THE REPUBLIC OF Zambia lies in the interior of southern Africa and shares its borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Zimbabwe, and five other countries. From 1924, the country was known as Northern Rhodesia and was administered as a British protectorate by the United Kingdom. It achieved independence in 1964 and was renamed the Republic of Zambia for the Zambezi River.

Zambia is a landlocked country with a tropical climate. Most of the country consists of flat plateau with altitudes of 3,281-4,921 ft. (1,000-1,500 m.), which contributes to a milder climate. Average maximum temperatures during the hot, rainy season (November to March) range from 79-95 degrees F (26-35 degrees C); the cooler, dry season (April to August) brings high temperatures of 77-82 degrees F (25-28 degrees C). Annual rainfall ranges from 750 mm. in the south to more than 1,300 mm. in the north.

Rising temperatures and erratic rainfall are the primary symptoms of climate change. The most significant risks of climate change include water scarcity, reduced agricultural productivity, spread of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, risk of forest fires, reduced fish and wildlife stocks, and increased flooding and droughts. Farmers, rural households, and communities that depend on natural resources for their livelihoods are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The government has embarked on a National Adaptation Programme for Action, with support from the United Nations Development Programme.

With declining per capita food production, food security is already a grave concern. Food-insecure people requiring humanitarian assistance number roughly one million. Food security may be further threatened by the effects of climate change, especially declining rainfall, and is exacerbated by the existing challenges of chronic poverty, HIV/AIDS, and an ineffective food distribution system. Northern Zambia is prone to flooding, whereas the south is increasingly dry.

Maize is an extremely important crop—the corn-meal-based nshima is served with nearly every meal— but maize is highly vulnerable to drought. Shorter rainy seasons, later start of rains, and declining rainfall are associated with reduced productivity of maize and other crops. Some farmers have switched to earlier-maturing, drought-resistant crops such as sweet potatoes as an adaptation strategy, but many are reluctant to pass up government maize subsidies and the steady demand for cornmeal.

Deforestation is a continuing problem, and the clearing of forests for agriculture, construction, and

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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