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Climate Change in Tanzania

Tanzania like other third world countries has started to experience significant climate variability and climate change. Researches done by Orindi and Murray (2005), Yanda and Mubaya (2011) and NAPA (2007) have shown that:

  • Over the past years the climate in regions throughout the country has changed significantly indicating that by the end of the century, average temperatures are projected to increase between 1.90C and 3.60C, while sea level is projected to rise between 65 cm to one meter compared;

  • Rainfall is said to decrease in the dry season and it is expected to increase during the rainy season, leading to a growing risk of floods, water shortage and related conflicts;

  • Rising temperature and changing rainfall affect agricultural production and water resources availability, hence threatening lives and livelihoods for millions of poor people;

  • The medium and small rivers in the central and eastern parts of Tanzania, for example, could become exhausted in the dry season while underground water have been diminishing accompanied with water-salt intrusion leading to water shortages;

  • The icecap on Mount Kilimanjaro has been disappearing with serious implications for the rivers that depend on ice melt for their flow. Several rivers are already drying out in the summer season due to depletion in melting water, and recent projections suggest that if the recession continues at its present rate, the ice cap may have disappeared completely by the year 2025;

  • Climate change is also expected to increase the severity, duration and frequency of weather related extreme events such as drought and floods, threatening water availability and food security for millions of poor people. So to say climate change is viewed as one of the gravest threats of the present and future of humanity in Tanzania;

  • Climate change has been the main driver of biodiversity loss, and has already affected biodiversity resources. In the future, some species will not be able to keep up, leading to a sharp increase in extinction rates. This will result to more loss of revenues from tourism due to loss of key species (fauna and flora);

NGOs have a great role to play by putting in place strategies aiming to reduce human dangerous activities through research, raising awareness, advocacy, mobilization and empowerment of most vulnerable communities to start with. Above all, in order to respond to the impacts of climate change and variability, it is clear that adaptive strategies have to be implemented from household-, community-, national- and international levels so as to enhance already existing adaptation strategies while designing the new ones.

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