This weather is killing us, and quite literally so. Here In Rwanda, it’s been reported that we are seeing the worst hot season extremities in three decades, and if this is not scary enough, then what is?
It is just simply too hot for one to venture aimlessly out of their house.
Hence it shocks me thoroughly to hear some people loudly express worry about an impending onslaught of rain like it has been threatening very much of late.
We should be praying and bribing the gods for rain!
And the irony of this being the most devastating dry spell in 30 years should not be lost on us.
Late last year, Rwandans welcomed the news that for the first time in history, the common man (better known as muturage) would be allowed to take part in the United Nation’s Climate Change Talks –better known as the 21st annual session of the Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris, France.
Rwanda henceforth joined 100 other countries in an initiative that is geared at increasingly involving the ordinary citizen and representing their personal views and experiences in this otherwise high-level international forum.
It is no doubt that our continent is one of the most vulnerable to weather changes and extremities of weather.
So as I was idling and fiddling around at home in the intense afternoon heat recently, I landed my hands on a loose newspaper page from an old issue of The New Times.
It was dated Saturday, June 20 2015, so definitely it was more than a year since its publication.
But the info, stories and commentaries it carried were simply priceless, beginning with an opinion piece by columnist Gitura Mwaura smack on the editorial page.
In that column, Mwaura warned of the real prospect of the African continent ‘warming up’ with the drier sub-tropical regions most susceptible as compared to the more moist tropical regions.
He was quoting from a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change –IPCC, the principle scientific body charged with assessing climate trends and issuing its reports to respective governments.
The report warns of decreased annual rainfall in most of the region, a fall in agricultural output, length of growing seasons and decreased cultivable land.
Similarly, global warming alone is expected to reduce production by about 2 percent every ten years for the rest of this century.
To make this dire situation worse, world demand will of course stay on the rise, with the current world population of 7.3 billion expected to hit the 9.6 billion mark by 2050.