Cultural Sustainability

When we observe most answers to cultural questions in the African context, we often find ourselves defaulting to artifacts, traditions, languages, and ethnic mores. However, that is only a fraction of what makes culture. Culture is the summation of a full range of human potentials and specific qualities with which an individual identifies and connects as a member of its society. That complex-whole includes a hierarchy of knowledge, common sense, beliefs, arts, laws, morals, approaches, customs, traditions, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a person as a member of such society.

Being attuned to one's culture allows the individual to tap into its natural and instinctive resources. They are predisposed to convey the cultural values that constitute what can describe as a cultural strength.

Culture is an integrated pattern of human knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors that symbolically depict the capacity and values of group to adapt to the conditions of its environment and or thrive over the challenges of time. Therefore, each group has its own unique culture. Since there are many groups, there are many cultures.


Cultural elements include our language, cuisine, couture, and ways and means of observation, conservation, and interpretation. Culture is our human identity because it defines who we indeed are. The term "cultural diversity" expresses the variety of cultural differences, showcasing each in its unique way, and highlights cultural synergy's strengths in society. The term is also a driving force for development, not only in respect of economic growth but also as a means of enjoying a more fulfilling personal experience, whether intellectually, emotionally, morally, or spiritually. Foundation for Cultural Diversity has been collaborating with various organizations to celebrate "Cultural Diversity Day" in various ways since UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific, and Culture Organization) proclaimed every May 21 the "World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development" at the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity back in November 2001.

We surmise that cultural homogeneity is on its way to extinction and that the recognition of cultural diversity has become the new global tradition. However, cultural diversity is just the first step and incomplete without harmony or congruence between people of different cultures. Cultural harmony shows the possibility of how one culture relates to another and how a person relates to society. It also provides a vision of how people of diverse cultural backgrounds can relate to one another in the community without compromising their cultures' integrity and still live and work peacefully and desirably together within a society, a community, or a household.

"Diversity Day" provides us with an opportunity to deepen our sophisticated understanding of the principles that make us who we are. When we share our heritage and customs in a respectful, cohesive, and constructive way, we take one step closer towards a more equal and fair society.

Many Indigenous cultures were threatened with extinction. The effort to promote cultural sustainability, especially with children, provides the opportunity to learn from and preserve much of the existing and revivable world cultural values. Today, the paradigms are shifting towards a more open and inclusive society. Children are at the forefront of these changes. Art and creativity are now used to teach and entertain. The Ndebele dolls are from the Ndebele tribe in Southern Africa. One of the smallest tribes of the region, the Ndebele people, pronounced In-de-bey-lay, are noted for their extraordinarily beautifully painted homes of brilliant colors that stand out like jewels in the drab countryside. Their clothing is similarly colorful. The beadwork on these Ndebele dolls is as detailed as the clothing of the women themselves. This program teaches kids to use the Ndebele cultural techniques to create things relevant to them. Folklore is shared or a cultural poem recited. This TV Show requires the preparation and procurement of art materials and recycled water bottles. Children are introduced to the concept of oral history, and some parts of the story could require animation.


Carousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel image
Carousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageNostalgiaCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel image
Carousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel image
Carousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel image

Royal Institute of Global African Culture Welcome to Osu Mantse palace


Carousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel image

Tributes

We remember the highly intelligent, revolutionary, fearless pioneers, leaders, and Human Freedom activists who paved the way for improved humanity by making a significant difference with their craft. People like Thomas Joseph Adhiambo Mboya, Amilcar Lopes da Costa Cabral, Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, Stephen Biko, Anwar Sadat, Yitzhak Rabin, Tafawa Balewa, Walter Rodney, John Lennon, JFK, Abe Lincoln Bruce Lee, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Mahatma Gandhi, and so many more around the world.

