Urban Dwellers Vulnerable To Climate Change Impacts

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The sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nation in 2015 acknowledge the critical role of families in addressing climate change and achieving sustainable development.

It has however become evident over the years that families living in urban areas are particularly vulnerable to impacts such as heat waves, flooding and air pollution.

This was said by the assistant minister of Local Government and Rural Development Mabuse Pule during the commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Families that was held in Kasane recently under the theme ‘Families and Climate Change’’.

In Botswana, a country known for its rich biodiversity and natural beauty, the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident, erratic rainfall patterns, prolonged droughts and more frequent heat waves are disrupting agricultural activities, threatening food security and jeopardising the wellbeing of families and communities.

Pule noted that climate change is a pressing issue that threatens the very fabric of families and communities. He stated that climate change poses a significant threat to families worldwide, exacerbating the existing vulnerabilities and creating new challenges, from extreme weather events to rising sea levels, its impacts are far-reaching and indiscriminate. He further said that families, particularly those in marginalised communities, bear the brunt of these consequences, facing displacement, loss of livelihoods and increased health risks.

Pule is of the view that sustainable urban planning and infrastructure development can help create safer and more liveable environments for families, while also reducing greenhouse emissions.

He expressed that life in land-protecting terrestrial ecosystems and promoting sustainable land management are essential for combating climate change and preserving biodiversity. According to Pule, healthy ecosystems provide families with essential resources such as clean air, water and food.

‘‘In Botswana there are numerous ways in which families and communities can contribute to climate change resilience and adaptation. By promoting sustainable farming practices such as conservation agriculture and agroforestry, families can enhance soil health, conserve water and mitigate the effects of climate change on food production,’’ he said.

Investing in renewable energy technologies, such as solar power, can reduce reliance on fossil fuels and decrease carbon emissions, thereby mitigating the drivers of climate change.

Amidst all these challenges, there is hope as families and communities have shown remarkable resilience in the face of adversity, coming together to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

‘‘As we commemorate, let us reaffirm our commitment to protecting our families and safeguarding our environment for future generations, let us join hands as families, communities and the nation at large to address the urgent challenge of climate change and ensure a sustainable future for all, ’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the objective of the event was to improve education, awareness raising and human institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning. It was also a platform for discussing key issues in integrating climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning. The event promoted sustainable development particularly in instilling good practices policies putting education into practice.

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