Global greenhouse warming: Rwanda
Parts of Rwanda have been hit by persistent drought over the last few years, rainfall patterns have been erratic with the result that, again, farmers are confused as to when to plant and harvest. Musoni Didace, director of the country’s meteorological service says climate change is “clearly visible” from the rise in minimum temperatures in the last 30 years of up to two degrees. Indeed 2005, was the hottest year for many years in Rwanda. Temperatures in the capital, Kigali, soared to 35 °C. Higher temperatures also mean the spread of diseases such as malaria, already the principal cause of morbidity and mortality in every province.Paul Farmer’s Graph of the Year: Rwanda’s plummeting child mortality rate
The interaction between diseases is also of concern: someone with malaria, for example, will be more prone to catching HIV, and vice versa. Malnutrition also means diseases spread more rapidly. It is a vicious circle. And diseases thought to have died out, like cholera, are reappearing. New cholera cases were recorded for the first time in Kigali in 2006 and in the north-east in 2007.
The country’s child mortality rate—once the world’s highest—has fallen at a pace of 11.1% per year, and is now in line with the global average.