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Southern Africa Faces Worst Drought in 20 Years

Workers preparing fields to grow corn, Gutu project irrigation site.Southern Africa is headed for a major crisis that would see food prices skyrocket and leave thousands of people without food in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Swaziland. A recent report by the UN Food and Nutrition Security Working Group has warned of the worst drought in key crop producing centres since 1992. Supply deficit
The report claimed that the region’s maize production belt had been hampered by a drought since February and that lower maize output posed a serious cause for concern as it would result in supply deficit in the grain, which is a staple food for most citizens and a key input in the production of red meat, poultry, eggs and milk.
“The expected commercial maize crop for 2015 is estimated at 9.84 million tons, which is 31 percent less than last year and 20 percent below the average maize production for the last five years,” the report said. “This decline has led to an overall (food price) increase of 6.4 percent in South Africa...Read more

Journalism Critical in Climate Change Awareness

Workers preparing fields to grow corn, Gutu project irrigation site.Climate Change, a phenomenon that affects the entire world, particularly African countries, Zimbabwe included, is not well known or understood, debated or discussed.
In Zimbabwe, the general population does not have an understanding of what it is, how it affects them and what forms of behavioral change they can take.
A media which is well informed on Climate Change would inform communities on how to adapt and mitigate in the face of a changing Climate.
The information gap is pretty much what the world faced more than 20 years ago when HIV spread and eventually became a global pandemic.
Today, as was the case when the HIV/AIDS tsunami hit, a large number of people attribute Climate Change to witchcraft and angry or avenging gods or spirits.
Traditional media such as newspapers, radio and television have done very little to encourage awareness raising on Climate Change issues.
All that we get in the traditional media is bombardment with statistics and alarming stories of floods, heat waves and looming starvation... Read more

Economic Approaches to Greenhouse Warming

Workers preparing fields to grow corn, Gutu project irrigation site.There is growing international concern about “greenhouse warming,” which is a scientific theory that predicts that increases in CO2 and other atmospheric gases may produce significant climatic changes over the next century.(1) This concern is only one of a number of areas where population and economic growth have threatened to have significant impacts upon the global environment. Other concerns include increasing evidence of widespread damage from acid rain; the appearance of the Antarctic “ozone hole,” interpreted by some as the harbinger of global ozone depletion that threatens to remove the shield that protects organisms from harmful ultraviolet radiation; deforestation, especially in the tropical rain forests, which may upset global and local ecological balance; and a depletion of genetic resources that arises from urbanization and other impacts upon major ecosystems.Global environmental problems raise a host of major policy questions. They are all scientifically complex and controversial, and no scientific consensus is likely to emerge until ...Read more