Provinces hit by climate change, says report

The report on the effects of climate change indicates that the Eastern and Northern Provinces are the most affected parts of the country.

The report on the effects of climate change indicates that the Eastern and Northern Provinces are the most affected parts of the country.

The new report, “Rwanda current status of climate change and its impact on
human development”, was released on Thursday at Kigali Serena Hotel.

At the same function, the 2007/8 UN Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report was also launched.

The report highlights the natural hazards of prolonged drought and floods that have hit many areas in Bugesera and Gishwati forest. It comes four months after the country was hit by severe floods in the Northern Province, where it killed seventeen people in Bigogwe and left 562 families displaced.

The Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (Rema),  Dr Rose Mukankomeje, said: “The country is increasingly experiencing frequent droughts, heavy rains that lead to floods, landslides as well as outbreaks of diseases.”

She said that as a result various regions have been affected by low agricultural production, a threat which was also highlighted in the 2005/6 report.

The report indicates that there was reduction in the water levels which resulted into low hydro electricity production.

Mukankomeje said that tree-planting and pressure on tree-cutting, exploitation of solar energy, emphasis on cooking stoves rather than firewood would help in mitigating the problem.

The UNPD 2007/8 Human Development Report, ‘Fighting Climate Change: Human solidarity in a divided world’, says that climate change has a bigger impact on developing countries than developed nations. The country director of UNDP in Rwanda, Anthony Ohemeng Boamah, said that implications of climate change take many forms but for Africa it could have a serious negative impact on agricultural productivity that employs many of our citizens.

“If average temperatures are allowed to rise by two or three degrees centigrade over current levels, we could see an extra 600 million people go hungry, over 300 million more people flooded out of their homes and additional 400million people exposed to diseases like malaria, meningitis and dengue fever,” he added.  
 
The report calls for solidarity by all countries to fight against the problem of climatic change.
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