Climate Crisis. The New Reality.


June 10th, 2019

Beating drought with ingenuity, Turkana.

Climate change is leading to increasingly frequent and more severe hazards and disasters. It’s something that is effecting us all but varies in severity. A recent article from the Guardian reported that Fairbourne in north Wales will become the first community in the UK to be decommissioned as a result of climate change. Whereas in Mozambique, Malawi and India, 3 cyclones of different scales have left millions homeless. From these different disasters caused by climate change people lose everything; their homes, livelihoods and even lives.

But poor people are the most vulnerable and hardest hit.

In Turkana, Kenya, devastating droughts are becoming ever more frequent. It’s down to climate change. Rivers have dried up and there’s not enough clean water. This has a disastrous impact on lives and livelihoods of 77,000 people.

             Farmer herding camels, Turkana

Most of the families in Turkana earn their money from livestock. Without water, their cattle don’t survive the droughts and families lose their only source of income. Because of this, many men have been forced to leave their homes and families to graze their animals in better pastures. Meanwhile, women and children have to spend most of their time and all their effort trying to collect water. They have to walk for miles, in extreme heat, to reach the nearest water point. A journey that can take the entire day.

Practical Action puts ingenious ideas to work so people in poverty can change their world. We help people find solutions to the new disastrous climate reality – so that they can thrive and flourish despite the effects of climate change.

            Nogoroko from the village Lomokori

Earlier this year, we visited Turkana to understand how difficult it is for people to live with the devastating effects of droughts. During our visit, we met Ngoroko. She is in her 50’s and lives in Lomokori. Because of droughts, Ngoroko has to spend most of her time collecting water. She says: “I wake up in the morning and there is no water. I go to look for water. That is how every day starts.”

Fortunately, there is a solution. People like Ngoroko can beat drought. Because deep underground there’s enough water for everyone – it just takes a bit of ingenuity to reach it.

A unique combination of solar-powered water pumps, water resource management and health training can help communities access clean water and use it to bring about long-term change. This ingenious combination is already changing lives in the parched region. We visited Nangorichoto and saw first-hand how families are flourishing despite the droughts. Theresa, a 40 year-old woman from the village described how access to clean water has changed her life:

                   Theresa sat with her children

“I used to be away for the whole day collecting water from the river. I took the older children with me and left the younger ones behind. When I got back, the younger children were thirsty. I was tired from walking so far carrying the water.

“Now there’s no problem. I have water whenever I need it. I’m clean and my children are clean. A nursery school is being built nearby and I’d like my grandchildren to be able to go to it.”

People in Nangorichoto now have brighter, healthier and more rewarding lives. Women don’t have to spend all their time collecting water and can instead dedicate their time on running their own businesses, earning their own money. Children will be able to go to school and families are able to lead healthier and more productive lives.

This ingenious combination has helped Theresa’s family overcome the fear of the never ending drought.

With your support, we can help even more people adapt and flourish in the new disastrous climate reality.

To find out more, click here.

                                                                              Theresa’s sister showing her clean plates

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