Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Climate change effects in East Africa: Northern Ethiopian scenario

         Climate change effects are now world wide phenomenon since the last many decades. The increasing temperature, rising global sea-level, spreading forest fires, and depleting natural resources, like surface and ground water reserources, are the alarming effects. The third world countries are the most vulnerable to these situations. Developed countries are trying to adapt or mitigate the climate change effects.

   The scenario in East Africa, especailly in Ethiopia is very alarming. The country of Ethiopia, is otherwise also in the mosy vulnerable state as they are always affected by frequent droughts and famine. The increased population, high percentage of poor and the uneducated village population, inadequate resources for food, water, shelter and the extreme variations in the day to day weather, etc. all causes increased rate of spreading of deseases and death in the Ethiopian Highlands and other areas. The Northern most Regional State of Tigray has more stress due to increased rate of evaporation which causes depletion of surface water reservoirs and the drying of the earth surface there by leaving difficult for irrigation of agriculautral fileds, production of hydropower, etc leaving the northern Ethiopia in darkness at night and also non-availability of power during the day time for indutrial production during the end of summer season.


Drying of the agricultural fields common scene
in Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia.

   Recent decrease in the annual rain fall rates and the non-preparedness to combat the drought situations from the local government authorities have made the situation worst for farmers of Tigray state. The recent case is the less amount of rain fall that has received in the July to September months in 2009. This is already reflected in the production of most essential food grains in Tigray state. It will reflect more drastically in the coming months, especially during the 2010 summer months while allocating the power to the industries and the domestic users during the day and night schedule. Also the non-availabiltiy of drinking water and other domestic and industrial water requirements will face more stress in the highlanders of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government has to make thorough studies and preparedness to combat such situations in the 2010 summer.

Dr. Rajeevan Moothal, Assistant Professor,
Dept. of Earth Science, College of Natural and Computational Science,
Mekelle University, Arid Campus, Mekelle, Ethiopia.

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