Thunderstorms, drying dams, scotching sun. And each time Mother Nature turns against Botswana, a nagging question grows louder: When will this end?
Expert reports this week revealed that the situation will only become worse as Botswana is being punished for sins committed hundreds of thousands of kilometres away.
The Minister of Tourism, Kitso Mokaila, explained last week that Botswana is being affected by changes in the global climate. Apart from the high temperature, Mokaila drew the country?s attention to a number of extreme droughts, floods, severe thunderstorms and strong winds that affect Batswana.
The country suffered prolonged droughts during the 1960s and 1980s which were worsened by the El Nino in 1982/83. ?These draughts slowed down the construction industry and impacted heavily on food security. The country is currently suffering from severe drought which will result in water use restriction,? said the minister.
Mokaila explained that during the last decades significant changes were detected in the polar environment. ?Decreases in the perennial sea ice and the melting of some glaciers and permafrost as well as decreases in river and lake ice were detected.? The 2001 Third Assessment Report of the WMO indicates that the Earth?s global mean surface temperature increased by approximately 0.6 degrees Celsius over the 20th century. Reports further estimate that globally average surface temperature would rise by 1.4 to 5.8 Celsius over the period 1990-2100.
The Director of the Meteorological Service, Phetolo Phage, urged Batswana to adapt to the climate changes so as to survive the impact of global warming.
Speaking during the World Meteorological Day Celebrations at the Department of Meteorological Service (DMS), Phage emphasized that weather and climate knew no bounds. He said what happens elsewhere affect Botswana. ?Botswana is not isolated nor us. If other countries are threatened, this might also come to us,? he added.
According to Phage, many sectors in the economy are going to be affected. He advised Batswana to change their Agricultural practices. For instance, they should plough crops which can adapt. ?Resources are getting thinner, and there is more conflict between sectors. We should change the way resources have been utilized,? he said.