A poem to serve as a prelude..
Our home, our joy, our mother
Like a true mother
You birthed and encircled us with all we need to blossom, but rather
We wither under rain, as though in drought
Makes me wonder, in doubt
Are there certain deep secrets to success, you haven’t unearthed unto us?
Please do share, Mama, we are blind
We live in lack, lucky to have it all, yet we lag behind
Natural resources and minerals, we appreciate, but cannot use
I muse in agony as we misuse
Are we really blessed or cursed
O Mama Africa
Our home, our joy, our hope
Sad, isn’t it, that we keep looking forward to a brighter future but our present screams poverty, disasters and hunger.
Even more sad is that we are the richest continent in natural resources. In our present predicament, I wonder if this fact still holds. The increase in temperature has caused floods, drought and severe hunger. With the ozone layer depleting and the sun scorching than never before, we can in deed say that the future is bright. How ironic?
Over the past 25 years, the number of water – related disasters, such as floods and droughts, has doubled, resulting in Africa having a higher mortality rate from droughts than any other region. Between 2011 and 2012, a severe drought affected the entire East Africa region, and was said to be the worst drought in 60 years!
Now tell me, are we moving forward or backwards?
What kind of future are we preparing for our future generations?
Is this the best legacy we can offer and leave behind for the coming generations?
How did we get here?
Our gross disregard for nature, that’s how. Modernisation and civilisation have caused us to deplete the very things that keep us alive — trees! We depend on plants for food, oxygen and a host of other benefits. In fact, as we continue in this vein, we are not killing plants; rather, ourselves and generations after us, even before they are born. The chemicals and pollutants we throw to the sun bounce back to us in consequentially negative proportions. Without plants to protect us, we are doomed!
Despite the fact that the African continent has contributed the least to human factors causing climate change, Africa is the worst hit. It’s more piteous, however, that we are the least bothered about our predicament. We seem not to be aware of the situation; even after millions of people die from floods, drought and famine every year, we refuse to wake up and fight.
Solutions to global warming in Africa include effective planning of land use to avoid forest degradation, developing renewable energy, and limiting the expansion of coal – fired power plants. Although African countries have some of the lowest overall and per capita global warming emissions on the planet, we are also likely to suffer from some of the worst consequences of climate change. These impacts may already be unfolding in the form of droughts, famine, desertification and population displacement. In the context of high levels of poverty and malnutrition, the priority for many African countries is increasing access to energy services and improving the welfare of their people.
Africa, along with South America and Southeast Asia, have experienced a significant loss of forests in the past two decades. The Congo Basin Rainforest is the world’s second largest tropical forest and spans 700,000 Sq miles in 6 countries. Fortunately, deforestation and forest degradation in the Congo basin are historically low. New efforts are underway to ensure effective land use planning, balancing local subsistence needs with conservation. By pioneering new renewable energy projects and establishing forward – thinking innovation centres, many countries in Africa are looking to renewable energy as a solution to meet their growing energy needs in a sustainable way, while working toward practical adaptation strategies to migrate global warming impacts.
Meeting these adaptation challenges is the responsibility, not only of the African nations that are facing them, but also of developed countries that bear the historical responsibility for most global warming emissions. While progress is being made, much more needs to be done to address current and future development and energy needs on the African continent.
Africa, let’s effectively plan our land use to avoid forest degradation. Let’s develop renewable energy. Let’s fight for our survival and for our future. Let’s fight the growing canker that seeks to completely wipe out our existence. Let’s come together and champion this cause. For this is the only way we can be victorious in securing a bright future. A bright future for us and future genera
By Glenn Agbana