Why on earth did I agree to do this? Surely I must be old enough to know better! These were the thoughts running through my mind on Thursday, as I stood outside a London tube station clad in wetsuit, mask and snorkel engaging with bemused members of the public. Why, you may well ask?
Many areas of London near the Thames are likely to be underwater by 2100. A small group from Practical Action were handing out tube maps showing what London might look like then – hence the scuba gear.
Londoners fortunately have time to prepare for this but for the people of Bangladesh the crisis is already unfolding. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world and already half of the country can be inundated during the floods.
At an event in County Hall tonight Nazmul Chowdhury will be talking about his work with some of the poorest people in Bangladesh. Nazmul supervised Practical Action projects with communities who face frequent flooding. We are building flood proof housing, embankments and refuges as well as providing training for alternative livelihoods for flooded areas such as fish and duck rearing. Floating gardens and pumpkin growing are two of our proven technologies which help people to adapt to the changing climate.
But much, much more needs to be done. Millions of people facing the effects of climate change in Bangladesh should have a chance of adapting to a future of more severe flooding. Currently, less than 10% of climate finance is spent on adaptation – we want this to increase to 50% - join our campaign on Twitter to apply pressure.