanian community to provide them with a more promising future than RCP 8.5. However, there is one last project that particularly caught my attention, and which demonstrates the long-term impact vision that the institution is trying to establish.  This CAN project is the climate and livelihood center in Bagamoyo. The purpose of this green village is to link scientists to the communities to provide new initiatives. Many activities are organized going from cultural events to environmental workshops. Everybody is welcome regardless of their work sector (fisherman’s, students, small-scales farmers, etc.). The center provides knowledge through training and teaching, the possibility to implement the improvements directly on the site and most of it, the center tried to provide this networking to have a bigger impact and reach more communities and partnerships. 

They organized three workshops in December 2019 to raise awareness and inform the participants on renewable energies (RE) and the necessity of transitioning to clean and affordable energy. 124 participants were representatives of women groups, local government authorities, and civil society organizations. 

Because the baseline study was focused on their own villages, people were highly interested. The survey showed that 92% of the households were not capable of paying the highly initial cost of renewable energy. But the community saving groups might present an opportunity for decentralized energy.  42% were unaware of the potential of RE, only solar was common and most of them (91% of the survey) use charcoal and firewood for cooking 

Because of deforestation, people have difficulties using firewood (takes three hours to collect) and their only alternative is charcoal. Many of the village’s council stated that they did not include RE into their agenda due to the lack of understanding and support from government and non-governmental stakeholders. 

Participants were really curious and interested about identifying achievable and long-term solutions. With the help of CAN in Tanzania, they establish and initiate RE clubs in primary and secondary schools that allow children to be innovative and creative. Finally, those workshops promote awareness about RE. Shumina Rashidi, the councillor of the Bagamoyo District and a businesswoman, for example told the CAN team: “In the workshop I learnt that cooking with gas is very cost effective – especially because I am living in Bagamoyo town, where it is available everywhere. I am going to use gas for cooking – not only for my health, but also to protect the environment. “  

The important point is to understand that these people have no idea of what climate change is, why we said that the globe is becoming warmer, and why we should care about fossil fuels. That’s why it’s essential to sensitize and inform them before taking actions or implementing projects where they don’t understand the environment purpose. 

3. Collaboration between NGOs and Government 

During our interview, Adelaide Mkwawa said “you know there is a huge friction between NGOs and the government. If NGOs tell the truth and the government disapproves, they can remove your NGO license”.  NGOs have to be very careful and clever not to come into conflict with the lack of investment and impact of the government while at the same time making them understand the importance of acting quickly and strongly. 

For Adelaide, who had also worked for the UNAT (United Nation international justice system), NGOs had implemented lots of projects in response to the SDGs. Most of them have being undertaken by the Parliament Group of sustainable development to enter those propositions and projects in the government budget. But at the moment, where those projects and propositions are in the hands of the government then it’s really hard to find their progress because of the lack of information and the lack of knowledge to communicate by the government. Communication between institutions is really poor due to lack of resources and the inordinate amount of time that elapses between the transmission of the first information and its evolution. For Adelaide, this is one of the biggest issues and that’s why projects in Tanzania take so much time. In her opinion, the creation of a communication sector that’s effective will facilitate this collaboration between the government and NGOs. 

Investment for Climate change is all about communication and collaboration. Even for the private and public sector. A close collaboration between institutions on their new methods and techniques to afford sustainable development is a key point to move forward. Some institutions in Tanzania have excellent ideas to fight against this global warming while in the meantime ensuring the economic development of the country. This is the case of TWIGA CEMENT INDUSTRY. 

4.  Combining economic development and environmental responsibility: TWIGA CEMENT example

Tanzania Portland Cement Company Limited (TPCC) also called TWIGA Cement is a cement-manufacturing company. Member of the Heidelberg group and listed in the Dar es Salaam stock exchange, is the largest cement manufacturer and reports a company total asset of 322 billion TSH (141 million US$). 

The challenge for TWIGA is colossal. On the one hand it is one of the biggest employers in the region, employing hundreds (more than 300 in 2019) of people. These jobs are quite simply indispensable for people’s survival from a human and community point of view. Moreover, it is one of the main reasons for the development of the region, where their cement has enabled the construction of many buildings and most of the houses.  However, on the other hand, it is one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and is at the origin of many environmental challenges, in particular its production: Soil erosion, soil health, topography, deforestation, pollution of waterways, health, and safety of workers and community. 

We had the chance to visit it and we realized some important facts during this day. First, there is a military base in the company’s own premises which testify an economic state interest and a voluntary security to the factory. Second, most of the workers pass have also a Chinese translation which testify an economic interest from China. 

The largest drivers of climate change are large corporations and industrial factories. Since TWIGA belongs to this category they are holding themselves responsible to reduce their negative impact on the environment. Despite all the prejudices I had on this type of company, I was quite surprised. 

TWIGA Cement counters their negative action by giving to nature what they had stolen from her. About ten years ago they founded the Nursery project to tackle their environmental impact. In order to collect these precious stones for the creation of cement, TWIGA has to dig for hundreds of meters, destroying the surrounding nature. When the digging space is exhausted, they fill it with soil and sand and replant some fast-growing tree species on top. These trees allow the soil to be re-fertilized, thus restoring the basic natural conditions. Once the fertilization has been completed, the fast-growing wood is cut for consumption and various new species are then planted permanently. It’s at this point that the nursery project appears.  

