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How many Africans could be affected by rising sea levels?

The UN is concerned about the rise of the world's oceans. In Africa, 117 million people could suffer the consequences by 2030.

Rising sea levels, particularly due to global warming, “is not only a threat in itself. It's a threat multiplier. The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, sounded the alarm on Tuesday. The international official believes that the rise in sea level will have consequences for small island states threatened with extinction, but not only. According to him, access to water, food and health care will be made more difficult. One in ten people in the world will be a victim, in one way or another, of this phenomenon.

In Africa, several regions could have to suffer the consequences of the rising waters. A study by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, published late last year, states that "rising sea levels threaten dozens of Africa's booming coastal metropolises, leading to shrinking land area , coastal flooding, stronger storm surges and the need for better mitigation”.

North and West Africa, first victims?

In other words, Africa must take up two challenges at the same time: on the one hand, the risk of sea level rise – which began 2030 years ago but is getting worse; on the other, the demographic aspect with the continuous increase in the populations of the coastal towns. By 0,3, according to various studies, sea levels should rise by 117 metres. One meter by the end of the century. "Which would affect XNUMX million Africans" in the short term, according to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

The latter takes the examples of Egypt and Nigeria, both of which have high-density metropolises near the coast. "In Egypt, a sea level rise of 0,5 to 1 meter would cause the coastline to shift several kilometers inland, submerging much of the Nile Delta."

In the longer term, other countries could be affected. A study by 20 climate change experts indicates that, if nothing is done to curb greenhouse gas emissions, seven major African cities could be covered by the waves before 2100. Besides Alexandria in Egypt, experts imagine such as Lomé in Togo or Cape Town in South Africa could be affected. North Africa is particularly prone to suffer from rising waters: Tangier, Annaba or even Djerba could no longer be the same in a few decades.

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