3 Facts You Need to Know About Climate Change in Namibia

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

From food security to water scarcity, climate change affects countries negatively. While many countries are able to find ways of minimising this impact, it is the poorest countries that feel the negative influence of climate change the most.

Many of Africa’s population face dire threats to their livelihoods because of climate change. Namibia is no exception. In 2008, it was reported that Namibia could expect annual losses to their economy of up to 5% of GDP. All because of the impact climate change has on their natural resources.

It is now 12 years down the line and climate change in Namibia continues to present challenges for her people. Namibia has been classified as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Water Scarcity

Water availability is decreasing in many countries. With unpredictable rainfall patterns in Namibia, climate change has altered the rainfall patterns drastically. Naturally being a dryland, water scarcity is something all locals have learnt to adapt to.

As climate change in Namibia is expected to decrease rainfall, adaptation will become harder. With an increasing population, the demands on water will escalate for both rural and urban communities. Most of Namibia’s domestically-produced energy is sourced from a hydropower plant. This source of energy will be threatened by the increased scarcity of water in the country.

Food Security

Namibia has recorded significant agricultural production losses because of climate change impacts. With over 70% of the population reliant on food security for survival, disasters such as floods and droughts threaten their existence.

While normally a natural hazard, floods and droughts effects have become intensified by climate change. To escape areas hit hard by these natural occurrences happening more frequently, affected communities are being forced to migrate. The search for water, arable crop land and grazing for their cattle has become a necessity to ensure livelihood and basic survival.

Social Issues

A Vulnerability Risk Assessment carried out in 2019 highlighted the climate issues within the group assessed. While other social issues such as gender-based violence and unemployment were revealed, information about climate change was a key issue to explore.

This same assessment revealed that due to lack of awareness on climate change, climate matters were poorly represented during decision-making. By sharing climate change knowledge, this would go a long way in dealing with a social equity issue.

Climate Change is Everyone’s Responsibility

Together with other countries, Namibia continues to seek out ways of managing climate change impact. As individuals we can do our bit for the environment by being aware of our personal lifestyle choices. But governments are also called upon to find ways of lessening the threats climate change has on their countries.

Sustainable use of natural resources is key for the survival of people especially those in more vulnerable environments. Climate change has forced everyone to re-think how sustainable their practices are, from businesses to homes. It comes down to everyone taking responsibility and environmental organisations are working hard on creating awareness around climate change.