Joseph Kabiru writes:
Victoria Falls is under threat from climate change [© Davor Lovincic/ istockphoto.com
One of the world’s greatest wonders – Victoria Falls in Zambia – will no longer exist in 50 years unless the impacts of climate change are reversed.
This was the grim warning the Chairman of the Zambia Climate Change Network, Mr Noah Nzimba, gave when the Caravan of Hope arrived in Livingstone on the seventh stop of a 10 country drive to Durban for the climate change conference.
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Less than half an hour after this warning, we had the opportunity not just to see for ourselves this great wonder of the world, but to experience first-hand the threat posed to this great African asset by climate change.
To first-time visitors, Victoria Falls is a sight to behold; and so it was to the Caravanites who thronged the place in the misty, damp evening. What brought the warning by Mr Nzimba into proper context was a picture of the great waterfalls taken last year by one of our coach drivers.
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Communities in Darfur are finding sustainable solutions to water shortages in camps for people who have been forced to flee from their homes.
The rainy season in South Darfur typically lasts five or six months of the year. For the remainder, the land is dry, arid and desolate. With the length of the rainy season becoming increasingly unpredictable in Darfur, water has become a precious commodity.
While the climate change debate is on the collective brows of our world leaders, innovative adaptive measures are being taken in Darfur to secure sustainable water sources amidst the continuing drought.
Osman, the Project Coordinator of a Water and Sanitation Team supported by CAFOD’s partner, Caritas said, “Kubum Solar Water Project was initiated by the growing need for sustainable sources of water in the camps for people who have been displaced. This is the first successful example of an aid agency using a solar powered solution for the benefit of the camp communities”.
If there is one thing which Darfur has in abundance, it’s sunlight. Using clean technologies to derive solar energy is proving to be an efficient way of creating sustainable water supplies for communities affected by the ongoing violence in Darfur. These projects offer a community-owned solution to the resource scarcity which fuels violence between different ethnic tribes.
We’ve been working a lot with a project run by the government to improve the community since 2000 – pushing for the river to be cleaned, streets paved, a cultural centre, regeneration of the area.
The community centre brings people together and encourages them to work together to improve things. We had a meeting to clean up the river when it flooded this year. You can see the river in the video clip, which was made to promote our work. It explains the problems we are having with the river and at the end of the clip you can see us going into the town hall to lobby the councillors.
When it rains people lose everything – televisions, furniture…
The council is responsible for this. They haven’t been doing their job as agreed. They have money to compensate the families, deepen the river and remove rubbish.
Money was donated by the World Bank eight years ago but little has happened since. It’s a big project to remove families living on the banks of the river. The money was agreed in 2000 but little has been done. The project was planned to be finished in 2000 and now it’s 2008 and it’s hardly started.
We’ve had meetings with the councillors to find out what’s going on. We want answers. What they have to do is not complicated but there have been constant delays.
The problem is that the people are not politicised. The community leaders are linked to political parties. The leader of the neighbourhood association is affiliated to the same party as the mayor. The town councillors are all linked to those in power, too.
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Posted by EdivaldoM
Filed under Brazil, CAFOD
Collecting rubbish for recycling
Everything we do here, every little change we have made comes from unity and spirituality. This helps us a lot in our lives because if you don’t believe in God, nothing happens. It’s like living an empty life.
I really believe things will continue to change for the better. Our work will bear fruit for the future – we will get better living conditions even without action from the government.
Filed under Brazil, CAFOD
Pedro plays with others from the eco-action group
I’ve been learning about the environment on the Growing towards Peace eco-action course. I really like working as part of a team. We make posters together to explain various issues in other schools and to people in the community.
We are doing our bit and are asking the community to do theirs.
The work of the eco-action project is important – to teach young people not to throw rubbish and help people find alternatives. You can watch a video clip of us in action, if you click here.
Filed under Brazil, CAFOD