21 June 2005

Climates of change coming to South Africa

The Western Cape will be the first province in the country to experience at first-hand the results of climatic changes in the next 10 to 15 years.

It will rain more along the east coast, and the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal will be more densely forested.

Man and beast will find it more difficult to move around in those areas.

Environmental Affairs Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Monday that, according to a scientific investigation into climatic changes in South Africa, rainfall would decrease dramatically in the next 10 to 15 years.

Speaking at the Western Cape conference on sustainable development, he said higher rainfall regions would become like the Karoo.

"The present good rainy season is probably a highlight in a dry rainfall cycle."

From the west coast, South Africa will become a drier and even desert-like country.

"We will have to start looking at where our national parks should be, what type of crops we should plant and with what type of illnesses we will have to cope.

Van Schalkwyk said: "The investigation indicates that malaria could increase dramatically in provinces such as Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape."

Source: www.news24.com


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