The problems of climate have already taking shape and its effect does not only confine to the nations producing excess or less of it but to the entire world. The truth behind this menace is that we are all under the dangers of climate change and hence every individual or country must try to account herself for the contribution of the change toward this very beautiful home who existence is disappearing slowly but steadily.
To remind ourselves again, the climate change by the force of man is the release of the harmful greenhouse gases (global warming) most especially the carbon dioxide gas in order to produce daily the energy required to operate technological equipment. Energy production is a necessity and have other alternatives which when put in to use we can guarantee ourselves to remain in this planet without encountering severe environmental challenges but the save guarding of our lives most be prioritize because life lost is a life never to be regained.
Although, the Gambia and other African countries can claim that they are not producing a lot of the greenhouse gases due to its least technological developments. No matter how small the quantity of the greenhouse gas we produce it will be proportional to the damage of planet and if we call ourselves ‘’ the least contributors to climate change’’ then we have no excuse of protecting or taking measures. It has now reached a time where all nations have to come on agreements, work together and put theories in to practice before it will be too late for every living soul.
The blame goes to those developed countries that develop nuclear weapons, highly industrialized and those burning the fossils excessively but if we live with that notion when further consequences start to prevail it may be too late to blame them. Therefore the responsibility of the Gambia and other African countries is to minimize again that least greenhouse gases we are releasing, we trying to develop our clean energy from the blessed sun and then challenge then entire world to cut down the greenhouse gas emissions.
The question is how Gambia is contributing to the climate change? I will first of all thank the government for having realized that it is high time that we banned the usage of plastic bags in the country to the greatest dismay it is not easily recyclable .Although it may be termed to have some inconveniences to market women and other people who have their convenience when using plastic bags. The plastic bags we are using are unfortunately leading some us to big health complications.
Some people do not have any other alternative of lighting fire without burning plastic bags during cooking and that bag is a carbon dioxide supporting material. During that process the fumes from the burning plastic bags are directly been inhaled which find its way to our respiratory track and hence result to diseases or complications of the lungs. If that same carbon dioxide escapes the person for the first instance it cannot escape the atmosphere from pollution and hence it builds up for the destruction of the ozone layer with the global warming and hence its effects comes back to the humans again as a cycle.
Also when those plastic bags are left freely they are prone for consumption by our livestock which has resulted to sudden deaths of our animals .If the plastic bag is buried in the ground yet still we are not free after some time they are directed to our seas and rivers by weathering and wave action and we all know the further consequences when plastic disintegrate in our water bodies which provides oxygen for leaving organisms apart from plants.
Also some people use the indirect method of boiling some of our local foods example sorrel leaves and is not totally proper when analyzed from the medical point of view .The sorrel leaf is inserted into the plastic and the tips of the plastic is then sealed to make it air thigh then it is put in boiling water because people believe that it makes the cooking easier and faster only if we know how dangerous is that to the stomach or the health in general.
The other aspect of the Gambia‘s contribution to climate change on climate change is the clearing of the forest for fuel by way of intensifying our agricultural lands, production of coal or by selling the forest trees as a means of earning income, bush burning or bush fires that people embark on in the rural areas readily make carbon dioxide available to the atmosphere. There is a high usage of imported second hand vehicles which were used and banned in the Europe because of the high emission of the carbon monoxide with low efficiency of output .The people in the Europe with the fear that if they continue using those highly carbon monoxide emitting vehicles will result to massive payment of taxes finally make them export those vehicles and sell them in Africa.. The carbon monoxide is poisonous which can cause sudden illness and death when inhaled and is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned. Industries despite are in small numbers in the Gambia are always leading in the emission of the carbon dioxide gases.
These impacts of climate change in Gambia or Africa as a whole can be categorized in the form of droughts, famine, poor agricultural produce, untimely rainfalls, excessive increment of temperatures, desertification, some respiratory problems and population displacement. In the context of high levels of poverty and malnutrition, the priority for many African countries is increasing access to energy services and improving the economic welfare of their people. This will really be a challenge but as events do not happen for themselves, they are triggered by certain forces therefore in solving the climate change should be the focus of everyone now.
Solutions to global warming in Africa include effective land use planning to avoid forest degradation, developing renewable energy, and limiting the expansion of coal-fired power plants .There should be encouragement of youth to discuss the issue of climate change, the total avoidance of the usage of plastic bags in the Gambia should be enforced .By pioneering new renewable energy projects and establishing forward-thinking innovation centers and associations.
Almost all countries in Africa are looking to renewable energy as a solution to meet their growing energy demands in a sustainable way, while working toward practical adaptation strategies to mitigate global warming impacts. In the need of attaining these adaptation challenges it is the responsibility not only of the African nations but also of developed countries that bear the historical responsibility for most global warming emissions. While progress is being made, much more needs to be done to address current and future development and energy needs on the African continent. This is the hope for a better Africa.
By Musa Manneh,
Pamukkale University, Turkey.