Category Archives: Climate change and Sea level rise

Our Help is not from the West, North or South: Climate change Africa.

There’s a Swahili saying used in Africa that goes something like this ” Mtaka cha mvunguni sharti ainame”, translated as “if you need something under the bed you may need to bend!

The COP 22 conference in Marrakesh has just ended,  these meetings have become important and critical in the follow-up of climate adaptation and management techniques that government are pursuing. This is also done to keep at par with current research with regards to the climate systems of wich we are all part of. Marrakesh is a follow up on the COP 21 Paris conference Pre-deliberations where I presented my research on the rethinking of coastal city planning and design due to the threat of climate change. The global climate change phenomena have in the recent past been associated with several adverse impacts.

Trump propertyHowever, there are some of us who believe climate change is a fabrication to scare the general populace from enjoying the natural resources at their disposal.  What makes the world assume that the phenomena are a hoax,  is our inherent dependence on natural resources including coal and gas and the human effect that has been proven to cause adverse environmental consequences. Of course some of the top politicians who deny its existence include the newly elected President of the United States, whose own properties next to a beautiful coastline are being admired by the advancing oceans and in some areas those properties will be flooded up to 210 days in a year, in the next 30 years.


Such beautiful real estate pieces are a real deal anywhere in the world as the general populace struggles to own a part of the beach or a coastline. However, all over the world, researchers are of the opinion that climate change and coastal cities are a real worry that individual investors and the related governments especially the developing worlds need to protect this resources from the advancing oceans.  What would be the need of having an exclusive beautiful coastal home that your son who is eight may not enjoy it from the age of thirty years and above?

Coming back to East Africa, my home a beautiful home, coastal areas of Mombasa, Lamu and Zanzibar are a real attraction with definite architecture and beautiful natural environment to see. Watamu Mombasa Malindi and Lamu are the holiday destinations in Kenya with current Kenyans owning properties and investments in theses areas before I proceeded further the threat of advancing oceans is a real one in the range of 50% to 56% of properties in these regions being hurt. But again who then should be working towards reducing the threat.

Moon Captured at Watamu in Kenya.

As earlier alluded in my posts climate change and global carbon dioxide emissions is an issue that traverses across states and countries and a coalesced approach towards the reduction of emission’s  is actually the best way forward, but how do you do that when the global polluters are not willing to pull all their forces together. We have always sung and compelled to remind ourselves as Africa, that our sustainability and the ability to protect our populace will largely depend on us.  Sound initiatives meant for the management of our resources are a real leap in the right direction. These actions include but not limited to the prudent management of our carbon sinks which include forests and peat/swamp lands, and the need to combine development and resource management consciousness.  As earlier mentioned, they will go a long way in securing the future of our disadvantaged economies, our help, unfortunately, will not come from the West, North or South.

The need to be prudent in the management of resources is important in cushioning the climate change impacts around Africa, in many areas especially food security, property protection from flash flooding and protection of coastal regions. Waiting for other countries to keep their part of the deal in climate protection may not be forthcoming bearing in mind that some of the sceptics are some of the leaders of countries that are the greatest polluters.

Therefore, as we plan to develop our nations and improve infrastructure, provide more excellent and reliable energy sources, create up to date transport systems- a good example being SGR and LAPPSET in Kenya. It’s imperative that the natural systems that balance out our human systems, cities and food production and security need to be protected or at least effectively managed. Otherwise, we risk losing some of the systems that support African economies, examples being agriculture, forestry and tourism.




Lamu archipelago, disaster in waiting!

SLR Inundation vulnerable areas
SLR Inundation vulnerable areas

lamu archipelago is free from climate-related disturbances especially climate related changes. Or is it, having a discussion with the local communities, they have different experiences. General climatic and seasonal changes are being seen. Some species of fish have completely disappeared from the waters and they can’t seem to be found at all. One community member stated that the ocean changes are evident, with the ocean waters either encroaching or receding from the available human space, however in some ome areas at the archipelago island especially the Pate island have actually been submerged and land beacons are under the ocean waters!. the communities and the owners actually lay claim of the area covered by the advancing ocean, as their own. Meanwhile, the ocean is comfortably covering the beacons, its a site to behold.  I went at lengths to use the available software in GIS especially global mapper and Arc GIS to run an analysis on the areas under threat from the receding or advancing oceans. The map is shown on the left.

Continue reading Lamu archipelago, disaster in waiting!

Melting Antarctica! What this means

I will begin with an over idea, the Antarctica and the Greenland ice is melting faster than we can imagine. The Antarctica holds icy waters and of course nature creation and the bib bang theory, whichever you ascribe to made sure the continent was covered with ice. However according to scientists and environmentalists these ice sheets are melting. Many people have chosen to believe the idea while others generally known as climate deniers have vehemently denied it. Continue reading Melting Antarctica! What this means

Sea Level Rise Mombasa and Lamu

Ochanda Valentine
Communicating Science
23rd April 2015

Sea level rise Mombasa and Lamu Global SLR refers to increased changes on the volume of sea water mainly due to volume increase in the oceans as a result of changes in ocean circulation patterns mainly due to increased temperatures, and resultant thermal expansion of sea waters. Other studies define this relationship of landward intrusion and floods by sea water as a consequence of increasing levels of water in ocean channels. Local SLR is mainly the difference of vertical land motion and the vertical motion of the sea surface.

The steady and slow rise in global sea levels along the coastal tidal range/zones, has been associated not only with the permanent inundation of coastal islands, but also with ecological/environmental and socio-economic consequences. other effects include increased flooding events associated with changes in patterns of tropical storms,  hurricanes, typhoons and tsunamis leading to losses in major coastal cities.These storms mostly break seawalls, leading to flood waters over topping levees, and storm surges that wash and breach barriers and increase cost implications for these regions. The magnitude of sea level changes and their impacts vary from coast to coast depending on the geographical characteristics, topography of the coastal strip as well as natural and anthropogenic activities within the shoreline which include hard engineering infrastructure and services along the coasts and deltas.

Continue reading Sea Level Rise Mombasa and Lamu