“Climate change continues unabated and is linked to a myriad of negative trends, including the continued loss of arable land, declining soil fertility, food shortages and rising food prices.”
Climate change poses a significant threat to economic, social and environmental development in Africa.There is strong evidence that warming in Africa has increased significantly over the past 50 to 100 years, with clear effects on the health, livelihoods and food security of people in Africa.The United Nations
By 2080, due to climate change, it is likely that this percentage of the African population will be at risk of hunger (FAO)
In Turkana and Kajiado in Kenya, the drought cycle has shortened and deepened, striking every 2-3 years (previously every 10-15 years) and leaving pastoralist communities unable to recover sufficiently before the next shock. When it occurs, daily life is disrupted with children, particularly girls, most heavily impacted. With families moving hundreds of kilometres in search of water and pasture for their animals, children are denied an education; boys dropping out to herd and girls married off for a dowry or even betrothed on credit. There is a growing understanding within the Kenyan government that drought response must be pre-emptive rather than reactive, taking into account traditional coping strategies and knowledge to enhance early warning systems and build community resilience. This model has already been adopted by Aidlink and its partners with communities in both Turkana and Kajiado supported to successfully lobby local government to budget for drought mitigation.
Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.Ban Ki-moon
Making a Difference
During the 2017 drought in Turkana, Kenya, Aidlink & it’s partner organisation Girl Child Network supported 8 public primary schools with feeding programme. Provision of food ensured children were able to sit for their end of year national and end of year examinations which enabled them transit to higher levels of education in the New Year. During the period under review, the head teachers from the target schools reported 85% of the students sat for their end year examinations enabling them to transit to the next level.
Our Climate Pledge
Aidlink is committed to tackling climate change. We have seen first-hand its impact on the communities we work with in Kenya and Uganda. From farmers who can no longer predict when the rains will arrive for harvesting, to nomadic pastoralists forced to migrate even further in search of water and pasture for their animals.
People in developing countries who are doing the least to cause climate change are suffering the effects the most. Climate change is a barrier to global poverty reduction, so at Aidlink, we always aim to include climate and environmental considerations in our work overseas.
Aidlink advocates for adaption and mitigation at the local, national and international levels, calling on individuals, communities and government to be responsible and promote sustainable lifestyle choices. As an organisation that encourages others to reduce their carbon and environmental footprints, we must do the same.
With this pledge, Aidlink commits to reducing our organisational impact on the climate and the environment, and strengthening our accountability to those communities we work with, those living in poverty in Kenya and Uganda who are suffering the impact of a climate crisis that they have not contributed to.
Aidlink will therefore:
- Ensure that environmental impact is a key consideration in the design and development of all our projects;
- Take measures to reduce our carbon footprint, (e.g planting two trees for every flight we take), and support partners in Ireland and overseas to do the same;
- Utilise our public campaigns such as Walk for Water to advocate on behalf of the communities we work with, and ensure that governments prioritise policies and plans that meet the needs and fulfil the rights of the most vulnerable to adapt to climate change.