Various cities in Africa are collaborating to enhance disaster reduction efforts in their respective countries and to adapt to the changing climate.
Many of such cities are represented at a three-day meeting being held in Accra under the theme: “C40 African Adaptation Forum Network”, to discuss and to set the right framework for ensuring that cities adapt to the challenges and opportunities that climate change presents.
Some of cities being represented include Cairo, Dakar, Durban, Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Dar-Es-Salaam, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Tshwane.The C40 is a climate change group connecting over 90 of the world’s greatest cities representing over 650 million people for them to learn technologies and practices which can be used in adaptation to climate change.
The joint effort would also develop and promote research to explore preparedness strategies that can strengthen the local authority’s ability to manage and recover from disaster events.Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, said: “Accra as a member of the network is committed to ensure that steps are taken to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions while developing and implementing strategies to be resilient.”
He said cities must lead the efforts of climate change mitigation as projected by the United Nations reports, with the growing decentralisation around the world and the high rate of urbanisation.More so, he said, there is an indication that over 50 per cent of the world’s population would be living in cities by 2050.
Mr Sowah said the Accra population is currently estimated at two million residents while 1.5 million visit the city daily and these bring about various concerns.“Our lifestyles and other practices are impacting negatively on air quality, temperature, waste management and among others,” he said.
Mr Sowah expressed the hope that the Network would bring more ideas, experiences and frameworks that has worked in other countries to be incorporated in the Climate Action Plan.Mr Hastings Chikoko, the Regional Director for Africa C40, said climate change is causing problems to cities and there is the need to bring together stakeholders to share ideas on how to assist the vulnerable to adapt to the concern.
He urged the participants to focus on best practices for formulating and implementing improved policies to support cities in Africa.