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July and August saw flooding across Africa in countries just south of the Sahara desert, as well as in Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique. South Africa, which is experiencing the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, has seen flooding, too — along with FREAK snowfalls heavy enough to close the border between South Africa and Lesotho for a time. Half a million Africans are affected. Some have lost their food stocks or seeds for the next crop cycle. Others have seen their houses, made from dried-mud bricks, dissolve in the heavy rain. Normally, in the rainy season, the bricks melt a bit but people can repair them when the sun comes out. Not this year in many places in the Sahel, a normally semi-desert area just south of the Sahara that stretches from Senegal to Sudan. Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad also had major problems with flooding. The water didn’t relieve their droughts since it came in torrents that couldn’t be absorbed by the soil. In Sudan, the floods that began in early July and are predicted to last until mid-September. As many as 1 million Sudanese could lose their houses and possessions and require food aid as well as water. The northern part of Nigeria, Africa’s largest country, is also in the Sahel and suffered from drought before this year’s flooding.
Adapting to the damaging effects of climate change, plants are gradually moving to where temperatures are cooler, rainfall is greater, f...