Africa’s rapidly expanding cities face huge threats from climate change over the next 30 years, which could bring knock-on effects such as higher crime rates and civil unrest, risk analysts said on Wednesday.
Researchers at UK-based Verisk Maplecroft found 84 of the world’s 100 fastest-growing cities are at “extreme risk” from the impacts of a warming planet, including 79 in Africa.
That group contains 15 of the continent’s capital cities and many of its commercial hubs, including Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria’s most populous city Lagos, Tanzanian business hub Dar es Salaam and Angola’s capital, Luanda.
The Verisk Maplecroft analysis combined its own annual index of vulnerability to climate change with U.N. projections on urban population growth to 2035. Fast-rising populations act as “a risk multiplier in lower-income cities with poor public infrastructure and inadequate disaster response mechanisms”, with more people putting strain on limited resources, the study said.