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article imageExpert: Asian cites must address climate challenges now

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By Samuel Okocha     Nov 30, 2011 in World
Governments in Asia need to develop integrated urban plans to mitigate the increasing risk from rising sea levels and severe droughts, a climate change experts said.
WooChong Um of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank told Reuters that issues that require urgent attention include water supply, flooding, transportation, and solid waste.
Addressing these issues would reduce the negative impact of climate change, WooChong Um of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank ADB told Reuters.
He said an improved drainage and sanitation systems combined with a solid waste management scheme that promotes efficient garbage collection and reduces the use of plastics would in the short term minimize the risk of destructive floods in Asian cities.
"There is clear evidence that the storms and typhoons are getting more intense and more frequent, Reuters quotes Um as saying."And it is happening not just in one place but everywhere, Ondoy, Thailand, and who knows where the next one will be," he said.
The climate change expert was referring to Typhoon Ketsana, which reportedly inundated around four-fifths of Manila in 2009. Nearly 750 people were killed in that Typhoon with $1 billion worth of infrastructure and private properties destroyed.
Um said the disasters should serve as a wake up call for all the countries to undertake the necessary actions to keep them prepared.
ADB's data reportedly show that environmental disasters in 2010 have left more than 30 million displaced in Asia and the Pacific.
The region, home to more than 4 billion people, accounted for 34 percent of recorded disasters, 90 percent of people affected, 32 percent of deaths and 33 percent of economic losses worldwide from natural disasters from 2005 to 2010, according to the report by Reuters.
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