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Opinion: South Africa's Drought Points to Urgent Need for Plans

It is expected that temperatures in Southern Africa will rise by between 1.5°C and 3°C due to climate change by the year 2050.

This is likely to cause heavy fluctuations of weather patterns and more frequent severe weather events like droughts and floods.

Agriculture will be severely affected and in turn, many economies in southern Africa, which are dependent on agriculture, will feel the impact.

The effects of climate change are already being felt. The 2015 agricultural season in southern African was considered the driest in 35 years.

Five countries in the region — Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe — declared national drought disasters.

Eight of South Africa’s nine provinces and the southern and central areas of Mozambique declared partial drought emergencies.

Massive crop failures were experienced across the region, leading to a deficit of 9,3 million tonnes in cereal crop harvests.

Dylan Thomas / UKaid / Department for International Development

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