Recent floods: call to address climate

2017-10-25 06:01

DESMOND D’Sa, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) co-ordinator has called for immediate action addressing climate change, saying climate change is real and “as municipal climate resilience fails us, we do not need climate denialist politicians or more carbon-intensive mal-development”.

“Over the past few days major South African cities and provinces including Durban, the South Coast, Johannesburg and other major population centres have suffered cyclones, heavy downpour - now being termed “rain bombs” - and storms which caused havoc and destruction unprecedented in South Africa.

“Environmentalists have for many years warned about mega infrastructure projects, unrestrained coal mining, increased development of petro-chemical industries, oil exploration offshore Durban and fracking shale gas proposals for the Karoo and KZN, and the unregulated expansion of Durban’s back of port facilities.

The replacement of container transport by rail (as was the case before the mid-1990s) with thousands of CO2-emitting trucks, made our roads ever more dangerous. Durban’s failure to ensure climate resilience has been displayed repeatedly over the years, but in spite of international recognition for climate sensitivity, our municipal bureaucracy has not retrofitted our city’s infrastructure, housing and emergency services.

“Massive flooding was made much worse due to lack of adequate drainage systems, and many died unnecessarily this week because our politicians have focused more on lining their own pockets or high-profile sporting and entertainment than serving the society’s needs,” D’Sa said.

He said we in South Durban are especially incensed that this week, utterly unmindful of climate change, President Jacob Zuma again endorsed support for Operation Phakisa (hurry up) plans to drill for oil and gas as well as to mine protected areas, in the so-called “Blue Economy” of our precious ocean.

“SDCEA will be redoubling their efforts against destructive climate change – especially where it is seen firsthand, in our neighbourhood’s destructive refineries, pipelines, offshore oil exploration, helter-skelter trucking expansion and port capacity increase.

“SDCEA will convene meetings with our allies across Durban and then insist that municipal politicians and officials finally take adaptation and resilience seriously.

“Another world is possible if the people unite and become active,” D’sa stressed.

- Supplied.

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