When scientists talk about climate change, it is sometimes difficult for regular folks to understand.

But when devastating floods accompany a brief downpour leaving in its wake flood waters ravaging homes and farms, the message tends to sink in.

Now, researchers and risk analysts are saying that Africa’s rapidly expanding cities face huge threats from climate change over the next 30 years, and this could bring knock-on effects such as higher crime rates and civil unrest.

On Wednesday, Thomson Reuters Foundation reports that 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.

Also Read: 5 Killed, 65 Houses Destroyed As Flood Ravages Gombe

That group contains 15 of the continent’s capital cities and many of its commercial hubs, including Nigeria’s most populous city Lagos, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 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.

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