Friday, December 19, 2008

Zimbabwe - aid appeal

Child in cholera clinic - Oxfam

I'm now in Johannesburg, South Africa, helping to publicise Oxfam's appeal to raise £4m to help those affected and suffering from the effects of a cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe.

Oxfam have been working in the country, rehabilitating water sources and distributing hygiene kits. We are now trying to scale up their operation to provide help to more than a million people, in view of the seriousness of the situation.

With hyperinflation, poor harvests and food shortages all taking their toll, it is estimated that there will be over 5.1 million Zimbabweans in need of food aid by January 2009. Some people are so hungry they are eating seeds that should be planted.
Oxfam rehabilitated borehole in Kotwa

Cholera, a water-born disease, continues to rise with the latest figures from the UN showing that it has infected 18,000 people and killed about 800 with many more deaths and infections are believed to have gone unrecorded. Cholera is now affecting nine out of Zimbabwe's ten provinces and is likely to spread further if, as expected, there are more heavy rains in the next month.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Bangladesh - one of the poorest and most overcrowded countries in the world is also one of the most vulnerable countries to the negative impacts of climate's why

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rangamati, Chittagong Hill Tracts, climate protest

Indigenous (or adivashi) communities were among people from Bangladeshs isolated south-eastern Chittagong Hill Tract Area taking part in a mass meeting to voice their concerns about climate change and the impact its having on their native forest lands.

Nearly 1,000 people, mainly indigenous groups, took part in the activity, which included local cultural performances.

Some carried banners calling for indusrialised nations to open their borders so that poor and vulnerable communities adversely affected by climatic changes and forced to move from their lands or climate refugees could find alternative and safer locations for their families.

Others held banners calling on the worlds richest countries to drastically cut their greenhouse gas emissions and compensate poor nations like Bangladesh. They urged financial help to allow communities to protect themselves from the negative impacts caused by rising sea levels, including unpredictable weather patterns and flash flooding.

Marginalised indigenous villagers in the Chittagong Hill Tract areas say weather patterns have become unpredictable and flash flooding has increased in recent years, causing land erosion and damaging their crops livelihoods.

People are already worried about climate change. It affects their livelihoods, said Arun Kanti Chakma, executive director of the Assistance for the Livelihood of the Origins (ALO), one of the event organizers.

Already cultivation is being affected, people are not getting good crop production because of irregular rainfall and sometimes very heavy rainfall, or no rain at all. Its become a big problem for us and people here are already among the most marginalized.

The climate change protest was organized by Oxfam and the Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), an alliance of more than 150 civic groups, in the run up to the United Nations conference on climate change in Poznan, Poland.