Africa's fight against climate change
Nowhere will suffer more from climate change than Africa. Across the continent, governments, organizations and individuals are starting their own initiatives to combat its effects.
Africa's fight against climate change
It's mainly industrial nations that are responsible for producing greenhouse gases such as CO2 that contribute to climate change. But the main victims of climate change are in the countries of the global South. As Africa is hit by drought, storms, erosion and desertification, people there are starting initiatives to combat climate change.
Millions of climate change refugees expected from Africa
Mozambique is the African country most affected by extreme weather events. Entire neighborhoods in the coastal town of Beira are already endangered by rising sea levels and flooding from heavy rain. Experts say weather related disasters force twice as many people from their homes than conflict and violence. It's estimated Africa will experience some 20 million climate refugees within ten years.
Defying the power of the sea
The world's leading climate change advisory body, the IPCC, estimates sea levels will rise by 40 to 80 cm by 2100. To improve water drainage, Beira is rehabilitating the river which flows through its center, carrying out reforestation and constructing a new canal. It is also building a barrier which can be closed at high tide to protect the town.
A great green wall across Africa
The yellow sands of the Sahara desert continue to creep their way south, encroaching on the farmlands of sub-Saharan Africa. Eleven African countries are trying to stop this drift with a 7,750 kilometer long and 15 kilometer wall of trees. Tree roots stabilize and aerate the soil, allowing the absorption of water and stopping desertification. It will also provide people with new livelihoods.
Soil erosion and desertification threatens the livelihood of farmers in many parts of Africa. Using a special irrigation system, Sounna Moussa from Niger is making his soil fertile again. His technique is centuries old but had been virtually forgotten. Experts also recommend growing traditional crops better suited to the soil.
Hydropower is not always green
Hydropower is the world's largest source of renewable energy. Traditionally, it is seen as a reliable and clean way of generating power. But now hydropower is meeting more resistance from environmental groups and local communities. Sometimes whole forests are cut down or villages are relocated to make way for a new hydroelectric dam.
Green energy for Africa
All of Africa will have access to power by 2030. This ambitious goal was set by 55 African heads of state and government at the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris. The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative plans to feed 300 gigawatts of green electricity per year into power grids across Africa. Wind farms like this one here in Ethiopia are just the beginning.
Generating their own power
People across Africa are increasingly generating their own green electricity rather than relying on dirty generators or unreliable grid power. Dramatic drops in the price of solar power now make renewable electricity more affordable, whether it's powering a hospital or school with a row of solar panels or lighting a home with a small solar lamp.
Plastic bottles instead of clay bricks
In Africa, the upcycling trend hasn't just conquered the fashion world but also the construction industry. In Nigeria, people are building whole houses from used plastic bottles that otherwise litter the environment. It's estimated that a million plastic bottles are bought every minute around the world.
Tanzania's young climate hero
Getrude Clement is committed to protecting the environment. Once a week, the Tanzanian teenager produces an environmental program for her local radio station. "I hope my listeners are doing something to change the situation here - to protect the environment and keep our water clean," she told DW. She's seen here speaking to the UN General Assembly in New York in April, 2016.
Africa needs climate change experts
To make Africa more resistant to climate change, its effects need to be better understood at local and regional levels. The southern African scientific organization SASSCAL is working on this, with support from Germany. SASSCAL aims to lessen the impact of climate change on agriculture and water.