The goal of the nursery is to mitigate damage being done to the surrounding environment, improve the health and wellbeing of underserved groups in the community, such as school children and prisoners by providing free shade trees. The nursery improves air quality and the environment at large through carbon sequestration. In the nursery they have quite a lot of species going to the Averrhoa bilimbi (culinary interest and the leaves serve as a paste on itches, swelling, rheumatism, mumps, or skin eruption) to the moringa oleifera (Its young pods and leaves are used as vegetables. The seeds are also used to purify water, as a detergent, or as a medicinal plant.) and even mint. 

A barren plot of land in close proximity to the cement production has been transformed into a lush haven for biodiverse plant species and crucial pollinator species. Many of the trees grown there have medicinal benefits or are fruit bearing. To achieve their goal TWIGA has undertaken this project and educates the community by engaging with volunteers and hosting students to teach them how to maintain gardens and plant trees. They are also introducing the concept of sustainability to many local youths and giving them the tools to raise their own trees in needed areas. They are spreading the culture of sustainability and changing the mindsets of the young generations. 

However, there are still some challenges to achieve such the six volunteers in the nursery compared to the hundreds of people employed in the factory. Despite all the efforts made, we can still understand where the priority is. 

TWIGA Cement could be a great example to follow for many drivers around Tanzania and even further. Everybody needs cement, unfortunately in Tanzania, wood is the main construction material and the transition for sustainable tools that avoid deforestation and greenhouse gases are not readily available today. The carbon sequestration provided by those hectares of nursery, permits TWIGA to achieve its goal of developing Dar es Salaam district while at the same time reducing its negative impact. 

Investing in R&D (Research and Development) for green energy could be the next step for TWIGA cement to achieve their goal of being a zero-carbon emission company. 

Because at the end, compared to developed countries such as European ones or the United States, African countries and especially Tanzania have only small responsibility in the global warming issue. Tanzanian people because of low incomes mostly consume daily needs. Most of them don’t travel out of their countries because plane tickets are too expensive, and their water consummation is ridiculously low compared to a country like Germany or France. When you drive through Tanzania you don’t see any herds with thousands of animals, in other words no intensive farming and all their agriculture is natural, i.e., without the use of pesticides. Still Tanzania and other African countries will be the most affected by climate changes in the next decades. 

As I said, Tanzania is a small greenhouse gases emission driver. Nevertheless, if the major drivers of those greenhouse gases which are mainly fossils industries. Take the example of TWIGA Cement and how they invest in R&D for clean energy, Tanzania could become an example of sustainable development for all African countries. 

CONCLUSION

Through my internship at the Art in Tanzania institution, I had the chance to participate in many debates classes whose aim was to learn English while debating on sensitive subjects such as religion, waste management or Covid 19. I was very surprised by the open-mindedness and the stance that Tanzanians can take on such subjects. Unlike our European countries where discussions often turn into a confrontation of two ideals rather than the understanding and acceptance of a difference. Therefore, after more than two months of living together and sharing their traditions, I am convinced that the Tanzanian community has a key role to play in their climate issue. The government and the various institutions that want to work towards a more responsible and sustainable economy can rely on the collective strength and openness to change of its people.  Tanzania can become a pioneer in the development of a green and responsible economy. To do so, its community needs to be informed and heard. The government and institutions need to invest heavily in intelligent campaigns to raise awareness of the benefits of the environment and the importance of caring for it. As we have seen with the example of the workshops held in the Bagamoyo Knowledge Centre, the participants are more than interested in green energy as it can improve their daily lives, their economy, and their biodiversity. The Tanzanian community is willing to listen and act for the good of their country, if it will improve their life. The next generations have a major role in this awareness, and it is through the youth that these innovations will be born. Of course, nothing worth doing is easy and such a transition will not happen overnight. 

WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE AND WHAT ARE ITS EFFECT ON OUR PLANET? PART 3

By Gabriel Andre – Art in Tanzania internship

THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN TANZANIA

1. What can be expected

Tanzania is a coastal country in East Africa which shares the Victoria Lake border with Kenya and Uganda. Given that the vast majority of the population’s livelihoods are dependent on the agriculture sector (80 % of the population) which is highly sensitive to climate change, Tanzania is considered to be particularly vulnerable to climate change. Climate change impacts are already taking a significant toll on the livelihoods and wellbeing of Tanzanians, including:

Rising of severe droughts frequency and its associated water scarcity issues, slow down in the food production chain, economics and poverty reductions gains, reduced quantity and quality of the water in Victoria Lake, including an increase in contaminants which impact the purity of the water and have the potential to harm health,  reduced surface water flows and aquifer (see diagrams below) that recharge during drought periods, as well as groundwater depletion through aquifer over extraction.  

Furthermore, we can anticipate the intrusion of saline into aquifers (diagram) in low-lying coastal areas, as well as on a more global scale, impacts from coastal flooding.  Climate projections for Tanzania include increased periods of prolonged drought, more erratic rainfall patterns (leading to extreme flooding) and a rise of sea-levels, all of which may exacerbate the mentioned pressures on water resources in this already water stressed country. If Tanzania’s low capacity for climate resilience is not addressed, this will likely have a profound impact on public health, stifling future development in urban and rural settings alike.

