By Sophie Mbugua: Paris: As nations of the world gathered on Monday in Paris to reach a new and universal climate change agreement, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland has announced a new $500 million initiative that will find new ways to create incentives aimed at large scale cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries to combat climate change.
The initiative developed through the World Bank Group will measure and pay for emission cuts in large scale programs in renewable energy, transport, energy efficiency, solid waste management, and low carbon cities. Read more
By Sophie Mbugua
Wahabou Benao demonstrate how he controls water at his farm in Vrassan village southern Burkina Faso
Vrassan (Burkina Faso) Wahabou Benao, a small scale farmer at Vrassan village 160 kilometers south of Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, says for the longest time they had always received 6 months of reliable and consistent rainfall between May and October.
But over the last 15 years, the amount of rainfall has been gradually reducing and its distribution uneven affecting production of sorghum, Okra and Shea butter
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), over 60% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa depends on agriculture for their livelihood. But inconsistent weather coupled with soil infertility is affecting livelihood of the majority of the population in the region.
While water stress occurs throughout the world, sub Saharan Africa and the Sahel belt has been more afflicted with subsistence farmers having to adapt to new technologies to sustainably grow food.
We receive rainfall once a year from May to October the water dams dry before the next season start” explains Benao “I am using water bottles to farm to conserve the little water I have left in his well” Read more
Jacqueline Musiitwa, Zambian-based champion for the Accur8Africa initiative
Numbers are important in determining where Africa is on the development process and where it wants to go. There is rich data on the continent, but it exists in an even and disorganized manner.
Accessing data from the government institution, discrepancies between international organization and governmental data makes its hard to ensure that data used for developmental planning is appropriate.
Data champions’ from five African countries are taking up the challenge of improving data collection across the continent to enhance progress under the Sustainable Development Goals.
Much of Data in Africa is manually stored
Accur8Africa brings together data scientists from Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and Zambia, to improve accuracy, accountability and accessibility to data.
Listen to the podcast African data champions take up SDG challenge
Diasso Dialia waters tree seedlings at the Nezeledouan resource center
Women at Ziro province, 160 km south of the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou last year with support from international forest research bodies and Burkina Faso’s Institute for Environment and Agricultural Research (INERA) set up Nezeledoun resource centre where they are planting tree seedlings and growing vegetables in the thirst stricken area.
According to Catherine Dembele, an associate scientist with the World Agroforestry Centre, fruit and vegetables – like those grown at the resource centers as they provide micronutrients and vitamins lacking in many staple foods.
Niagnan Aissaha tends to her crops at the resource center
They are also more tolerant to climate extremes and have medicinal value for people and livestock, offering a potential source of income.
Sophie is a Science Journalist based in Nairobi Kenya. She exclusively covers the environmental issues in Africa.
Over the years, her work has been published by the BBC, Mongabay.org, IRIN News, Mail&Guardian, AAAS science, Scidev.Net, Thomson Reuters Foundation, News Deeply, the Africa Report, Nation Media Group among other major media groups.
Sophie is a 2018 German-Southern Africa Journalist Program fellow, 2018 Forschungszentrum Jülich Pan-African Soil Challenge (PASCAL) Journalist Fellow. In 2015 she was a Climate Change fellow with the French Media for Cooperation (CFIMedia21). In 2016 Sophie was the Cross-Border reporting fellow in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda with the International Women Media Foundation (IWMF). She is also a 2016 Cohort 4 mentor at the YALI Regional Leadership Centre, East Africa. She holds a degree in communication.
Sophie has organised media activities for the African Group of Negotiations Chair during the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) and the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) in Marrakesh Morocco as a Communication Consultant.
Contact me through: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org