Afrobarometer: Climate change literacy still low in Africa

 

 

The recent havoc caused by tropical cyclone Idai which struck the southern African countries of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi is a grim reminder that Africa remains the most vulnerable continent as far as climate change mitigation is concerned.

A new survey released by Afrobarometer paints a bleak picture of how agriculture conditions are worsening due to delayed rainfall, decreasing quality of life and most surprising of all, little or no knowledge at all about the impact of climate change.

The research discovered that out of the 34 African countries surveyed, respondents in 30 countries said agricultural production had greatly declined as a result of drought over the past decade.

“Farmers in Uganda have been waiting endlessly for rain, and South Africa has experienced excessive flooding,” Gugu Nonjinge, Afrobarometer’s communications coordinator for southern Africa, said. “These [unusual weather patterns] shows long term changes in temperatures that ultimately affect rainfall patterns and the ability for Africa as a whole to produce food.”

Climate change literacy

In the survey, ‘climate change literacy’ was described as the perception that the respondent knows about climate change, he or she links it to negative changing weather patterns and recognizes that human activity plays a huge role in climate change due to greenhouse emission.

Whereas 58% of Africans said they had heard about climate change, four in ten admitted that they had never heard of the term before.

“Afrobarometer identified those working in agricultural sector in the rural areas, the poor, women and the less educated as those unaware about climate change,” Nonjinge said.

The majority who knew and understood what climate change is said changing weather patterns had made life worse in their respective countries. “Climate change is defining the development challenge of our time in Africa,” Nonjinge said.

“Our continent is the most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change.” Interestingly, the survey found out that key issues such as water scarcity, food security and agriculture which were raised by those being interviewed are directly connected to climate change.

Africa is a signatory to several international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol and the 2016 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. These global pacts seek to fight and reverse the effects of climate change.

The Afrobarometer survey on climate change recommends that African governments, policymakers and activists, create more awareness especially among those with little knowledge about climate change. The report concludes that this will help build an informed population that understands climate change threats and will support coordinated government and international action. — Deutsche Welle.

Deutsche Welle 1
Guest Author
Advertisting

De Klerk now admits apartheid was a crime against humanity

Apartheid’s last president walks back comments that definition was a Soviet plot

February 11 1990: Mandela’s media conquest

Nelson Mandela’s release from prison was also South Africa’s first ‘media event’. And, despite the NP’s, and the SABC’s, attempt to control the narrative, the force of Madiba’s personality meant that he emerged as a celebrity

Eastern Cape MEC orders graft investigation after two workers killed...

The killing of two council workers at the Amathole district municipality appears to be linked to tender fraud and corruption

Strike-off case pulls in judge

Judge Mushtak Parker is implicated in an application to strike off his former partners. He is also involved in the fight between the Western Cape high court’s judge president and his deputy
Advertising

Press Releases

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders

So you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Do the research first; it will save money and time later

Social entrepreneurship means business

Enterprises with a cause at their core might be exactly what our economy desperately needs

Looking inwards

Businesses are finding tangible ways to give back – but only because consumers demand it