VICE-President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday challenged the country to clearly articulate effects of climate change to stakeholders gathered to draw different inputs ahead of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) in France.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Addressing a national conference on climate change in Harare, Mnangagwa said there was need to integrate climate change discourse on many forums, to enable the general public to appreciate what it meant and its effects.
“To this end, the impact of climate change is projected to impede economic growth as it affects climate sensitive sectors such as water, agriculture, livestock, energy, health and environment, as well as manufacturing, mining and transport sectors, which are all critical to achievement of government’s economic blueprint, ZimAsset,” he said.
Mnangagwa said 70% of the country’s population was resident in the rural areas and their source of livelihoods, mainly farming, had been affected by erratic rainfall, thereby causing food and nutrition deficit.
Mnangagwa said drought was also causing problems in the hydro-electricity generation, as well as affecting the capacity of irrigation in the country.
The VP also called on developed countries to provide funds to developing nations, so they adapt to the climate change impacts in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
The inaugural national climate change conference provided a platform to discuss critical climate change challenges, design appropriate climate change interventions, launch the national climate change response strategy as well as upscaling national climate policy consultations and prepare for the COP 21 and beyond.
Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri said the conference should build strategies to save the country from the jaws of dire effects of climate change.