The Tanzania Times Newspaper
A Publication of the Eastern Africa News Network, the Times of Tanzania is one of the leading media outlets in the Sub-Saharan African Region

Climate Change Adaptation to cost USD 50 Billion as East African Countries roll Out more Plastic Waste

The seven East African Community Member States have increased their total organic waste production reaching 57 percent of the overall generated waste.

That should be more than the world average waste production clocking at 46 percent.

At least that came to light recently during the inaugural Africa Waste is Wealth Series of meetings held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Officially opened by the Kenyan Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, Festus Ng’eno, the event was organized by Taka Ni Mali, the East African Business Council, and the Alliance for Science

It has been found that much of the solid waste being churned out by EAC Member States is mainly paper and plastic garbage.

This is despite the fact that Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania have banned the use of plastic bags and polythene based packaging materials.

In reflection to that, it is being estimated that the Cost of adapting to climate change across the African Continent could reach USD 50 billion a year by 2050.

That is according to research commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

On the other hand the African Development Bank further acknowledged the impact of climate change on Africa, pointing out that African economies have already lost between 5 percent and 15 percent to their economies as a result of climate change.

UNEP, which is responsible for coordinating responses to environmental issues within the United Nations system, estimates that if the global temperature increase is kept within 2°C above pre industrial levels, the continent will drastically suffer the consequences.

Waste collection and transport services are mainly in urban centers with 55 percent of collection coverage and less than 9 percent in urban and rural areas.

The East African Business Council, operating from Arusha, Tanzania says it places climate change and the circular economy on its top priorities.

 The council has established a Board Subcommittee on Climate Change and, in partnership with GIZ-GFA, successfully organized a dialogue on zero waste in East Africa.

“As East Africans, we should all embrace the concept of Zero Waste and transition our business models from linear to circular economy, “says the EABC Executive John Bosco Kalisa.

Latest study on the impact of global crises on food security reveals that agriculture in the EAC heavily relies on rainfall, making it vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

A one-degree Celsius increase in temperature in developing countries is associated with a 3 percentage point decline in agricultural output.

This is further exacerbated by food loss and wastage (FLW) that occurs at various stages of the food value chain.

The EAC Partners states recognize that development activities may negatively impact the environment leading to the depletion of natural resources, and degradation of the environment, and that a clean and healthy environment is essential for sustainable development.

The Treaty Partner States agreed to cooperate in the Prevention of Illegal Trade in and Movement of Toxic Chemicals, Substances, and Hazardous Wastes and have agreed to harmonize their legal and regulatory framework for the management, movement, utilization, and disposal of toxic substances.