Friday, May 25, 2007

The woes of Kilimanjaro

The fabled glaciers on Tanzania's majestic mountain will soon be gone. Its forests are disappearing, too. For local farmers, this could mean disaster. For the rest of us, it's another permanent loss on an overheating planet.

Here is an insightful news item about the impact of global warming on Kilimanjaro and surrounding districts.

Mt Kilimanjaro is famous for the beauty of its glaciers and snowy cap which is especially remarkable as the mountain is right at the equator.

The article says,

Within the next 15 years, the glaciers atop Kilimanjaro are expected to disappear completely, and with them, some climate experts and government officials fear, a crucial portion of the region's water supply. Over 1 million people who inhabit the lower reaches of Kilimanjaro depend on this water for their crops, livestock and domestic purposes. Conflicts over water shortages have already broken out between water users on the mountain, and some villages have been nearly cut off by their upstream neighbors.

With declining precipitation levels driving glaciers toward extinction and threatening the area's forests, scientists, environmental organizations and even the Tanzanian government are turning their attention to a complex set of questions: How will water resources, and the humans who depend on them, respond if the ice and trees disappear? What will happen as the world's carbon levels continue to rise? For researchers and policymakers, the answers to these questions may be of academic interest or political concern, but for local people they are a matter of survival.

The School of St Jude is in the village of Moshono in Northern Tanzania, near Mt Kilimanjaro. The impact of climate change will affect the whole region.

Your contribution to quality education for bright children from poor families will help to give them a brighter future in these uncertain times.

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