How are East Africans Surviving amidst ClimateChange?


Youth in communities across East Africa are innovating to adapt to the region’s changing climate, a yearlong cross-border project led by InfoNile has found.
September 2020.

In East Africa, temperatures have risen by about 1.3 degrees Celsius since 1960 and are expected to rise by another 1.8 to 4.3 degrees by 2080 to 2099, according to UNDP. Average rainfall will increase overall but at the same time with unpredictable rains, an increase in intense storms and more droughts.

Farmers, unable to rely on traditional rain cycles, are feeling the worst of the effects. Unusual rainfall has also caused Lake Victoria to burst its shoreline, submerging beachside communities and displacing more than 200,000 people in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

But from Bushenyi to Nakuru, Nyamagabe to Morogoro, youth are paving the way for change, and bringing hope.

Reporters for InfoNile, a collaborative cross-border group of geojournalists, highlighted little-known innovations led by youth in East Africa that are helping communities adapt to climate change. These included planting trees to prevent landslides in eastern Uganda, selling briquettes to promote clean energy in refugee settlements, starting drip irrigation projects for Tanzania farmers and building terrace farms along the banks of the Nyabarongo River in Rwanda.

Funded by the CIVICUS Goalkeepers Youth Action Accelerator, the project involved journalists from major news organizations in the region including Kenya’s Science Africa.