Ensuring the drought in East Africa is not forgotten

February 1st, 2012

I have just returned from 9 days travelling with Grace Mukasa, Director of our East Africa Regional office, to meetings in London, Brussels and Bonn, to ensure that politicians and policy makers are fully aware of the link between changing climate, high greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries, and the dire situation of millions of people, whose livelihoods depend on water and pasture for their livestock.

We had a very lively discussion at an event in the house of Commons on Tuesday, and supportive meetings with MPs Anne Maguire and Martin Horwood. On Wednesday last we held an event with our partners Climate Action Europe, in the European Parliament in Brussels, where a number of MEPs and their staff attended – people who rarely get the chance to hear directly about what is happening on the ground. Later, we had an encouraging meeting from the Director General of the Secretariat for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific, Dr Chambas.

Grace speaks at the House of Commons

In Bonn we had a fruitful discussion with the German Ministry for Development Cooperation, and a couple of radio interviews with Deutsche Welle. On Monday and Tuesday we attended the third Bonn Development Policy Conference, where the focus was sustainable consumption to ensure sustainable development. Grace spoke in a workshop about education for sustainable development, giving her views on what education should focus on in Africa, to help people adapt to a future with climate change.

It has been great to find so many people interested in our work, and the East African situation, and we have many leads to follow up for future partnerships.

2 responses to “Ensuring the drought in East Africa is not forgotten”

  1. Emmanuel Says:

    Rachel,your article is strongly reflecting the existing situation of livestock keepers whose entire livelihood depend on livestock but climate change is major challenge to them.Would you please give the detail of what you had discuss during you official meeting with various development like minded you met related to climate change and consequences? i think you have something that could attract fertile learning environment as an outcome of the meeting you attended.

  2. Rachel Berger Says:

    Dear Emanuel

    Thanks for your comment. In our meetings, there was interest in our message, that more support needs to be given for people affected by repeated droughts, particularly for helping people be prepared for disasters. With different officials, we discussed slightly different issues, depending on what their department or ministry could take action on. We did not get any firm promises of action – advocacy work does not have quick results – but we have, I believe, raised awareness of the issues.

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