Challenges and Solutions in Sustainable Water Resources Management for Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation in Africa

Research Area: Volume 4,Issue 6, Nov. 2015 Year: 2015
Type of Publication: Article Keywords: Challenges, Change Adaptation, Food Security, Integrated Water Resources Management, Water Management Vision, Solutions, Sustainable Water Development
  • Thomas M. MATIASI
Journal: IJEIR Volume: 4
Number: 6 Pages: 823-831
Month: November
Climate change, population growth, increasing water demand, have had impacts on freshwater resources in many countries within the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region where increasing water demand outstrips available water resources. Many IGAD countries experience either water stress (less than 1,700 m3 per capita per annum) or water scarcity (less than 1,000 m3 per capita per annum) or both. Moreover, food insecurity and impacts of climate change remains endemic throughout much of Africa, with climatic factors such as rainfall variability being a major cause. In 2006, 25 African countries required food aid, largely due to recurring drought. Poverty and food insecurity are linked to low agricultural productivity aggravated by climate change and variability and water shortages. Essential activities including water resources management and agriculture are affected by recurrent climate change and variability. Variations in climatic patterns, which occur naturally from year to year and over longer periods of time can cause disasters such as droughts and floods and end up affecting millions of people. Such climatic patterns affect the availability of water which is required for agricultural activities. Warmer temperatures are likely to increase rainfall in some regions while in others there is decrease in rainfall. Changes in rainfall could severely reduce agricultural productivity and eventually have negative impact on food security. This paper has highlighted the need for sustainable water management, the required water vision and the way forward for countries in the IGAD region as key factors in the management of agricultural systems and climate change adaptation and hence the need to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss water and regional cooperation issues. Sustainable water development and management should be readily unleashed to stimulate and sustain agricultural growth and climate change adaptation and develop the necessary information systems for real time decision making.

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