Some Zimbabweans attended a climate change conference in Harare Thursday amid reports by UNICEF that 11 million children in eastern and southern Africa, including Zimbabwe, are facing hunger due one of the strongest El Nino weather phenomenon in decades.
Journalists, civic society representatives, politicians, state officials and other stakeholders exchanged ideas on how to handle climate change and the impact of the current El Nino weather pattern, which will continue in 2016.
In a statement, UNICEF said the El Nino will cause droughts and floods resulting in untold suffering among children who will be vulnerable to diseases like malaria, diarrhea, cholera and dengue fever.
Our correspondent Mavis Gama attended the one-day conference organized by the Coalition for Market and Liberal Solutions. She spoke to Elisha Moyo, climate change researcher in the Ministry of Environment, about global warming and related issues.
Scientists say El Nino is caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean and not climate change though there some believe that this weather condition may be intensifying due to global warming. Some politicians in developed nations like America dispute such school of thought saying climate change is a natural phenomenon and not largely driven by human beings.
International focus on climate change is being largely driven by the Conference of Parties (COP), comprising 191 nations, which sets targets and champions the implementation of strategies for controlling global warming. This year’s conference on climate change organized by COP will be held in Paris, France. But do Zimbabweans really understand climate change and the El Nino phenomenon?
For perspective, Studio 7’s Gibbs Dube reached Professor Peter Mundy of the National University of Science and Technology and Vumani Ndlovu of Communities Empowerment Trust.