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'Zimbabwe, Mozambique worse affected by climate change'

by Staff reporter
26 Jan 2021 at 07:06hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE and Mozambique are among the worst affected countries by climate change after Cyclone Idai in 2019 hit the two countries, resulting in loss of lives and infrastructure.

This was revealed on Sunday by the 2021 Global Climate Risk Index and Germanwatch, an environmental think-tank, hours before the global climate adaptation summit which was held in the Netherlands.

The report said the worst hit countries by climate change included Zimbabwe, Mozambique and the Bahamas which were affected by heavy storms.

Cyclone Idai made landfall in Beira in the central region of Mozambique on March 14, 2019 and then proceeded to also ravage the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe and Malawi in one of Africa's deadliest and costliest catastrophes that left over 1 000 people dead and over three million affected.

Thousands of people were left displaced and seeking shelter, food, access to clean water and proper sanitation.

"Vulnerable people in developing countries suffer most from extreme weather events like storms, floods and heat waves, while the impacts of climate change are visible around the globe. The deadliest and costliest tropical cyclone in the south-west Indian Ocean, tropical Cyclone Idai was labelled ‘one of the worst weather-related catastrophes in the history of Africa' by United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres," the report read.

"It caused catastrophic damage and a humanitarian crisis, making Mozambique and Zimbabwe the two most affected countries in 2019. The Bahamas rank third after the devastation of Hurricane Dorian. In the past 20 years (2000-2019), Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti were the countries most affected by the impacts of such weather

David Eckstein of Germanwatch said the GCRI showed that poor vulnerable countries such as Zimbabwe and Mozambique faced particularly great challenges in dealing with the consequences of extreme weather events.

"They urgently need financial and technical assistance. Therefore, it is concerning that recent studies show that the US$100 billion per year pledged by the industrialised nations will not reach the countries, and secondly, that only a small proportion of this has been provided for climate adaptation," Eckstein said.

The report said since 2000, nearly 480 000 people were killed as a result of more than 11 000 extreme weather events.

Eight of the 10 countries most affected between 2000 and 2019 are developing countries with low or lower middle income per capita.

"Almost two years ago, cyclones destroyed key infrastructure including schools which are yet to be rehabilitated due to lack of finances. Entire communities lost their homes and livelihoods. All stakeholders need to provide more support in recovery and rehabilitation of these communities. Furthermore the cyclones demonstrated the need to invest more in preparedness for future disasters."

In the past two weeks Zimbabwe and Mozambique had to brace for two other cyclones, Chalane and Eloise which later turn out to be tropical storms, but they left a trail of destruction in Mozambique and parts of Zimbabwe.

Source - newsday