Effects of Climate change in my village during life time.


The talk on sustainable development started in the late 1970’s and calminated in the Bruntland report of 1987.If world leaders had taken the conferences and reports seriously and acted upon them,we probably won’t be witnessing these disasters of climate change such as typhoon haiyan that destroyed Phillipines in the last week. Unfortunately,it is the poor that bear the brunt of the capitalist minded leaders inaction.
The impact of climate change is clear in my village in Northern Ghana in the last three decades. The people of Guabuliga are subsistent farmers who depended on the natural resources, land, water, forest and wildlife for survival. When I was growing up, seasons were predictable and rainfall lasted from March to early December. Farmers could grow crops and harvest twice before the dry season set in. Women benefited from selling wild fruits, but the most important was sheanut, used in making oil for domestic consumption and for cosmetic product. Sheanuts was a major source of income for women as men didn’t get involved in the processing due to their farm work. We would go early dawn to the nearby bushes to pick sheanuts before going to school.
Water sources was also abundant as the streams were protected by forest and several wetlands.Some of these places with several wildlife including pythons were designated as shrines, receiving animal sacrifices twice a year. It was a celebration during the time of sacrifice. Children did not go to the bush unaccompanied by adults, due to fear of wild animals attack.
Sadly, these are stories now because of gradual environmental degradation resulting from prolong dry weathers. Rains have become erratic, lasting a maximum of two months a year, with prolong droughts.The wetlands and water bodies have dried up.Forest burnt down in wild fires. Wild animals and fruits are no longer available.
The consequences is that the land can no longer provide food enough for the people. The farmers have no other skills to diversify into a different economic activity. Women are deprived of income from the sheanut trees which didn’t need maintenance to produce fruits. The population has become poorer over the years due to the actions of wealthy people millions of mills away. Migration by the youth to the cities is now common, in search on non-existent jobs. This is causing problems such as teenage pregnancies and increase in HIV/AIDS infections.
It is imperative that the Northern countries leaders should expedite action to stem the tide of climate change for the poor in the world to survive. America and China who are the world leading greenhouse gas emitters have the moral responsibility to sign the international conventions on reducing their carbon footprint. It is hypocritical to see America taking the lead on emergency relief in disasters which are a result of climate change, which they are adamant to act on.


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