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Climate change in Ghana has become a threat to livelihoods

By Kenneth Nana Amoateng
The area of forest allocated to logging activities in Gabon has surged from less than 10 percent to more than 50 percent over the last 4 decades, with most of the increase taking place over the past decade. According to UNEP's database:The area of forest allocated to logging activities in Gabon has surged from less than 10 percent to more than 50 percent over the last 4 decades, with most of the increase taking place over the past decade. According to UNEP's database:

Climate change in Ghana has become a threat to livelihoods. Drought and over flooding in parts of the Northern Region of Ghana has become a yearly worry to the people and government. People along the banks of the Volta river are constantly displaced, homeless and landless. In the South particularly aquatic life is affected as a result of human activities and sea level rise that pollutes water bodies and the main economic activity which is fishing drops and this has affected the income levels of the people. The climate change impacts in Northern part of Ghana results in severe draughts in the dry season, severe floods, high temperatures, influx of pest and diseases taking away human life and property, currently most parts of Northern Ghana is flooded and has rendered people homeless, lost of agricultural products and property. The heavy lost of farm crops is predicted to bring famine if measures are not put in place. The government of Ghana has contracted engineers to come out with ways to solve the problem. The government is also in consultation with Burkina Faso to solve the flooding problems collectively.

From a very personal view, I think the political will and commitment to respond fast to climate change has not been evident. African Leaders prefer to sign political agreements and agenda instead of designing these themselves. The fact African leaders never set the pace and lead in these agenda setting therefore limits their say in major issues of international concern. Also there is no common clearly laid down strategies' by the African continent on how effectively they can handle this issue as a continent. Technologically, Africa has not been very innovative in curbing the effects, for instance green technology and the use of electric cars is gaining grounds in Denmark and Europe as a whole as ways of reducing climate change negative impacts. The question is what is gaining grounds in Africa? Nothing am aware of, or perhaps it's still in the making, but are we waiting for the worst to happen before we find the solutions? The individual African whose entire livelihood is dependent on our natural resources has no options than to face the severe damages from climate effects in the form of severe draughts, floods, high temperatures, influx of pest and disease among others. The voice of global actors (eg Danish Minister for Climate) for speedy actions must be seen as a wake up call of all Africans politicians especially the youth to look critically into this issue and get motivated to change this course.

MDG7: Ensuring Environmental Sustainability

MDG 1: Eradicate extreme Poverty and Hunger
Continuous Degradation of natural resources such as food, medicinal plants, fuel wood etc. and land degradation might lead to poverty

MDG2: Achieve Universal Basic Education
Availability of water and energy sources particularly girls spend more hours gather

Ring water and fell water before going to school and firewood Burden of environmental health threats

MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Poor women exposed to indoor air pollution, burden of collecting fuel wood and water, and unequal access to land and natural resources

MDG 4: Reduce Child Mortality
Environmentally related diseases- indoor and local air pollution, unsafe water, poor sanitation

MDG 5: Improve Maternal Health
Physical stresses associated with the gathering of environmental resources such as firewood, good drinking water.

Food availability, water quality, poor sanitation etc caused by environmental degradation tend to affect maternal health.

MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases
Environmental degradation might lead to poor local economic Mishaps, rural-urban migration and overcrowding. These may lead to HIV/AIDS etc.

Increase in temp associated with climate change, poor sanitation conducive for vector multiplication

MDG 8: Global Partnership
For Growth and Dev't
"when the voice of the people become so loud the government has no alternative but to listen" Martin Luther King Jnr.

John F. Kennedy once observed that “our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man.”

Kenneth Nana Amoateng
Abibimman Foundation
Ghana National Youth Coalition on Climate Change (GNYCCC)

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