2. Projections from today to 2100

In this section, I’m going to illustrate what transformation we can expect in different sectors in Tanzania such as energy, agriculture, water, and health. 

Before going into technical information, it’s important to understand how those sectors will be impacted. In most of the diagrams, there will be two baselines: RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5

The Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) is a greenhouse gas concentration

(Not emission) trajectory adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC). They described different climate futures depending on the volume of GHG’s emitted in the years to come. Founded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environmental program (UNEP), IPCC’s role is to provide objective with scientific information to understand the risk of human induced climate change and drafted recommendations to act in consequence. 

IPCC has foreseen many different scenarios such as RCP 1.9, RCP 2.6, RCP 3.4, RCP 4.5, RCP 6, RCP 7 and RCP 8.5. In the following analysis of Tanzania climate change future, we are going to focus only on RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5. 

RCP 2.6 requires that CO2 will start decreasing by 2020 and go to zero by 2100. Methane emissions (CH4) are going half the CH4 level of 2020 and Sulphur dioxide declined to approximately 10% of those of 1980-1990. In simple words we will be able to respect Paris Agreement and likely to keep global temperature warming rise under the 2*C by 2100. We will have to face new environmental conditions, that are still close to the actuals one’s, but our daily life will remain comfortable.

RCP 8.5 as you can imagine is another story. It’s the worst climate change scenario with a very high baseline emissions scenario. Experts see it as the “business as usual” scenario.

RCP 8.5 scenario assumes that by 2100 there will be between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion people. Assuming that the collapse of fertility will occur in the entire world without considering Africa. For example, Nigeria’s population will rise from 175 million nowadays to 1.5 billion by 2100. Almost all the fossil energies will be consumed, and we can expect that southern Europe will be the new Sahara. Most of the people on the planet will be leaving in extreme conditions. A scenario where giving birth in 2100 would be condemning your children to a hopeless life.  

Let’s then focus on the impact of those scenarios on Tanzania through those sectors. Most of the following diagrams in this section are being taken from the Climate Change Knowledge Portal of the World Bank group. https://climateknowledgeportal.worldbank.org/country/tanzania-unitedrepublic/climate-data-projections

Þ Agriculture and Energy sector 

Precipitation: extreme events  

As warmer air has a higher capacity to carry moisture in form of water vapor, future climate raises the likelihood of strong rainfall events, towards the extremes. In many

places around the world, the maximum expected amount of rainfall in a 10-year period is projected to increase, which can lead to flooding. 

Nowadays, Tanzania is issued to this seasonal temperature and climate variation. Rainfall period starts in December and ends at the beginning of April. Then, the easter season arrives with comfortable temperatures, consequently causing the arrival of millions of tourists. 

What would be the projection of this monthly precipitation in RCP 2.6 and 8.5 scenarios?

RCP 2.6

Compared to historical data, between 2080-2099, Tanzania will face variation around 75mm maximum (January, November) of its precipitation which will reinforce floods in coastal regions and in the Victoria Lake region. In other terms, the rainfall season will be each year more intense, but Tanzania will have time to adapt to those new conditions. New innovations will engender better management in the agricultural and the energy sectors. On the left, monthly precipitation projections for 2020-2039. On the right, monthly precipitation projections for 2080-2099. In the case of RCP 2.6 scenario, the difference in 50-80 years is not considerable. 

RCP 8.5

In the case of RCP 8.5, monthly precipitation will drastically increase leading to a maximum precipitation level difference of around 150mm in January. On the left monthly precipitation projections for 2020-2039. On the right, monthly precipitation projections for 2080-2099. In the RCP 8.5 scenario. 

In both cases, precipitation concentration will increase, which will intensify future floods, yet not with the same intensity. Indeed, in the diagram above, RCP 8.5 scenario demonstrates the impact of “business as usual” attitude towards Tanzanian climate. It is clear that if we were to find ourselves in the situation of the diagram on the right, business will not be as usual. Power production will be largely affected. For example, the transportation lines for fuel could be interrupted by local flood for days or even weeks, or the networks distribution could be disturbed by excessive rainfall and flooding. Agriculture will be hit critically with farm crops always swept by floods which will drive Tanzania into a deeper poverty. 

Drought: extreme events 

Both power demand and production are tied to water availability. Obviously, this is most directly the case in hydropower systems. Although, dry conditions might also come along with higher temperatures, thus heightened cooling needs and an increase in demand for water pumping, particularly in regions of intense agriculture. 

On the production side, water is required for cooling the power plants. If there is not enough water, then cooling is restricted, thus production might need to be slowed down. In some places, there are regulations preventing power plants from causing an increase in the temperature of returned water above specific thresholds, which are dangerous for local fish and plants. These thresholds are more quickly reached if stream flows are low during dry conditions. In a few regions, too much moisture can also be an issue as water might need to be removed.

RCP 2.6

Concerning agriculture, drought can disrupt its demand and production because the exposition of soils to high temperatures and the scarcity of water can result in the infertility of soil. 

