by Elisa Stel 5B
Climate change is a very impartial subject: even if only a few of all the countries emit enough to have a serious impact on Earth’s climate, all of the countries have to deal with the consequences of it. This said, there are some countries which are more vulnerable and unready than others: one of the best examples is Burundi.
Located in the geographical heart of Africa, Burundi is undoubtedly a poor country. 97% of its economy is agricultural-based and corruption is common between functionaries. Its active impact regarding climate change is minimal. For this reason, the country cannot mitigate the emissions. The only solution possible is adaptation, but the country is so poor that it has no means to fight the changes that it is forced to deal with. According to the UN, Burundi is currently rated the 3rd most vulnerable and the 168th for readiness to adapt, and 61% of the households in the country are at risk of food insecurity, also caused by the extension of the dry season and the rise of temperatures.
One of the other consequences is the intensification of rainfall and floods during the wet season, which has increased the vegetation density, leading to the propagation of pools for mosquitos, with a consequent rise in malaria cases. This has occurred, according to the World Health Organisation, since the 1970s, and has caused possibly more than 140,000 deaths. Globally, weather-related natural disasters result in over 60,000 deaths every year, mainly in developing countries.
Between the 1990s and 2017, Burundi participated in all the conferences about climate change the country has been invited to, and signed many agreements and conventions, but its role is mostly passive: the country has no power on the emissions other countries make, and at the same time it doesn’t have the financial power to deal with the effects they cause.
Climate change is an impartial problem, but proposed climate change solutions are not, mostly permitting richer countries to emit too much and not dealing enough with the problems poor countries have to face.
- Reliefweb, “Climate Change Profile: Burundi”, by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, April 2018;
- CIA, “THE WORLD FACTBOOK: Burundi”, 12 january 2022;
- GFDRR, “Burundi”;
- BBC News, “Climate change: Hungry nations add the least to global CO2″, 6 August 2019;
- Healthy DEvelopment, Advocating for climate change adaptation in Burundi”;
- The Guardian, “Burundi malaria outbreak at epidemic levels as half of the population infected”, by Peter Beaumont, 8 August 2019;
- Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment, “Climate change profile: Burundi”, July 2015;
- Climate Action Network Canada, “Social Impacts”.