SADC MINISTERS MEET TO DISCUSS EL NINO

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SADC MINISTERS MEET TO DISCUSS EL NINO
SADC MINISTERS MEET TO DISCUSS EL NINO

Africa-Press – Botswana. The Sunday SADC Ministers gathering served as a curtain-raiser and a preparatory forum for the virtual Extraordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government on El Nino-induced droughts and floods.

Briefing the media after a virtual meeting of SADC Ministers in Gaborone ,Dr Lemogang Kwape said the Summit would deliberate on the impacts of climate change in the region, particularly focusing on the El Nino-induced drought, disasters, and their effects on the region’s economy, health, water, and energy.

Dr Kwape highlighted that the focus would be on how El- Nino had impacted food and energy production, among other significant issues.

The discussion aimed to address the challenges arising from El Nino and strategise on solutions.

He emphasised the importance of nations with better harvests sharing their resources with those severely affected by the drought.

Additionally, Dr Kwape mentioned that the region would engage with development partners to formulate strategies for assisting in mitigating the impacts of El Nino-induced challenges.

The Heads of States and Governments will review the recommendations put forth by ministers, from which regional resolutions will be derived.

In Botswana, Dr Kwape stated that annual assessments are conducted to understand and project the impact of drought on key sectors of the economy.

This assessment , he said helped in implementing short and long-term measures to alleviate the effects of drought.

Dr Kwape said various government programmes such as subsidies on livestock feed, provision of fertilisers, and seeds through initiatives like the arable agriculture programme, Temo Letlotlo, to combat the impact of drought. Rescue measures , he said were also being implemented to ease the challenges posed by the ongoing drought situation.

As for the current year, he said ongoing drought assessments would provide insights into the impending challenges.

Dr Kwape acknowledged the looming shortage of food and livestock feed due to unfavorable weather conditions for crop production, anticipating a challenging period ahead.

He recalled past severe drought situations in the 1980s and expressed concerns about the current situation potentially mirroring that crisis.

“The impending drought is bound to be the worst if not equal to that of the 1980s,” he said.

Further, Dr Kwape highlighted the global discussions on addressing environmental pollution and emphasised the need for sustainable solutions to combat climate change.

He said in the past two years at Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt) and Dubai (Qatar), the COP28 meetings discussed on how the world will address the impacts of pollution resulting in unprecedented weather challenges.Dr Kwape underlined the collaborative efforts of SADC members, development partners, EU, and Commonwealth to support the region in mitigating the impacts of climate change.

The decisions taken , he said would be informed by evidence-based reports from Botswana and other SADC nations, ensuring a well-informed approach towards tackling environmental challenges.

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