In the RCP 2.6 scenario, temperature will rise for 2.5 degrees with extreme variation. Normally it will stay around the 1 degree rising prediction. The temperature will still promote comfortable living. Both energy and agricultural sectors will remain possible thanks to technical innovation. 

RCP 8.5

In the RCP 8.5 scenario, temperature will rise from 3 degrees to maximum 6 degrees! It will drastically change Tanzanians habits in terms of energy supply. Disruption of operation and distribution will become a major problem because of the rising demand of growing population and evolving power needs. In the same case, demand for agriculture will rise but production will decrease because of soil infertility. With 80% of the population living on agriculture, feeding Tanzania’s population will be a huge challenge. Moreover, the breeding of goats and cows will face a lack of grasslands and associated difficulties sustaining livestock. 

To sum up, in the case of the RCP 2.6 scenario, environmental conditions will increase progressively, leaving time to find innovations and new management methods to keep demand and production at a sustainable level. That also means, that the Tanzanian society will have to take a responsible pathway for its environment by focusing on green energies and avoiding fossils energies.  

In the case of the RCP 8.5 scenario, environmental conditions will increase drastically without leaving time for the farmers and energy companies to adapt their methods. Both sectors will be submerged by those changes. Agriculture will face long drought periods making soils incapable of growing any crops, and then will follow long term rainfall causing incessant floods where here also, the farmers will not have the time for transition and crops will be drown and washed away. Electricity will face high demand for cooling, hence conditions for living workers in both extreme periods will be inhumane. Finally, supply, production and distribution in flood periods will be difficult because of poor road conditions. 

Þ Water sector: Lake Victoria case

Africa’s Victoria Lake is the largest tropical lake and source of the Nile River. Climate changes will affect Lake Victoria’s levels of evaporation, temperature, rainfall, and solar energy. According to Emily Beverly, assistant professor of sedimentary geology at Baylor University, the Lake Victoria “could have no outlet to the White Nile in at least ten years”. Which means that every major port will be land closed and Kenya could lose access to the lake in a maximum of 400 years. More than 40 million people are living on the Lake Victoria basin and this result will badly affect their economy. Tanzania depends on the lake’s freshwater because it provides 1 million tons of fish annually. Tanzania’s fishing industry will decrease highly, and all northern regions would be directly affected by this shortage. 

Even with an increase of the precipitations in Tanzania (monthly precipitation diagram 2080-2099), in the RCP 8.5 scenario, temperatures will be so high that the lake will dry out too quickly for it to fill up. 

The diagram shows the drought impact in the Victoria Lake where more than half of the Tanzanian lake area will be affected. 

Moreover, with the rise of temperature, the demand for drinkable water will equally rise.

Global warming will cause the ice on Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru to melt irreversibly.

Neither of these sources will be able to provide drinking water to the districts around

Mount Meru (Arumeru, Arusha, Karatu, Monduli, Ngorongoro) and those around the Kilimanjaro (Hai, Moshi rural, Moshi urban, Mwanga, Rombo, Same) who are completely dependent on them, representing more than 3 million people. 

Finally, the rise of sea levels will constrain a majority of Zanzibar’s population to immigrate to the mainland. 

Þ Health sector 

Most economic sectors will be affected by climate change (agriculture, energy, fishing, etc.) and the impact on those sectors will result in many adverse effects on the human health of the Tanzanian population. With 80% of the population living on local agriculture, most of them won’t be able to feed themself and starvation will be become through years, common.  Because of this malnutrition, many will be inclined to face communicable or non-communicable diseases. According to the World Bank data, 54% cause of death in Tanzania were by communicable diseases, maternal, prenatal and nutrition conditions. 

Malaria is still also a major issue in Tanzania. In 2018, the incidence of Malaria was 124 per 1000 which represents 7.4 million people at risk. The rise of tropical temperature and floods will increase the mosquito’s population and therefore the risks of obtaining yellow fever, malaria, Zika virus, chikungunya and many others. 

Finally, according to the RCP 8.5 scenario, poverty will increase consequently, and the population won’t be able to face massive floods. 49% of the population living under the 1.90$ per day, with houses on the ground and only a sheet of metal as roof, we can easily imagine the catastrophe. 

In conclusion, if Tanzania takes the pathway of green energy which means avoiding both coal and oil, the two major used fossils energies, and if a massive environmental sensibilization campaign is implemented by the government, then Tanzania could likely be faces the RCP 2.6 scenario. As always, the biggest drivers of gas emissions are the public and private sector and there are the ones who have to give the example. Otherwise, the country will face, in the worst-case, the RCP 8.5 scenario. As seen before, these scenarios will be a disaster for a country in development such as Tanzania which faces extreme events and unbearable conditions of life. 

WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE AND WHAT ARE ITS EFFECT ON OUR PLANET? PART 1.2 

By Gabriel Andre – Art in Tanzania internship

Welcome to part 1.2 in our new climate change blog series.

What are the main consequences of climate change and the risks to our survival? 

The first consequence of climate change is obviously the rise in temperature and the harmful consequences of heat on biodiversity. But why do we keep hearing that we must not exceed the “2 degrees more” of the Paris Agreement by 2100?

