Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ghana and African youth impacted by climate change

How are African and Ghana youth impacted by climate change? Does climate change exacerbate gender inequalities? 

African Youth are impacted by climate change in diverse ways and this has indirectly resulted in increased illegal migration among the youth and increasing school dropout especially among the girls. Farming is known to employ over 60% of the African population with the youth forming an appreciable portion of this percentage. Increasing temperatures has impacted negatively on both crop and animal production. The youth in arid and semi arid areas in Africa have to walk long distance with the cattle in search of grass and water. Unpredictable rainfalls in recent days have caused many youth to give up farming as a source their livelihood. Many youth who engaged in farming as a viable carrier option in the northern part of Africa have now migrated to the south in search of inexistence greener pastures.  Unlike the male, the traditional role of the African woman which includes walking long distance to fetch water for domestic use and staying at home to take care of the old age and younger siblings make them more venerable to the impact of Climate change. In many traditional homes in Africa, the little resources             available would be spent in the education of the male child as it is believed that the male is more intelligent and is expected to take care of the family in the future. This in a way exacerbates the gender inequality.

Africa has been identified as one of the continents or regions to be affected adversely by climate change and if youth represent the future generation, then they are more prone to the consequences of the climate change effect. Most African youth especially in the sub-Sahara region are engaged in agriculture practices as a source of livelihood. With climate change affect food production due to adverse or severe weather conditions, youth in agriculture are sooner than later likely to be victimized and may end up been unemployed.

One of the key effects of climate change is the occurrence acute drought. Women are noted for providing for water and food at home. There are situations where women have to travel long distances in search of safe drinking water. As drought increases, it will placed women at a 
more disadvantaged position thus exacerbating the already existing inequalities. 
By Kenneth Nana Amoateng,
Chief Executive Officer
Abibimman Foundation

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