Assassinations carried out in Africa can be found here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_assassinated_in_Africa

Carousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel image

African Views technical, scientific, and cultural research, analysis, reports, and public engagement on Cultural Sustainability

GREEN AFRICA: Challenges and Benefits of Youths in Mining Ar Many countries in Africa are experiencing tremendous human migration both internally and across international boundaries. Rural-urban migration has assumed uncontrollable dimensions in the sub-region and the social consequences have become major development challenge. Mining communities in general have been at the receiving end for some time now. Our next discussion focuses on challenges and benefit of youth in Mining areas in Africa. We will be exploring the tremendous socioeconomic changes, especially demographic patterns as a result of the inflows of migrants into Townships and its catchment area in search of non existing jobs especially in mining. A major outcome is the serious unemployment problem in the township with all the attendant social vices, such as limited job openings, fewer income generating opportunities, high crime rate, prostitution and widespread illegal mining activities, with their attendant problems. This episode of Green Africa explores options that are feasible for a typical mining setting especially for the youth who are very vulnerable and susceptible to crime and other social vices. Job creation, through the development and implementation of sustainable programmes aimed at training the youth to acquire the necessary employable skills is one of the options considered by the municipal managers and their partners. The study also looks at broader policy implications for the African Union. Host: Ernest K. Opong Quality control: William A. Verdone Contributor: Wasiu Alade Contributor: Emekop Ebuk Contributor: Emanuel Marfo Producer and Director: Wale Idris Ajibade
Drought in Africa Right now, in East Africa, an estimated 12 million people are suffering from malnutrition and a lack of food, affecting 35 to 40 percent of children under age 5. As East Africa faces its worst drought in 60 years, high food prices and failed crops have left millions of people at risk. The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations said. More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, it said. "Two consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in one of the driest years since 1950-51 in many pastoral zones," Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told a media briefing. "There is no likelihood of improvement [in the situation] until 2012," she said. A severe drought is causing increasing hunger across the Eastern Sahel in West Africa, affecting 10 million people in four countries, aid agencies warned today. In Niger, the worst-affected country, 7.1 million are hungry, with nearly half considered highly food insecure because of the loss of livestock and crops coupled with a surge in prices. In Chad, 2 million require food aid. The eastern parts of Mali and northern Cameroon have also been badly affected by the failed rains, says the UN World Food Program, which described the situation as critical. The Sahel, a largely arid belt of land that stretches across Senegal to Sudan and separates the Sahara desert in the north from the savannah regions further south, is one of the poorest regions in the world.
GREEN AFRICA: Soil erosion, contamination and salinization What is left of the 75 percent of the earth's surface made up of water is land. And land comprises rock and soil. Soil or what is left of the rocky part of land is what sustains life in the world. The ecosystem of the earth depends on soil and the bulk of the world's food sourced from plants is produced from soil. Animal-based food sources, cattle, poultry, etc. also depend on soil for their sustenance. Cattle and other livestock depend on grazing for food, and poultry depend mostly on plant-based food too. Soil erosion, contamination and salinization happen to hamper the continued fertility of arable land or food producing land for the world's ten billion people. Soil erosion like contamination and salinization is mostly the resultant effects of human abuse of land. Contamination and salinization occur with the introduction of material that may be toxic or destructive of the fertility of land. Activity such as oil drilling and mining is some of the principal culprits in contamination and salinization. But several other factors including poor disposal management of certain material, such as used gas and diesel oil, plastics and industrial water material constitute the bulk of urban soil contamination and salinization. Contaminants such as plastics may not dissolve easily in the soil and therefore make soil conservation difficult to achieve. However, conservation is the only means that assures the rejuvenation of the ecosystem, re-fertilizes the land and makes land most productive for human existence. What efforts are being made on the grown to prevent soil erosion, contamination and salinization in Africa? Host: Ernest K. Opong Producer and Director: Wale Idris Ajibade Quality control: William A. Verdone Contributor: Wasiu Alade Contributor: Emekop Ebuk