Þ Temperature rise and disruption of the water cycle

Source

Indeed, the storage capacity of water in the atmosphere varies according to its temperature. As the temperature increases, the storage capacity increases. As the temperature rises, evaporation is prevalent, and the amount of water stored as water vapor increases. As a result, rainfall is more abundant and there is an increase in the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events (especially in mid-latitudes and humid tropics). Warmer air can also contain more water vapor and therefore intensifies extreme phenomena’s such as cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons. There is no need to recall the human tragedies caused by hurricanes Sandy (2012), Irma (2017) or Hurricane Harvey (2017).

Þ Melting ice zones 

Global warming leads to the melting of ice zones (glaciers, ice caps, ice pack) with different consequences. Melting glaciers impact freshwater reserves because by melting too quickly, they no longer fulfil their role as reservoirs that gradually release freshwater at steady intervals. Freshwater is drinkable and is a vital need for animals and humans on a daily basis. Today, the demand for water exceeds the quantity available, which is already a major geopolitical issue in many dry regions of the world. In addition, the melting of these glaciers releases fresh water which then flows into rivers, seas, and oceans, causing water levels to rise. The melting of the ice sheets, huge areas of ice resting on land whose height can reach several thousand meters, would be devastating if they were to melt entirely.  

On our planet, there are only two ice sheets:

  • The northern part of Greenland, which has existed for 3 million years
  • The southern part of Antarctica, which is the largest, and has exist for 30 million years.  Given the thousands of meters of thickness of the ice sheets, their complete melting would raise the sea level by 7 meters for Greenland, 54 meters for Antarctica, consequently causing the disappearance of many islands (such as the Maldives) and the relocation of a large part of the coastal population.

Þ Our forests are dying’s

As we have seen with the carbon cycle, forests today are a very important for sequestering carbon. As living matter, flora is composed of carbon and thanks to photosynthesis, it absorbs atmospheric CO₂ to transform it into oxygen. Conversely, when the forest dies or in the event of deforestation, the decomposition of plants leads to the emission of CO₂. The same is true when fires ravage forests: combustion releases into the atmosphere all the CO₂ that was then stored and stabilized. 

With climate change, we are witnessing: 

  1. a warming of the air and soil temperature, destabilizing ecosystems, and biodiversity, 
  2. periods of drought and flooding that can deplete soils and kill the biosphere,   
  3. a significant increase in fire outbreaks and intensity. 

These three phenomena’s, which are consequences of climate change, lead to the decline of plants. Those that survive will have a poorer capacity to absorb CO₂ and those that die will decompose releasing CO₂. Thus, the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere increases, fueling global warming which in turn feeds the three causes listed above. Between the Australian forests going up in smoke in the summer of 2019, and President Bolsonaro’s efforts to deforest the Amazon as quickly as possible, we are not talking about a hypothetical situation. The latter said, in opposition to pressure from European countries, to act to slow the fires in the Amazon “Brazil owes no debt to the planet in terms of environmental preservation”, he said during a conference in Santiago Chile on May 23rd of 2019. 

Þ The two climate time bombs 

Thawing permafrost

Permafrost refers to ground that is permanently frozen, i.e., at a temperature that has never been above 0 for at least two years. Permafrost is found on about 20% of the planet’s surface, notably in Greenland, Alaska, Canada and Russia. It is even found in France, in the Alps.

The huge problem with permafrost is that it contains elements that have been locked in the ice for thousands of years. To take an image, permafrost is like a huge freezer. If you leave the freezer door open, your pizza thaws, your ice cream melts and microbes feed on these organic elements. Similarly, as the permafrost melts, it releases organic matter which, when subjected to the activity of microbes, produces CO₂ in the presence of oxygen or methane in an oxygen-free environment. These GHGs would then enter the atmosphere and accelerate global warming. 

The potential for releasing GHGs from permafrost is colossal: we are talking about 1500 Gt, i.e., twice the amount of GHGs already present in the atmosphere. This would triple the concentration! Just imagine the additional greenhouse effect that would be generated. In this sense, the melting of a large part of the permafrost constitutes one of the two “climate bombs” from which it would probably be impossible to recover.  Another important consequence is that permafrost also contains diseases that have been dormant for hundreds or thousands of years. If the permafrost melts, it could release them and create major health crises. 

For example, in 2016, an Anthrax outbreak killed several humans and over 2,300 reindeer in Siberia. The disease had disappeared for more than 75 years in the region.

It reappeared with the melting of permafrost, which kept the corpse of reindeer that had died of the disease (and thus its deadly bacteria) frozen. Anthrax can be treated with the antibiotics; however, this would not necessarily be the case for all the other viruses that we do not know or do not know how to treat. The risk of epidemics or outbreaks of disease is very high. The risk of epidemics or pandemics much worse the Covid 19 is also very real consequence of climate change.

Methane Hydrate 

Another potential ‘climate bomb’ is methane hydrate. These are methane molecules trapped in ice. They are found in large quantities:

  • Under permafrost
  • At the bottom of the oceans, in ocean sediments.

For the moment, this methane is stored in these reservoirs in a stable manner. It’s difficult to estimate the exact quantities, but we are talking about 10,000 Gt, which is 7 times more than all the GHGs contained in the permafrost, and therefore 21 times more than all the GHGs currently present in the atmosphere!

