Climate change has been a hot topic since the turn of the millennium. When I think of climate change and global warming a vision of sad polar bears and penguins deprived of their beloved ice sheets comes to mind. However climate change is much more sinister than this and we at KCK have seen it first hand. Although I feel we have a duty to our planet’s animals and wildlife the much more pressing issue is that of our planet’s people. When we in the West, burn our fossil fuels to keep ourselves comfortable and spend our days wasting resources it’s actually the poorest that loose out. In Uganda 86% of the population rely on subsistence farming according to Farm Africa. This means that their lives depend on the weather. Uganda is a country that lies on the equator, giving it an equatorial tropical climate. There are usually two dry seasons from December to February and from June to August with the other months being rainy seasons. However, Ugandan’s are finding the weather increasingly unpredictable with long periods of drought when the rains have not come and with heavy rains that cause fatal mud and land slides. The WWF in Uganda state that the rainy seasons are becoming increasingly unreliable in Uganda. This means that months go by without rain, crops fail, farm animals die and people go hungry.
A few years ago I visited one of our KCK project centres in a rural area called Kamuge. In Kamuge most villagers rely on subsistence farming to survive. Word had come from the community that the rains had not come when they were expected and that they were experiencing a drought. As I travelled the 8 long hours from Kampala in a matatu (Minibus taxi) I was unaware of the extent of the situation in Kamuge. When I arrived I saw the dryness of the soil, the parched field that used to be filled with lush green grass and the swollen bellies of the previously healthy children. The majority of the people in Kamuge were malnourished and their crops had failed. All of a sudden the clouds above became very dark and thunder and lightning began. I began to get excited and think it was about to rain. However the villagers informed me that this had been happening for weeks, the sky would darken, thunder and lightning would begin but no rain would come, tantalising the parched land and people who sat and hoped for rain. The villagers also told us that this weather pattern was not usual, they said that for generations they had always been able to count on the rain to come when it was supposed to but that over the last few years the climate had become increasingly unpredictable.
These kinds of events are what happen when we abuse our planet and cause global warming to occur. With the recent floods in England I know that this issue can effect all of us no matter where we are in the world, but I ask you to spare a thought for the poorest of our planet who may go hungry if we continue to act carelessly towards our environment.
In Kamuge we are bringing hope and love to vulnerable children and supporting the community there through Kids Clubs, school sponsorship and community development projects. Thankfully the area has seen better weather for the last two seasons and farming is recovering, but this area continues to be very poor and people struggle to afford even the basics.
If you would like to support the work of KCK in the area please donate here.