Drastic action needed for facing up to climate changes

There is nowhere one turns to today without encountering challenges posed by the environment – not necessarily problems to do with overcoming it, but rather problems caused by abusing it. Apropos, it is rather ironical that after man struggling for centuries to subdue the environment and forcing it to submit to his whims, a lot of resources have now to be expended to reverse the meticulous science that went into his destructive success.

The effect of man’s search for a better life style has seen wars regarding oil, whole forests disappearing, water bodies getting polluted and even shrinking, and the climate protesting by deluging us alternately with floods or rain, or extremely hot weather that shrivels the food plants that are the lifeblood of the frail human beings.

All this is a daily song; no one can claim ignorance today about the devastating effects of environmental abuse. But how are we preparing for the changes that are being overwrought? They creep on us, and we see or can imagine the outcome; but what programmes do we have in place that can physically address this?

Lands and Environment minister Christophe Bazivamo has just recently urged Rwandans to take the recent warnings seriously by climatologists, about the decline in rains, and also the heavy showers that sometimes pour and cause havoc. And that the region is to be hit very seriously in the next three years.

To his voice we add advice that it should become a matter of policy for local governments to discourage building houses on hill slopes that are prone to getting washed away in times of heavy rains. Also, it is high time that Rwandans started growing a lot of grain foods.

There are several advantages that come with grains – they can withstand hotter climates than foods like potatoes or bananas. In addition, grains can be stored for long periods of time without much hassle, so they come in handily during continuous wet or dry spells. If Governor Mutsindashaka is doing it in the Eastern Province for cattle owners by encouraging the making of hay and silage for use during the very hot and dry months in Umutara, everyone can do it for their own sakes to ward off starvation during similar hard times. 

It is very important that Rwandans, each in their own ways, start adapting for harsher climatic conditions that we are going to live tomorrow.Ends

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