Unfortunately, if current warming exceeds the famous 2-degree mark, these molecules could become unstable. As the permafrost melts or the oceans warm up, methane hydrate would come into contact with higher temperatures. The unstable probability of these molecules becomes significant with a 2 degree rise in temperature. In this case, the molecules can dissociate, and the methane can escape directly into the atmosphere. Given the titanic volume of methane we are talking about, it is easy to understand the devastating consequences for global warming and life on Earth.

There are many other devastating effects caused by global warming, such as the acidification of our oceans, possibly causing the disappearance of its aquatic fauna and flora; modified ocean currents, reducing the capture of CO2; or the Albedo effect, which is the mechanism of absorption and reflection of light energy that will be less and less effective because of the ice melting.  We therefore understand that it is imperative to act quickly for our survival and to avoid scenarios such as the melting of the permafrost or islands like the Maldives which is being buried by the rising waters. As climate scientist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jean Jouzel says, “Global warming, as it would be if nothing is done, is another world.” It is a world where, according to the UN, there will be at least 150 million climate refugees. It is a world where southern Europe would resemble to Sahara with temperatures approaching 50 degrees in the summer in France. It is a world where by 2070, 1 billion people will be living in areas where almost every day of the year, outdoor conditions will be lethal.  

But if a country like France would be like the Sahara in the summer, what can a country like Tanzania, which already experiences temperatures of over 40 degrees from November to March, expect? What would be the impact of global warming on a population where more than 80% of the people live only on agriculture and are totally dependent on the climate?

WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE AND WHAT ARE ITS EFFECT ON OUR PLANET?

PART 1.1 

By Gabriel Andre – Art in Tanzania internship

Welcome to our new four-part blog. In a series of blogs, I will be discussing the effects of climate change on our planet and the consequences it will have if we do not do anything about climate change.

Climate change 

Before discussing the specific case of Tanzania, it is important to understand the definition of climate change and the consequences of its impact on our planet. Firstly, it’s critical to understand the difference between climate and weather. Weather is an instantaneous and local situation of observable things such as, temperature, precipitation, wind, and so on. Climate, on the other hand, is a statistical description based on the averages and variability of the same variables (temperature, wind, etc.) over long periods of time and on a global scale. For example, the difference between weather and climate would be the comparison between a student’s grade on an exam versus his or her yearly average. 

In this report, I will focus on the effects of climate change on our environment. Since the beginning of time, the climate has changed naturally with the ice ages. For 11,000 years now, our planet has been in an interglacial era (average temperature has similarly been constant over many years, in summer the snow melts and the ice surface slowly shrink around the globe), i.e., our planet is warming at its own pace. However, climate change is different, our planet is warming much too fast. Previously, losing 5 degrees would take thousands of years, nowadays, we have already gained 1 degree in less than a century!  Indeed, our greenhouse effect is completely out of control. The concentration of “greenhouse gases” (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and water vapor (H2O), etc.) in the atmosphere has increased at an unprecedented rate in recent years. The higher the level of CO2, the higher the temperature. For simplicity’s sakes, we will give for the greenhouse’s gases the abbreviation GHG’s. This diagram shows the natural evolution of the amount of CO2 during the ice ages and interglacial.  

Source

The exponential increase in GHGs over the last century is therefore leading to a completely new climate disturbance that is causing global warming to become more and more alarming and in need to be controlled. 

But what has caused climate change? 

From the diagram above, it is clear that the human race has a large share of the responsibility for this phenomenon. Before the 1850s, CO2 in the atmosphere played its natural role as a greenhouse gas at a relatively stable rate. Since then, human activities have contributed greatly to its increase, particularly through economic growth as standard of livings have increased drastically. As wealth rises, humans develop continuous need to consume, thus increasing their GHG’s impact. This phenomenon primarily started in Europe, and then progressively spread in all the industrialized countries. Population growth has actively participated in climate change as we have gone from 1.2 billion people to 7.7 billion between 1850 and 2019. 

Parallel with these two phenomena, several industrial revolutions (steam, electricity, nuclear power, etc.) were born, transforming more and more natural resources into energy or materials. Population growth, coupled with growth in GDP per capita, have led to an upheaval in energy consumption on our planet, and now 80% of the world’s energy comes from fossil fuels or hydrocarbons (oil, gas, coal). Fossil fuels constitute a stock that was formed over hundreds of millions of years by the slow decomposition of the remains of living organisms. However, these fossil resources are exploited by humans during which a very large quantity of carbon that was normally buried underground for millions of years is suddenly released into the atmosphere in the form of CO₂. Changes in land use also significantly impact the balance of natural carbon stocks: deforestation, agriculture, the draining of swamps, and of peat bogs for example. The carbon cycle is therefore strongly impacted by human activities and can no longer regulate itself normally. The Earth is no longer able to regulate this unnatural flow through its physical and biological mechanisms. Unfortunately, the situation is only getting worse as human activity continuously disrupts the carbon cycle, but it is becoming more and more consequential each year.

Source  

This diagram shows that we previously needed 130 years to emit 1000Gt (gigatons) of CO2 equivalent and nowadays we only need 30 years to emit the same amount again. At this rate, we will only need 20 years to produce another 1000 Gt.

