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Climate change impact to cost Zambia $13bn

DARLINGTON MWENDABAI, Chipata
CLIMATE change impact will cost Zambia about US$13.8 billion which is 0.4 percent of annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth if it is not mitigated early, it has been learnt.
Interim Climate Change Secretariat communication and administration manager Chama Nambeya said the negative effects of climate change were real.
Ms Nambeya said climate variability would also cost Zambia US$4.3 billion in loss in GDP over the next decade, reducing annual growth by 0.9 percent.
She said other challenges include climate variability and extreme rainfall while in the past 30 years floods and droughts were prominent.
She said this at a two-day climate change meeting in Chipata City recently.
Ms Nambeya said climate change effects were real and that they impacted on the economy of the country in many ways.
“For example, a Road Development Agency report showed that during the 2007/2008 rainy season, bridges and culverts and other road-related infrastructure were destroyed by floods and Government needed K43.7 billion for emergency repairs,” she said.
Ms Chama said the adverse impact was also felt by small-scale farmers who heavily relied on rain-fed agriculture with 300,000 more Zambians remaining below the poverty line.
She said over US$ 50 billion is required for both mitigation and adaptation to climate change effects.
Ms Nambeya said the impact of climate change was long-term and required long-term interventions to avoid food insecurity, slow economic growth, poor sanitation and human health and destruction of natural resources and infrastructure.
Ms Chama said Government has established the Climate Change Secretariat which will tackle issues of climate change in the country.

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