CITES has warned of a “record-breaking” drought in southern Africa, as temperatures plunge to the single digits across the region.CITES announced a new water management plan for the Southern African region, which will involve “more than 40 million people” in the region, and said it is “highly likely” that at least three out of four countries in the South-West region will experience at least a 10-year drought.
In South Africa, where water restrictions are in place due to the drought, there is a 60% likelihood of at least one year in the worst category, the report found.
“There is no longer a doubt that this record-breaking drought is set to persist,” said CITes director general Jens Wahlberg.
The report also said that while drought conditions have worsened in many parts of the region over the past two years, they have remained low, with water supplies running “relatively smoothly”.CITes said the southern region had experienced unprecedented rainfall and high-impact flooding, which have caused severe damage to infrastructure.
The South-East region was hit especially hard by flooding in 2014, with about 50% of the water distribution infrastructure destroyed and another 20% damaged.
“These are the worst impacts of climate change and the impacts of drought, and they are still happening,” Wahlberger said.
“The water crisis is the most serious we have seen for a long time, and we are now seeing the consequences.”
We need to do everything we can to avoid the worst-case scenario, but there is still much work to be done.
“A report from the World Resources Institute said the South Africa-based country’s annual rainfall was less than 1% of that in the United States, the world’s most populous country.
But in comparison, the U.S. is home to more than half the world population.