I recently started working for an international development ngo called Practical Action which uses technology to help solve poverty. I’ll be honest, before I started working here I had little understanding of climate change and the effects that it is already having on our world. I thought that climate change was something that we should be worried about, but not for a long, long time.
How wrong could I have been. Since joining the charity, I have seen examples of how climate change is already effecting countries like Bangladesh which is now 11% under water and Kenya which is suffering from a 10 year drought. For me, the worst part is that it’s our fault. People in rich countries like the UK and the USA have caused this problem through industrialisation and yet it is the poor countries who haven’t industrialised to anywhere near the same level who are suffering the effects. It’s really quite wrong!
That’s why I’m really pleased that organisations like Practical Action are working to help communities adapt to climate change. We do some great work in Africa, Asia and North America by introducing new technologies and working with poor communities to find sustainable solutions.
In Bangladesh we have encouraged people to use floating gardens so that when floods come, their crops aren’t washed away. In Nepal we have introduced early warning sytems so that if severe weather is coming people can escape with everything they need, and in Zimbabwe and Sudan we are building water saving dams to keep what little water there is from flowing away. There are many more exciting projects which we are working on, and we are making a real difference in many countries.
I am planning to make a difference too; walking instead of taking the car, getting rid of my sports car, buying a compost bin and recycling where possible. It may be small things but every little bit helps.