For anyone who has not been living in a cave for the last 30 years minimum will testify that a lot has changed in our climate, sadly, not for the better.
Where the tropics had consistent weather patterns and Meteorologist could be trusted to deliver an almost accurate prediction, now we sometimes have to rely on chance. Nothing is predictable any more. Take an example of Uganda in 2010. In January, the minister for disaster preparedness at the time widely announced that Uganda was going to be hit by a very long unrelenting drought. He urged people to save water and use it sparingly.
In February of the same year, Uganda started receiving rains. The rains were so heavy and they would go on for days with short breaks in between that the days were dark and people got helpless. As a result, the country suffered a massive landslide leading to loss in life, homes and farms. The disaster was so widespread that the whole country suffered. While people in the East were being buried alive by the landslides, those in the central were running away from their homes as floods were washing away their houses.
Going forward to 2014 and 2015, the weather was the exact opposite of what happened in 2010. This time, the country was hit by a drought. There was no clear planting nor harvest times as the weather patterns seemed to have been interchanged. Cattle keepers and crop farmers both lost alike.
What was taken for granted is no longer available. The frequency, consistency and timing of rainfall has changed; at least for Uganda. Farmers are not sure anymore when to plant their crops nor when to harvest. This affects not just the yields, but people’s livelihood,their incomes and food security for all. Both wild and domestic animals are not spared either.
Well, such massive weather changes are caused by so many factors. Some are natural but most are definitely human. Temperature as an element of weather contributes a lot to how the weather will turn out. With more carbon emissions in to the air, waste into water-bodies and forests; humans seem to be trying hard to waste their own environment. We are causing global warming to a level we may not reverse unless we each make it a personal responsibility and choose to change now.
We are cutting down more trees than we can plant, contaminating more water than we can purify or keep clean.
So, what can we do to reverse this?
First, there should be sensitization of the masses. People need to know the gravity of their actions in relation to climate changes. Make it a personal responsibility; be the custodian of your future.
Make policies and strict laws about deforestation and natural resources’ contamination. Make them and stick to them.
Emphasize on recycling. This is a term still unfamiliar to most people in developing countries. Plastic material especially bags are suffocating our environment. These are things that could be recycled but most prefer to irresponsibly litter the environment with it. Designate proper waste disposal points and ensure that they are respected.
Promote usage of waste for energy. Give the people skills on how to do this practically not theoretically.
Reward people who fight to save the environment. This could be motivation for most to join the fight.
Practice sustainable farming. The INTO Farms as brought to us by Anika; one of the INTO volunteers are examples we can look up to. Practices on these farms are wonderful for all parties involved; the people, animals and soil.
I commend Uganda for introducing the tree fund and investing resources for tree planting to mitigate climate change. I only hope it stays. Not long ago, there was policy for cut one tree, plant three. Avery good initiative that died an early death. If this can be revived and strengthened, the tree fund would see more success than we can imagine.
Several countries are waking up to the land’s call for help; let’s all pay attention.
With collective energy, we can achieve so much more and our environment can be saved. We just have to believe it and go for it.