Climate change threats like heat, drought, and floods are becoming more prevalent in Addis Ababa, a research says.
Over the next 67 years, Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, is anticipated to experience more heatwaves, droughts, and significant flooding. Risks to infrastructure and public health will result from these developments. The most vulnerable citizens of the city, those who reside in informal settlements, will likewise feel them most keenly.
Addis Ababa is one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa, and by 2035, it is expected that the current metropolitan population of over 5.4 million will have increased to almost 9 million.
The informal settlements, which are where the majority of migrants settle, will take in this rise in the city’s population. Additionally, informal settlements have weak or nonexistent infrastructure and must contend with both the effects of worsening climate change and inadequate urban environmental regulation.
Researchers at Tufts University and the Wood well Climate Research Centre studied flood risk and temperature data for several time periods, projecting from the past to the future, to examine the city’s susceptibility to climate change.
In comparison to the years 2000–2020, we projected that the severe daily maximum temperatures in the city would rise by around 1.7°C by 2040–2060. Heatwave frequency, duration, and severity would all increase with a 1.7°C rise. Furthermore, greater temperatures encourage more water vapour and perspiration. Health, environment, infrastructure, way of life, and food supply will all be at risk.
Particularly during the warm season from March to May, some southern neighborhoods, such Akaki-Kaliti, Bole, and Nifas Silk-Lafto, have seen noticeably higher temperatures. Future temperature predictions at Nifas Silk-Lafto include an average temperature increase to 26.21°C between 2040 and 2060, followed by an additional increase to 27.78°C between 2070 and 2090.
It is anticipated that temperatures would rise by 1.8°C in March, April, and May. This means that, in comparison to recent data, the peak temperature for the hottest day of the year will rise by an average of 1.8°C. The Nifas Silk-Lafto sub-city had an average temperature of 24.70°C between 2000 and 2020.
Temperature increases of this size will have a negative impact on public health, putting vulnerable populations like the elderly, children, and women at a higher risk of malaria.
Addis Ababa has experienced extreme drought every year for an average of three months during the past two decades. Our analysis indicates that extreme drought events would occur more frequently between 2040 and 2060 using the Palmer Drought Severity Index to evaluate temperature and precipitation data in a particular region. Extreme drought is anticipated to last 1.6 more months in the city per year, up 53% from 2000 to 2020.
Water insecurity is escalating as a result of the city’s expanding population and increasing frequency of droughts. Emergency groundwater supplies for drought situations are already running low.
Health, hydroelectric energy production, and urban agriculture will all be impacted by these droughts.
Flooding results from excessive rainfall, especially if it happens quickly in an urban location. Addis Abeba faces a serious environmental risk from flooding, especially given that the city has grown up around three main rivers.
By influencing river flow and groundwater replenishment, climate change will exacerbate problems with water.
Currently, 67% of Addis residents reside in flood-prone zones. The area of the city with the highest concentration of impermeable surfaces, such as tarmac and concrete, is central Addis. Due to the inability of the ground to absorb water, this increase the risk of flooding.
The southern half of the city, where the slope is relatively flatter and water doesn’t flow away, and the Nifas Silk-Lafto district, where significant construction has taken place in the floodplain, are other areas of the city that are at risk.
A number of reasons will make flooding a difficulty. The city has weak drainage systems that are frequently clogged by solid waste, as well as an inadequate sewerage infrastructure. Addis Ababa faces
Residents of the city will see significant effects.
Health is only one illustration.
Our findings indicate that the city’s typical temperatures will make year-round malaria transmission a problem. To manage the risk, ongoing policy measures will be required.
The effects of climate change on health are particularly dangerous for pregnant women and older persons. Due to pre-existing medical issues, limited mobility, and weakened immune systems, the elderly are more susceptible to heat and pollution. Thermal changes and mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and Zika pose dangers to expectant mothers
Increased flooding will be a concern for many city dwellers. Existence and infrastructure are at risk because 10% of the city’s newly constructed regions are already located inside a 100-year floodplain.
People who live in informal settlements, which makes up around 70% of Addis Abeba’s population, are particularly at risk. These towns spring up in sparse, undeveloped areas, such riverbanks. They are more likely to be affected by flooding, and the likelihood is increasing. Addis Ababa faces
According to our research, there is now a 0.6% difference in vulnerability between official and informal settlements. The chart shows how much flooding would have an impact on both official and informal settlements’ buildings. By 2050, it is anticipated to reach 1.3%, and by 2080, 1.6%.
Policies that can meet these issues are urgently needed. We advise:
- A climate adaptation and resilience office should be established by the government to include climate resilience into urban development.
- Then, a third party should evaluate how well policies are implemented.
- a water management plan to provide fair access and responsible water us
- Green infrastructure should be a priority for the city.
- improving trash management and infrastructure
- initiatives to educate the public and students about the effects of climate change
- establishing procedures for efficient cooperation between international organisations, non-governmental groups, and government ministries.