This Friday, April 22, is UNESCO’s (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) 52nd annual Earth Day celebration with this year’s theme being “Invest In Our Planet.”
“Earth Day 2022 is focused on accelerating solutions to combat our greatest threat, climate change, and to activate everyone – governments, citizens and businesses – to do their part,” states the website EARTHDAY.ORG, the global organizer of Earth Day.
At Bread and Water for Africa®, while we are humanitarian non-governmental organization and there are limits to what we can do to fight climate change in general, we can – and do – work with our partners adapt to the rapidly changing climate in sub-Saharan Africa ranging from severe droughts lasting not just months, but years, and devastating floods which are occurring with much more frequent regularity.
In October 2021, The Brookings Institution reported that the World Bank Group issued a report focusing on climate change adaption and its impact on sub-Saharan Africa noting that while the Earth’s mean surface temperature continues to rise, Africa’s has risen at an even faster pace and 2020 was the fourth-warmest year for the African continent since 1910.
“The rises in temperature and changes in rainfall patterns have led to the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events across the continent,” the report states. “In fact, natural disasters (including drought) have increased at a much faster pace than the rest of the world.”
Compared to the period 1970-79, the frequency of droughts in sub-Saharan Africa nearly tripled by 2010-19 and has more than quadrupled for storms, and it has increased more than tenfold in the case of floods.
At Bread and Water for Africa®, thanks to our supporters from across the country, we have been able to help mitigate the impact of severe, long-term drought in countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe in recent years.
For example, a few years ago when the pastoral people of the Afar region of Ethiopia were experiencing a years-long devasting drought we did what we could to alleviate their misery and suffering by shipping emergency food drought aid to one of our partners in the country for distribution.
“For about five months now, we have been sleeping on the floor at this training centre in Eroebti. We fear that our children are at risk from the cold and diseases,” Zahara Abdu, a mother of six from Kode, told our partner there. “I came here because we had had no rain for almost three years; our livestock died, we had no food, no milk, nothing.”
Elsewhere in recent years, we have provided relief to victims of cyclones, flooding and droughts caused by climate change, and thanks to our supporters, we will be there again when sadly, the need arises again.