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SD experiencing effects of climate change

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By Hlengiwe Ndlovu - THE SWAZI OBSERVER-08-Sep-2009

SWAZILAND, like many other countries in the southern hemisphere is gradually experiencing frightening effects of climate change and the Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku reckons quick interventions must be put in place to avoid a looming calamity.

Speaking yesterday during the official opening ceremony of the Lutheran World Federation Southern Africa Regional consultation on the impact of climate change on food security, Masuku observed that climate change was already happening before everyone’s eyes.

The conference is held at the Royal Swazi Sun Convention Centre. Masuku advised scientists and researchers who are the custodians of knowledge and research to disseminate information in the simplest manner, further observing that the use of jargon and sophisticated words have confused and prevented people from understanding what climate change is and how it is affecting humankind.

He said the farmer, rural dweller and all ordinary people at the grassroot level must be made to understand that the responsibility to keep the planet in the condition in which God created it lies in the hands of humans. He noted that climate change had been caused by humankind, who are responsible for the increased atmospheric level of gases such as methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, greenhouse gases, and other activities such as bush fires, deforestation and other activities which increase the concentration of gases in the atmosphere.

Highlighting some of the effects of climate change in Swaziland, Masuku said the country had suffered tremendous crop and livestock losses from persistent droughts and floods that have reduced crop yields.

Meanwhile, the DPM said Swaziland was joining the international community in seeking sustainable solutions for reducing carbon emissions and seeking for a greener environment. In this regard, he said through government’s decentralisation policy, such should reach all the citizens, even those at grassroot level.

He also made a commitment that the country would domesticate all conventions it had ratified and further work towards ratifying those that have a bearing on climate change and food security which have not been ratified.

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