The Economic Consequences of Climate Change in Tanzania

Romaisa Hussain – Art in Tanzania Internship

Keywords: sustainability, climate change, environment, economic growth

Climate change has emerged as a potentially existential threat all across the globe that poses a serious risk to the survival of mankind and sustainable development. Over the last few decades, the world has witnessed changes in weather patterns as a result of global warming and human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Based on a numerous lines of evidence, it is now more certain than ever that climate change is a threat multiplier that can amplify the effects of existing dangers. These threats include human security, scarcity of natural resources, environmental degradation, and poor economic growth.

The United Nations General Assembly set up the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 which serve as a blueprint for a sustainable future to be achieved by 2030. The 13th Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations talks about Climate Action. The goal discusses the critical impact of climate change and encourages developing countries to move towards low-carbon emission in the environment. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is a separate organisation working within the UN that deals with climate change and other environmental issues. The UN aims to adapt to low carbon development especially in the vulnerable regions that contribute towards climate action and sustainable natural resource management through collective action. Most of the states in the world are affected by climate change with East Africa being one of the most affected regions.

Tanzania is suffering the brunt of the consequences of climate change in East Africa. The agricultural-based economy of Tanzania has become vulnerable to the extreme climatic conditions. The majority of the population is located in the rural areas which heavily relies on agriculture and farming that is threatened by rising temperatures, droughts, and extreme rainfalls. The country is home to the world’s largest river system, the River Tanzanian. Despite immense water resources, Tanzania struggles with a shortage of water both spatially and temporally, which is worsened by the climate on its nine main river basins. In the recent years, there has been a severe decline in the water level in Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, and Lake Jipe, as well as a decrease in the water level of about 7 kilometers in Lake Rukwa during the last fifty years. These are connected with climate change and are endangering towards socio-economic activities. The effect also puts the country’s hydropower system at risk. Furthermore, diseases such as diarrhea and malaria remain one of the prime causes of casualties in the country especially in the urban settlements consisting of poor infrastructure prone to flooding and increased temperatures. 

Tanzania’s economy relies on its natural and environmental resources where a good number of people depend on fisheries for their income which are at risk from rising sea waters and freshwater temperatures. Tourism is another aspect that has the potential to boost the economy of Tanzania as the country has a tropical climate and is home to wildlife, forests, beaches, mountains, rivers, lakes, and minerals. The attractions are found in abundance in national and marine parks, historical and cultural sites, and recreational sites. Currently, tourism generates 17.5 per cent of GDP and 25 per cent of export revenues, making it an important economic sector. Due the unpredictability of climate it is endangering the ecosystem services on which tourism relies. For example, the Serengeti National Park has been famous tourism spot for the wildlife migration for decades, contributing significantly to Tanzania’s economy and serves as a key source of employment. There is a growing fear that the climate has shifted dramatically, potentially affecting wildlife tourism. 

Threats to the sustainability of the natural resources and environmental degradation remain an issue in Tanzania such as the untimely harvesting and usage of natural resources, unsupervised cultivation process, and trespassing on water sources. Collectively, these can seriously affect the sustainable development goals of a country. Due to the unsustainable consumption of resources, there can be problems in the production of sources that may affect livelihoods. In addition to that, they can lead to the deficiency of food which could eventually lead to poverty. An increase in the population and high reliance on agriculture becomes rather burdensome on the environment and its natural resources which contribute negatively to climate change and water-deficient regions. 

One of the leading contributing factors to the environmental degradation is the unsustainable management of land and watershed. Many challenges are still needed to be tackled to reduce this issue including unexpected growth of human settlements, wildlife hunting, illegal farming and livestock, uncontrollable bushfires, weak inter-sectoral association, and stakeholder linkages. This may lead towards the social and economic development of the country as well as reduce poverty. The Tanzanian Government has marked the water-oriented issues as a major factor that has affected the environment. This has led to the implementation of national policies and necessary plans and strategies needed to tackle it. The visibility of climatic changes in Tanzania is increased by 60% which are seen in the form of a decrease in water sources, land degradation and the reduction in agricultural land. The Government also tends to focus on carbon emission with the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity, the saving of wildlife to abolish the hunting system as a means of income, reducing vehicle usage and improving urban planning in the country to promote urbanization. It also placed environmental sections under the sector ministries to ensure and monitor the environmental issues as well as raising awareness amongst the community. The Government also needs to guarantee that efforts are being made in terms of the development of the environment and climate change in national as well as subnational plans. 

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is one among many partners of the Government of Tanzania that has aided in the development of the environment and contributed to measures regarding natural resources and climate change issues. The UNDP encourages the Government and respective communities in terms of sustaining the environment and contributing to the reversal of environmental degradation. As long as the correct policies are implemented, the chances for preserving the ecosystems in terms of food, energy, wood i.e., timber, clean water, consistent climate etc. are possible. Over the past few years, Tanzania has recently experienced high growth rates of about 7.4%.

