President Samia: Unlock financing to fight climate change effects

President Samia calls for urgent financing of climate change

Summary

  • President Samia Suluhu Hassan warns that inaction among wealthy nations means that countries with low adaptive capacity such as Tanzania will have no option but to brace for more adverse effects of climate change

Dar es Salaam. President Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday called for urgent unlocking of climate change financing, warning that inaction means that countries with low adaptive capacity such as Tanzania had no option but to brace for more adverse effects.

“What we ought to remember is when drastic climate change hits, it chooses no location, might, weak, poor or rich country,” she said when addressing participants in Scotland during the United Nations Climate Change Conference.


Developed countries

President Hassan said developed countries should scale up their efforts to mitigate effects of climate change by providing predictable and adequate funds to enable low-income countries to achieve ambitious sustainable development goals.

“We have experienced unpredictable floods and droughts. We have experienced all this despite our resolve to dedicate 48 million hectares to forest conservation,” she said, adding that if developing countries had shown such leadership, wealthy nations should not lag behind.

She told the conference that Tanzania has not been spared adverse events, including rising sea levels that are eating away arable land, while Mount Kilimanjaro is losing its iconic glaciers. Zanzibar is struggling with temperature raises that are impacting the tourism ecology.


What works

“For sure we know what is needed, and we know what works. Our solidarity as leaders will be measured not by the high ambitions we set today, but our actions across all the pillars of the Paris agreement on mitigation, adaptation and financing,” President Hassan said.

“What does all this mean for a poor country like Tanzania? It means that the 30 percent of our gross domestic product that comes from agriculture, forestry and fisheries is not sustainable. To combat the causes and effects of climate change, more commitment is required.”

Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, various experts said Tanzanians must embrace the global fight against climate change because it affects their livelihoods.


Drought

An agriculture economist from the Sokoine University of Agriculture Prof Joseph Hela, said, “If there is drought in the country, some people will not be able to buy food. This is contrary to countries such as the United States and China, which are able to buy food because they have strong economies.

“Developing countries (like Tanzania) still need to be engage in talks with other countries to see how they can be helped because climate change knows no boundaries.”

Dr Subira Munishi from the College of Engineering and Technology (CoET) of the University of Dar es Salaam said farmers are the most affected because rains are nowadays unpredictable, and this has contributed to a sharp decrease in the volume of water in impoortant sources such as rivers, dams and lakes.

“Tanzanians must therefore change their mind-sets and shun the business-as-usual attitude otherwise we won’t be able to fight climate change since it requires a lot of money to conduct research. We don’t necessarily have to copy what others are doing,” she said.


Various aspects

For his part, environmental expert Evaristi Nashanda said climate change is phenomenal, and adversely affects the world in various aspects, including health, economy, infrastructure and ecosystems, adding that countries have no choice but to take mitigating measures.

“For instance, to mitigate heat, people are advised to build houses with large windows to ensure that the impact of climate change doesn’t affect them directly. Likewise, farmers are advised to plant crops that can withstand drought so that they can continue to survive,” he said.

Mr Nashanda added that people are encouraged to plant trees that can withstand heat and continue to provide fresh air that is not harmless. “In short, we need to embrace climate change and live with it by embracing mitigation and adaptation.”