Climate love

dickson mutai

7 w

Power Shift Africa

Climate love

How Africa can feed itself, say goodbye to drought

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The story of a cyclic dry spell in Africa is not news, but the higher temperatures, the longer periods of drought and the dire food need are alarming.

Africa can use this key moment to turn around its fortunes. The story of droughts and floods doesn’t have to be ours when Africa is the land of solutions; the continent with the fastest growing population and more than 60% of its people under 25. The solution to the drought crisis is not food aid. There’s nothing wrong with aid in the short-term, but ours cannot be a continent that relies on aid when we have abundant natural resources to feed ourselves.

Getting Africa out of the drought crisis also can start with the recognition that – one, we’re capable of feeding our people, two, we can turn to renewable energy to power the right systems for food production and three, transformative political leadership is crucial.

Firstly, there’s an awareness gap standing in the way of communities and food security. The link between information and food production is often understated.

Secondly, without the political goodwill to implement food and climate policies and laws, food sovereignty will remain a dream. We need local and national governments to spearhead implementation of climate policies. For instance, Kenya has the Climate Act 2016, which mandates each county government to set aside a certain percentage of the budget towards adaptation. How many counties are doing this? Climate adaptation is a crucial aspect of building systems resilient to the climate crisis.

Thirdly, let’s embrace agro-ecology, where practices like crop rotation, agroforestry and herd splitting can provide a solid way to build farming systems that can weather the storm of the climate crisis. The key to sustainable farming lies in protecting our soils, proper water use and keeping harmful pesticides off our land.

The other key piece of the drought puzzle lies in leveraging renewables. The advantage of tapping into renewables is that we not only protect the planet by avoiding destructive fossil fuels, but we also use clean energy to power our farms.

As the world moves away from fossil fuels, our continent cannot be left behind. We cannot allow Africa to become the dumping ground for obsolete fossil fuel infrastructure. We must recognize the trap set before us by the West – a trap to produce oil and gas for their consumption even as they are setting up plans to ditch fossil fuels in the long term.

But moving to renewables as a continent will require global solidarity, where the West pays what it owes poor nations in terms of the climate debt. Such funding is necessary to help African countries shift from fossil fuels to renewables.

Food sovereignty is possible to Africa. We have the natural resources and the skills. What we lack is the political goodwill and funding to make it happen.

Posted by: Njango Njung'e
tags: By Juliah Kibochi

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  • Munene Mugambi

    7 w

    Would be nice to have a free hunger continent

    • Daniel Waweru

      7 w

      Wow! these are great insights, if these measures can be implemented then the future of Africa in matters managing drought is promised

    • Joseph Githinji

      7 w

      This are absolutely incredible insights, I hope our leaders can get this and purpose to implement all this for a better future in Africa.

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