Warmer Ocean Waters Equal African Floods
African coastal cities vulnerable to flooding due to rising sea levels, floods have a devastating impact in Africa.
Global mean sea levels in the last two decades of the 21st century will be 1.4 foot to 2.6 feet higher under a high greenhouse gases emission scenario. Africa has a large and growing coastal population, including a number of important coastal cities. This implies significant risks for Africa’s coastal settlements and emerging megacities such as Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Accra and Maputo.
The coastal cities of Africa are home to some of the poorest and are being pushed to the edges of livable land and into the most dangerous zones for climate change. Their informal settlements or slums grow along riverbanks and cluster in low-lying areas with poor drainage, few public services, and no protection from storm surges, sea-level rise, and flooding.
These slums the poor in coastal cities and on low-lying islands are among the world's most vulnerable to climate change and the least able to organize the resources to change their living situation. They face an Africa where climate change will increasingly threaten the farm fields and clean water resources.
One rising sea level model, based on a 1.3-foot rise in sea levels, puts the number of people threatened by flooding in the four worst-affected countries of Cameroon, Mozambique, Senegal and Tanzania stands at 10 million.
There are high concentrations of poverty and low levels of investment in drainage and flood defenses in many of the areas under most immediate threat. Climate scientists project that saltwater intrusion from rising sea levels will lead to a significant reduction in fish stocks for all west African coastal countries – countries for whom fishing is vital to economic stability
In Cameroon on the plateau land of the south, coffee, sugar, and tobacco are important cash crops. Along the coast, the climate, for now, tolerates the growing of export crops such as cocoa, bananas, palm oil, rubber, and tea.
Mozambique's coastal cities are among the most vulnerable in Africa to climate change. Experts say climate change will increase the severity of cyclones and flooding, particularly along the country’s 2,700 kilometers 1,680 miles of coast. Like many African coastal cities, Beira - which lies just above sea level, is in a race against time to protect itself from cyclones, floods and rising seawater levels.
Senegal’s agriculture industry occupies roughly 70 percent of the country’s working population and contributes 15 percent of the GDP. In the coastal south, 40 percent of the population depends on fishing for employment, and many more for dietary protein: nearly two-thirds of Senegal’s population live near the coast.
Tanzania urban areas as frequent flooding and recurring drought which threatens infrastructure assets. Home to more than 4.7 million people, the nation’s commercial capital is vulnerable to flooding, which cripples the ability of poorer city residents to access clean water and better sanitation.
Mozambique was severely affected by adverse climatic conditions due to the 2015–16 El Niño, one of the strongest recorded, which led to significant losses in crop and livestock production. An increased frequency and intensity of storms, hurricanes, and cyclones will harm aquaculture, mangroves and coastal fisheries.
Mozambique is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events such as drought, floods, and cyclones. Climate change has a significant impact on livelihoods and food security, particularly among rural populations.
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