A new study has warned that Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa will likely face increased heatwaves, droughts and severe flooding over the next 67 years.
According to the study, these changes will pose risks to public health and infrastructure. They will also be felt most acutely by the city’s most vulnerable residents: those living in informal settlements.
Addis Ababa is said to be one of Africa’s fastest-growing cities with its current metropolitan population of about 5.4 million projected to reach close to 9 million by 2035. This increase in the city’s population will be absorbed by informal settlements, which is the prime destination for most migrants.
To investigate the city’s vulnerability to climate change, Researchers at Tufts University and the Woodwell Climate Research Center analysed flood risk and temperature data for different time periods, projecting from the past to the future.
They predicted that the city’s extreme daily maximum temperatures would increase by about 1.7°C over the period 2040-2060, compared with 2000–2020 and that an increase of 1.7°C would result in a rise in the frequency, duration, and intensity of heatwaves.
In addition, they found that higher temperatures contribute to increased water vapour and transpiration. This will threaten health, ecosystems, infrastructure, livelihoods, and food supplies.
Available reports show that certain southern neighbourhoods, such as Akaki-Kaliti, Bole and Nifas Silk-Lafto, have alsready experienced notably higher temperatures, especially during the warm season from March to May.
“Looking to the future, temperature projections for Nifas Silk-Lafto suggest an average temperature increase to 26.21°C between 2040 and 2060, and further increase to 27.78°C from 2070 to 2090 and 27.78°C from 2070 to 2090,”the study found.
Story was adapted from the Conversation.