Daily Management Review

African Nations Hope El Nino Finds Prominence in Paris World Environment Meet


African Nations Hope El Nino Finds Prominence in Paris World Environment Meet
El Nino is getting stronger and it is affecting certain parts of the globe than others.
Record temperatures were experienced by South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, for two days in a row in November. While Tuesday clocked a highest temperature of 103.6 degrees fahrenheit, Wednesday was hotter at 104.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Outages in major cities that have created huge challenges for farmers and severe water shortages are being experienced by the country.
Scientists say that the extreme climate being experienced in South Africa is due ot the effect of El Nino - the warming of an area of the Pacific Ocean near the Equator — a naturally occurring climatic phenomenon that has far-reaching effects on weather around the world.
The consequence of El Nino in Northern Europe is a long and cold winter. In parts of Africa it causes droughts and floods. African policymakers seem ill-prepared even though the impacts of the phenomenon are relatively well known.
 “We knew that El Nino was coming,” says Aliou Dia, team leader for disaster risk reduction and climate change in Africa at the United Nations Development Programme.  
“It was absolutely clear that El Nino was going to have a huge impact on the region. But what did we do next? We are still very weak on preparedness,” Dia adds.
The vulnerability of African economies and their lack of preparedness for extreme weather events — which are likely to become more prevalent in a warming world — could become a sticking point for negotiators, as world leaders gear up for the Paris Conference of the Parties climate summit at the end of November.
While the World Meteorological Organization has warned that this year’s El Niño could be one of the strongest on record, the impacts across Africa on growth and development are already being felt. The extreme weather that it has caused provides a test case for future climate disasters, although El Niño itself is not a direct result of anthropogenic climate change.
While commercial farmers in corn, sugar and other major crops may struggle to pay back loans as their yields fall, South Africa’s farming trade bodies have warned that hundreds of thousands of cattle will need to be slaughtered this year. 
The South African government has already declared KwaZulu Natal and Free State as disaster areas. According to figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization, neighboring Zimbabwe faces a 50% fall in its cereal crop. It is forecast that millions of people across the continent could be forced onto food aid as a result of the droughts.
Far away in Kenya, 2,000 miles away from South Africa, crops have been washed away and infrastructure has been damaged due to unseasonably heavy rains. The economic growth of the country for 2015 was cut back as the government cited the bad weather was one of several reasons.
These are just some of the instance of suffering in the African region due to the ill effects of El Nino and the countries hope that that this issue would find a place of prominence in the soon to be held world environment meet in Paris.