Catfish, Sardines declining due to climate change

Martin Endjala

The catfish species is fast becoming extinct because of global warming, despite government’s interventions.

This is according to Marine Scientist Ben van Zyl, who also added that Sardines are becoming lesser and lesser per day, given abnormalities in sea temperature as well as human behavior. He has since called on serious interventions by government and marine biologist bodies to ensure that these species do not become extinct.

According to van Zyl, the eruption of sulphur in the sea is also one of the issues affecting some sea organisms and causing them to wash up and drift ashore, as a result of a lack of oxygen.

Goncalo Leitao, a European Union Representative Expert on Green Hydrogen and Climate Change during a media workshop spearheaded by the Namibia Media Professionals Union (NAMPU) called on various stakeholders in Namibia to intensify public awareness campaigns and reporting.

According to him, climate change is underreported in the country, hence the public’s lack of commitment to being ambassadors of climate change within their communities.

The workshop was aimed at educating and training Journalists on how to report climate change issues. It was held in Windhoek earlier this week.

Leitao emphasized that Namibia is in a good position with its much anticipated green hydrogen to move a step further in fighting climate change by going green with the said game changer project, of which the EU is also supporting Namibia to attain.

However, he stated that due to high levels in temperature, seawater level has risen leading to discrepancy of living organisms in the sea as well as high evaporation which leaves the surface to dry up very quickly.

“If you visit the Northern areas which recorded flash floods last month, you will be amazed at how the water has evaporated so quick and this is due to climate change,” he stressed.

The EU Representative Expert, highlighted that plans are already underway to put up green hydrogen in Darius in the Southern part of Namibia, a sight he foresees is suitable for such a project. He says Namibia should make use of its natural energy suppliers such as the Sun, Wind and Water.

According to Leitao, countries have committed to a net zero emission by 2050, adding that renewable energy is the way to go. He said that despite the continuous pledge by countries, it is still not enough to reduce emissions,.“If we cannot stop it, we need to adapt”, Leitao said.Namibia envisages to reach 91 percent of its carbon footprint by 2030, with its evaporation rate said to be at about 55 percent which is very high according to David Jarrett Group Executive Operations of RDJ Publishing Group of Companies.

Jarrett has called on all industry players to come on board and lay their part, while cautioning those reporting on climate change to be careful not to misconstrued reporting and advocating.

He explained that since only a few people are aware of the climate change language and terms often used, it is high time that when reporting on climate change, every technical term is briefly explained to the level of the public in order create more interests.

Meanwhile, Sio Shifa a Natural Scientist at the Ministry of Environment Forestry and Tourism stressed the importance of Namibia ensuring that it fulfills its agreements made at the international climate change summits and conferences like the Paris agreement amongst others.

Shifa stressed that more needs to be done in terms of reporting and creating awareness, and that it is high time they made climate change more appealing, via kiddy’s programs, games, promotions and competitions.

Moreover, he says that there is a need to put in place technical tools to counter climate change to avoid being caught off guard.

The flow rate of aquifers is currently at 30-70 percent, and in perennial rivers continues to reduce, now standing at about four percent.

Rainfall range is estimated to be in and about 250mm-700mm and this climate vulnerability Shifa said needs to be studied and compiled and submitted them to the climate change body such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Nationally Determined Training (NDT) to acquire more financial support in tackling climate change issues in the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture Water, Land Reform Spokesperson Jona Musheko reiterated that the ministry is on constant alert to counter any climate change crisis in the country, such as flood water, outbreak of brown locust amongst others.

He says through its collaboration with the MEFT and the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia, the Ministry has earmarked pilot projects such as drilling of boreholes of underground water, desalination plants and green schemes across the country, as well as water harvesting (flood water for future use) projects to improve retention period as well as treatment water implementation technology.

Meanwhile, Public Service Union (PSUN) Secretary General Mathews Haakuria warned reporters against climate change being politicized, cautioning that it should not be politicized but factually reported, and not be reported based on favoring a certain country’s interests.

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