by Medindia Content Team on  October 30, 2007 at 6:20 PM Environmental Health
Global Warming Blamed for Flood Havoc in Africa
Global warming is causing floods in as many as 22 African countries, a new study by climatologists has revealed.

Devastating rains and flash floods have affected 1.5 million people across the continent, killing at least 300 since early summer.

West Africa has seen its most severe floods in recent years, as torrents swamped the Democratic Republic of the Congo's capital of Kinshasa last week, killing 30 people in less than 24 hours.

In northern Ghana, torrential downpour has displaced more than 300,000 people, while in East Africa, hundreds of thousands have been displaced and scores killed in Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

Grace Akumu, director of the Kenya-based nonprofit Climate Network Africa said this was a just a prequel to the some of the worst climatic predictions about the continent due to global warming.

"Africa will be the hardest hit by climate change. This is happening even faster than expected," said Akumu.

Philip Gwage, Uganda's deputy commissioner of meteorology said the floods were of little surprise to scientists studying the effects of global warming in Africa.

"We certainly expected the increased frequency of floods and droughts," he said. Uganda declared a state of emergency in September after torrential rains and floods rendered least 400,000 people homeless and hungry in the northern and eastern parts of the country.

Akumu said floods, droughts, and landslides would occur more often in Africa, along with the appearance of diseases such as typhoid, cholera, and malaria.

"Extreme weather will become more frequent," she said.

Akumu said Africa's "carbon footprint" - the total amount of carbon dioxide and greenhouses emitted on the continent - was far smaller than that of other continents, adding that industrialized nations were to be blamed for the continent's rainy disaster.

"Africa is suffering because of the actions of the others, the principal emitters of greenhouse gases," National Geographic quoted Akumu, as saying.

Source: ANI

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