The impact of climate change has had a huge effect on the incomes of the people in Tanzania. It has had a severe impact on the economy, agriculture, natural resources, and livelihoods of people which exposes the vulnerable part of the country. It is, to say the least, that the Government of Tanzania is to be respected for the progress it has made regarding the development and exercising of policies and strategies to prevent degradation and the protection of the environment. The Government tends to cater to the environmental needs of the country and maintain its natural resources as a means of saving economic and social development. This would mean effectively establishing immediate measures to improve the damages caused. The Government also needs to guarantee that efforts are being made in terms of the development of the environment and climate change in national as well as subnational plans.

References

Kijazi, A. L. (2019). The Contribution of the Global Framework for Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa (GFCS APA) in National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Process for Tanzania. doi:10.4236/acs.2019.94040

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. (n.d.). Current and future challenges and opportunities in Tanzania. Retrieved from https://um.dk/en/danida-en/strategies%20and%20priorities/country-policies/tanzania/current-and-future-challenges-and-opportunities-in-tanzania/

Ordu, E. I. (2021, April 7). Climate adaptation and the great reset for Africa. Retrieved from Brookings: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2021/04/07/climate-adaptation-and-the-great-reset-for-africa/

UNDP. (2016-2021). ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND RESILIENCE PILLAR, STRATEGY PAPER.

UNDP Annual Report 2020. (2020). Goal 13 CLIMATE ACTION. Retrieved from UNDP Organization: https://www.undp.org/sustainable-development-goals#climate-action

United Nations. (n.d.). Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development. Retrieved from Sustainable Deevelopment Goals: https://sdgs.un.org/goals

UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA. (2007). NATIONAL ADAPTATION PROGRAMME OF ACTION (NAPA). Division of Environment.

USAID From the American People. (2020). Tanzania. Retrieved from climate links: https://www.climatelinks.org/countries/tanzania

Climate Change and Its Impact on Health

Tiffany Lo-Art in Tanzania Internship

Climate change has a big impact on the environment and health. Africa is projected to have an increase of surface temperatures at a faster rate than the global average (Pasquini, 2020). Temperature increases have been linked to increasing mortality and morbidity, and marginalized groups, such as those who are economically disadvantaged, appear to have higher heat-related morbidity and mortality (Pasquini, 2020). Climate change also makes extreme weather more frequent and intense, which can lead to desertification of fertile land and rising sea levels (How Climate Change Drives Humanitarian Crises, 2021). Conflict also tends to increase when a drought results in food shortages, which worsens the impact of economic crises that can result from a variety of causes, such as the COVID-19 pandemic (How Climate Change Drives Humanitarian Crises, 2021). As such, mitigating the effects of climate change is vital to improving health.

Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns also worsen the spread of vector-borne diseases, such as dengue and malaria (How Climate Change Drives Humanitarian Crises, 2021). Currently, new diseases are emerging in regions where they previously did not exist (United Nations Climate Change, 2020). A lack of access to clean water due to drought would also lead to higher incidence of diarrhea, which is a major cause of death for children under the age of five (How Climate Change Drives Humanitarian Crises, 2021). With the destruction of ecosystems, climate change could have a great impact on the occurrence of viruses like COVID-19, which emerges from animals (How Climate Change Drives Humanitarian Crises, 2021).

Climate change also negatively impacts food security, which would worsen health (United Nations Climate Change, 2020). In drought-prone sub-Saharan Africa countries, the number of undernourished people have increased by 45.65% since 2012 according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (United Nations Climate Change, 2020). As agriculture accounts for the majority of livelihoods in Africa, the impacts of drought, increased pest and disease damage as well as flooding would negatively impact livelihoods and health as a result due to decreasing food security and income (United Nations Climate Change, 2020).

Some groups are more impacted by climate change (Pasquini, 2020). Age influences sensitivity to heat, especially in groups such as the elderly and young (Pasquini, 2020). People with underlying health issues such as chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases are also more sensitive to heat (Pasquini, 2020). Water quantity also impacts sensitivity to heat, as drinking enough water is important for efficient thermoregulation (Pasquini, 2020). As mentioned previously, climate change leads to drought, and without access to water, it is plausible that already vulnerable groups would become even more sensitive to the possibility of dehydration, heat-related illnesses, and potentially water-borne diseases (Pasquini, 2020).

It is of upmost importance that the negative impact of climate change is reduced in order to improve health. Africa has made great efforts in driving the global climate agenda, with over 90% of the countries ratifying the Paris Agreement, and many African countries have committed to transitioning to green energy within a short time frame (United Nations Climate Change, 2020). Climate change has a big negative impact on health, and reducing its impact through means of clean energy and reducing poverty by promoting socioeconomic growth is vital to improving health (United Nations Climate Change, 2020).

References:

Pasquini, L., van Aardenne, L., Godsmark, C. N., Lee, J., & Jack, C. (2020). Emerging climate change-related public health challenges in Africa: A case study of the heat-health vulnerability of informal settlement residents in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The Science of the total environment, 747, 141355. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141355

How climate change drives humanitarian crises. (2021, April 22). Retrieved from https://www.rescue.org/article/how-climate-change-drives-humanitarian-crises

United Nations Climate Change. (2020, October 27). Climate Change Is an Increasing Threat to Africa. Retrieved April 28, 2021, from https://unfccc.int/news/climate-change-is-an-increasing-threat-to-africa