Every year, and sometimes every season, we notice what is happening to the world, how global warming is changing the climate. Last year I wrote about the delayed Harmattan and this year, arriving in Ghana mid-September, I was surprised by the cool, rainy season-like, Julyish temperatures that were still around.
While the Western world and parts of the East adapt their lives to protect our environment, it seems in Africa we're still too busy talking about other issues: war, famine and corruption to name a few.
When are we too going to make the environment a priority? In our case, changes made for the environment are often beneficial to us in other ways too. Changing our toilets to the water-efficient Half-flush/Full-flush system means we can reduce our water use and as a result combat our severe water shortage. Switching to energy lightbulbs (which has already quite effectively been done), lightens the load of the Akosombo Dam, as does an increased use of solar panels for electricity.
During my stay in Sweden this year, my favourite program was the World's Greenest Homes, an inspiring Canadian program that saw the crew visit households across the globe that are using energy efficient means to run their homes. Ghana is a perfect candidate for adopting many of these energy efficient ideas, after all we have enough solar, wind and water energy to power most of our daily household appliances.
While Ghana is producing ethanol to provide Sweden with one third of its ethanol consumption, one must wonder, when will we produce for ourselves? When will we use more environmentally friendly means of transport to travel within the country, instead of flying from Accra to Kumasi or Tamale to Accra?
When, in a country where thanks to the humidity, my kitchen bin naturally turns its contents into compost after being left to stand for a week, will we sort and recycle our waste and use our compost to plant new trees instead of burning our rubbish in plastic bags at the roadside?
Let's pay it forward, to our children, their children and generations to come. Let's do what we can to prevent further climate changes in the future.