CASE STUDY 2 - Africa

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why is Africa vulnerable?

Northern Africa rainfall fell by 10-20%

debt crisis and repayments exceed GNP

most of population depend on rain-fed agriculture

low lying land 

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water issues

demand outweighs supply by 25%

water they DO have is often contaminated

many of its rivers are shared internationally so there is a potential for confict eg Nile 

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food insecurity

rain-fed agriculture means dependency on weather leads to lower crop yields leads to malnutrition

70% population are subsistence farmers who can't even feed themselves in dry conditions eg in the Sahel

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health and disease

vector bourne diseases eg malaria

and water bourne diseases eg cholera

spread with increased humidity and rainfall

area affected by malaria set to double

80% health services rely on wild plants for remedies which are under threat

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sea level

rising sea levels affect coastal settlements so people are FORCED to migrate

environmental refugees to the major towns -> loss of tourism

60% Africans live in coastal zones

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unjust trading systems and debt burdens so there is no money for the mitigation of climate change impacts -> localised conflicts and falling incomes and poor food security

possible GDP losses of 2-4%

two thirds of the world's poorest countries in Africa

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the OVERGRAZING AND OVERCULTIVATION of land for cash crops combined with drought and soil erosion puts pressure on land which leads to desertification

eg the Sahel on the margins of the Saharah

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while parts of Africa are experiencing less rainfall, changing rainfall patterns mean that some parts of EAST AFRICA are experiencing MORE rainfall and longer growing seasons eg the Sahel

this has increased crop yields eg of maize in the Kenyan highlands given there are warmer temperatures at high altitudes which means more moisture

new cash crop farmers have seen rise in incomes because they are for commercial use rather than for use by the grower

areas like Zanzibar may even see an increase in tourism because of the warmer temperatures

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