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA In certain parts of Africa, famine has become endemic. Currently, the East African countries of Somalia and Ethiopia are experiencing a spell of famine owing to poor agricultural production arising out of drought. One of the causes of famine and poor food production is the paucity of sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agriculture is the farming practice that considers the relationships between the organisms in the land and their environment. It has also been described as: "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term: Satisfy human food and fiber needs Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends Make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls Sustain the economic viability of farm operations Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.? Practices that ensure the continuous replenishment of the fertility of the land are observed. Without replenishment land loses its nourishment and the shifting cultivation practice in most of Africa does not do much to ensure the sustainable agriculture. Obviously, much has to be done by farmers in Africa to ensure sustainable food production on the continent. Farmers must be ready to learn new methods of planting and raising animals for food. They must be educated to recycle for the continued nourishment of the patch of land they work and they must be made to understand that past practices would only serve to weaken the land and reduce produce.
GREEN AFRICA: Water and Sanitation in Africa part II Water and sanitation are fundamental to health and development, especially in densely packed urban areas, where outbreaks of diseases such as cholera can quickly turn into epidemics. Clean water and sanitation have proved time and time again to be a critical factor in health and economic development. At present diarrheal diseases caused by a lack of safe water and sanitation is the biggest killer of children under five in Africa, claiming more children's lives than HIV/Aids, malaria and measles combined. In South Asia it is the second biggest killer. Current investment into water and sanitation in the slums is inadequate and is failing to reach the poorest and most vulnerable people. What are the current efforts and investments agenda in various countries in Africa set to tackle the need for safe water and sanitation? What efforts are in place from activists and organizations to encourage participation in the design and implementation of these plans at the community level? ABOUT GREEN AFRICA Green Africa is a weekly environmental discussion on AV radio, created to help mobilize a fresh understanding of Africa's responsibilities in the universal ecosystem and generate consensus for right action. Topics are centered around sustainable management of resources and stewardship of the environment through advocacies on changes in public policies and individual behavior in recognition of humanity, ecosystems, ecology, health, and human rights. Host: Ernest K. Opong Producer and Director: Wale Idris Ajibade Quality control: William A. Verdone
GREEN AFRICA: Degradation and Fragmentation ABOUT THIS WEEK'S EPISODE :Degradation is ?the temporary or permanent deterioration in the density or structure of vegetation cover or species composition, resulting from the removal of plants and trees important in the life cycle of other species, from erosion, and from other adverse changes in the local environment.? Fragmentation ?arises from road construction and similar human intrusions in forest areas; it leaves forest edges vulnerable to increased degradation through changes in micro-climates, loss of native species and the invasion of alien species, and further disturbances by human beings.? Degradation and fragmentation makes up much larger area than does deforestation. They also have a greater impact on the diversity of animals and plant life. ABOUT GREEN AFRICA One of Africa's biggest challenges is the need to develop environmentally sustainable ways of living for its people. Green Africa is a weekly environmental discussion on AV radio, created to help mobilize a fresh understanding of Africa's responsibilities in the universal ecosystem and generate consensus for right action. The program is organized and represented by a wide range of grassroots organizations and experts on a diverse scientific, social, and economics of green politics and environmental issues. Topics are centered around sustainable management of resources and stewardship of the environment through advocacies on changes in public policies and individual behavior in recognition of humanity, ecosystems, ecology, health, and human rights. The show is brought to you by Center for Media and Peace Innitiatives (CMPI), Amandla News, Beyond Oil, and African Views (AV). Host: Ernest K. Opong Host: Dan Miner Producer: Wale Idris Ajibade Quality control: William A. Verdone
Water shortages in dry seasons Water is one of several current and future critical issues facing Africa. Water supplies from rivers, lakes and rainfall are characterized by their unequal natural geographical distribution and accessibility, and unsustainable water use. Climate change has the potential to impose additional pressures on water availability and accessibility. Very dry conditions were experienced from the 1970s to the 1990s, after a wetter period in the 1950s and 1960s. The rainfall deficit was mainly related to a reduction in the number of significant rainfall events occurring during the peak monsoon period (July to September) and during the first rainy season south of about 9°N. The decreasing rainfall and devastating droughts in the Sahel region during the last three decades of the 20th century are among the largest climate changes anywhere. Sahel rainfall reached a minimum after the 1982/83 El Niño event. Modeling studies suggest that Sahel rainfall has been influenced more by large-scale climate variations (Possibly linked to changes in anthropogenic aerosols), than by local land-use change. Currently dry conditions experienced in Eastern Africa, Somalia and Kenya in particular have engendered acute water shortage resulting in famine. This episode will examine the problem of water shortages in a continent which possesses more water bodies than anywhere else, but which also often endures extreme environmental hardships owing to long spells of dry season and poor rainfall.