Governments across Africa have been asked not to underestimate the enormous threat posed to the continent’s development by climate change.
Professor Jerome Omotosho of the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science School, Federal University of Technology, Nigeria, said they needed to act with some urgency and commitment, to implement the various international protocols signed.
The inaction and lukewarm attitude would have to stop, he stated at a day’s workshop on climate change held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.
It brought together environmentalists, agricultural research scientists, technocrats and graduate students.
“Climate data availability for climate change impact research”, “Overview of climate change dynamics in West Africa” and “Climate change activities in Ghana” were among topics treated.
Prof Omotosho called for substantial increase in budgetary allocations to tackle activities that were polluting and degrading the environment.
“We should invest in programmes relating to climate change in order to build a comprehensive regional preparedness agenda for progress”, he added.
Prof. Omotosho made reference to the noticeable shrink of the Lake Chad and the negative impact this was having on agricultural production, hydro-power generation and other socio-economic activities in Niger, Nigeria and Chad and said that must be a wake up call.
“Most people in this region whose livelihood is dependent on the water body are becoming more vulnerable.”
He noted that climate change was also badly affecting rain-fed agricultural production.
Prof William Otoo Ellis, Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, said the goal was to build the capacity of the participants to spearhead the fight against the phenomenon.
Prof Samuel Odai, Director of the KNUST WASCAL Climate Change and Land Use Research Centre, said it was determined to provide expert training required to efficiently deal with climate change issues in the West African sub-region.