A leading name in climate change research and services for West Africa, The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), just released the first of its “Regional Climate Change Series” book, with a focus on floods.
In West Africa, flood is one of the major climate hazards that cause disasters. It easily overcomes local response capacity of the countries and substantially affect the social and economic development. This is particularly true for the year 2017 flagged as the year of climate extremes in West Africa, with disasters hitting communities across the whole region.
Dr. Arona Diedhiou, the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) Chairman of WASCAL spoke about the essence of the book.
“In response to such adverse impacts of climate change, the international community has agreed on a number of climate goals. Among them are the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction which aims at developing preventive actions and reduce existing disaster risks. In this regard, many West African countries are implementing their national plans for disaster risk management while ECOWAS is in the process of harmonizing the policies at the regional level. That is why WASCAL together with its partners initiated this book to lay ground for such actions.”
According to Dr. Mouhamadou Bamba Sylla one of the editors and WASCAL Director of Research, the 114 paged book comprises 10 chapters dealing with critical and relevant topics such as physical science basis of the climate hazard, the vulnerability of communities and infrastructures under changing climate as well as requirements and responses strategies to manage and/or reduce the risk. This gives scientific substance to the West African domain in the preparation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report 6, the African Climate Risk Conference 2019, the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) Hydromet and climate change programmes as well as countries’ national plans.
Also, the Executive Director of WASCAL, Dr. Moumini Savadogo addressing the press, stressed the timeliness of the book, and how it will go a long way to help West African policymakers, corporate entities, civil societies, technocrats and climate stakeholders to understand the dynamics of West African flooding, so they are well informed on how to tackle the issues.
“As an international organization operating in West Africa, WASCAL is committed to become one of Africa’s leading institutions in the provision of scientific knowledge and climate services in and for West Africa.
This book is, therefore, a testament to our call to respond to the several climate change challenges West Africa is faced with”. He stated.
Prof. René Haak from the office of Global Change of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany (BMBF) recognizes this important milestone towards creating more visibility for WASCAL as a preferred choice for climate solution Centre in West Africa. He also expressed delight at WASCAL’s contributions to the resilient development of West Africa, and this will be expanded through the implementation of WASCAL Research and Action Plan, phase 2 (WRAP2.- 2019-2022).
It is worth noting that this publication is the first volume of annual series of books on challenges of climate and land use that WASCAL and partners intend to release to assert its contribution to support ECOWAS countries in science-based decision-making process and for the achievement of the sustainable development goals.
The book, funded by BMBF, is edited by scientists from WASCAL Competence Centre in Burkina Faso and Graduate School Programmes of Nigeria and Benin. The authors are scientists from West Africa, Germany and other international partner institutes.