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The adverse impacts of climate change are already having their toll on the livelihoods of people in almost all sectors of the economy in the region. Severe droughts and perennial floods are occurring with greater frequency in the region. Food insecurity, declined hydropower generation potential, increased incidence of water and vector borne disease, and water stress and scarcity are some of the consequences associated with the scenario of a changing climate in the region. The continued global warming will further aggravate the situation leading to increased vulnerability of economies, fragile ecosystems, communities and social groups such as women, children, youth, the elderly, physically challenged and People Living with HIV/AIDs (PLWHA) who are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Almost all sectors of the economy including: agriculture, water, energy, health, infrastructure and forestry will be affected thus inhibit the attainment of national and regional development goals including the global MDGs. In this context, devising strategic measure to enhance climate change adaptation and mitigation capacity while exploring available opportunities for economic development is critical for the EAC region.
Furthermore, the impacts of climate change are not evenly distributed geographically across the world. Africa has been highlighted as the most vulnerable continent to climate change. This is because the economies of most developing countries in African including the EAC Partner States are generally dependent on climate-sensitive natural resources, widespread poverty coupled with low adaptive capacity.