On Monday 5th July, Nicola Sansom of Oxfam gave a brief and informative talk about the impacts of climate change on Uganda, in East Africa.
Uganda’s 30 million people are already feeling the pinch. Those in the south, subsistence farmers for the most part, are finding the rains, which used to be very regular (March to May and October November) are becoming less reliable. That unreliability is increasing the frequency of flooding and drought, increasing the risk of landslides. Malaria is spreading (something Ms Sansom was able to speak of with personal experience!), and deforestation increasing.
People are adapting and learning new techniques however. “Contour ditches” are preventing fertile topsoil being washed away, and energy efficient stoves are helping save time and energy and reduce smokiness inside houses. (People in countries like Uganda have miniscule carbon footprints, so really have no ethical obligation to reduce their emissions).
So, not all bad news. The take home messages, for MCFly, were just how important it is for us in the West to properly ‘mitigate’ (that is, reduce) our carbon emissions and also how we should be providing practical support for the people suffering from the consequences of our actions. Oxfam is one of the outfits doing that.
P.S. Oxfam are also re-starting their rather good training sessions on topics like social media for activism, how to lobby etc!! More details as they come to hand.