IN PICTURES: Helping people adapt to climate changePublished: Apr 7, 2020 Reading time: 5 minutes
There is no better occasion than Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, to remind us that there’s no Plan B for the planet. As the challenges created by climate change wreak havoc on the lives of millions, People in Need (PIN) is helping the most vulnerable to adapt. Illustrator Tereza Hrdlíková has drawn a series of images to showcase some of the work PIN has been doing in this area.
CAMBODIA: Voice messages save lives
Cambodia is severely affected by droughts and floods, which take lives and destroy homes, harvests, and livelihoods. Together with our partners, PIN is working on the implementation of the EWS 1294, which sends early warning messages to phones before floods strike. This gives people more time to prepare and enables them to be more resilient in the face of natural disasters. Read more.
AFGHANISTAN: Growing food in depleted soils
In Afghanistan, where droughts and depleted soils have become all too common, PIN has introduced new agricultural methods to help families increase yields of high-quality food. Over the course of three and a half years, we supported 6,500 households in three areas of Samangan province. Among our beneficiaries were Fatima and her family, who received almond and pistachio seeds, Ferula tree seedlings, fertilizers, solar panels, water pipes, and other agricultural tools. Read Fatima´s story here.
NEPAL: Minimizing landslide risks
The monsoon brings much-needed rainfall to the mountain villages of Nepal, but this annual deluge also raises the risk of landslides. While building trekking routes for tourists in the mountains of Gorkha, PIN helped teach residents how to recognize and avoid dangerous areas. We also organized first aid courses and shared information on helping people stuck in landslides. PIN continues to work with communities living in landslide-prone areas; in some case we are using geological research to help identify safer areas for people to move to.
ZAMBIA: Waiting for the rainy season
Irregular rainfall is causing serious problems in Zambia and other African countries. In recent years, annual rains have been coming later and there has been less precipitation than in the past. Some parts of the Western Province and the south of Zambia are experiencing their driest season in three decades. By contrast, the north of Zambia experienced heavy floods in the beginning of 2020. Both conditions have had enormous impacts on the lives of the regions’ poor farmers, who have been selling their herds and seeds in order to stave off hunger. Through a PIN initiative, selected families received seeds, fertilizers, and other aid for use when the rain finally comes.
MONGOLIA: Helping Ulaanbaatar breathe
Ulaanbaatar is the coldest capital in the world, known for its high levels of winter air pollution. Together with our partners, PIN has been working to improve the health of Ulaanbaatar’s residents. The PIN team and a group of experts monitor the quality of the air and warn the city’s residents when it reaches dangerous levels. Also, through a mobile app called Airvisual, people can learn about different ways to protect themselves from air pollution. Read more.
ETHIOPIA: Preventing soil degradation by planting trees
Erosion is a major agricultural challenge in Ethiopia. As fertile soil is carried away, farm yields decrease, resulting in a scarcity of food for the local population. To help alleviate this problem, PIN has been working since 2006 to reduce deforestation – a major cause of erosion – and improve agricultural practices. For instance, during the last five years, we have planted nearly 1 million trees in the country.
THE PHILIPPINES: Restoring livelihoods after natural disasters
Extreme weather is one of the consequences of climate change, and the Philippines is one of the countries most affected by natural disasters. PIN began its work here after Typhoon Haiyan devasted the country in 2013. Today, PIN is supporting cocoa farmers in Eastern Samar by providing them with the skills to re-establish their livelihoods and ensure they have sustainable incomes. You can read more about this initiative here.
MOLDOVA: Growing organic food to help farmers and the earth
Eco-agriculture presents a great opportunity for Moldova, which benefits from very rich soil. This type of agriculture brings higher incomes for farmers and is more environmentally friendly. By skipping the use of fertilizers or pesticides, organic farming does not deplete the soil in the same way as traditional farming. Click here to see how PIN is teaching farmers and agribusinesses to grow organic food.
MONGOLIA: Providing assistance during the dzud
Climate change and other negative consequences of human activity have had a huge impact on the lives of Mongolian nomadic herders. Dzud – or the extreme frost typical of Mongolia – occurs increasingly often and causes extensive die-offs of livestock, leading to the loss of herders’ sole source of income. PIN supported families affected by the dzud by distributing special feed and multivitamins for undernourished animals, as well as financial support to cover the basic needs of affected herders. Read more.
CAMBODIA: Turning domestic biogas into clean energy
Domestic biogas plants can be extremely beneficial for a developing country’s energy and fertilizer needs. The use of biogas for cooking and lighting reduces greenhouse gases and firewood use. The fertilizer generated as a byproduct of biogas production can be used for agriculture, thus helping households dependent on farming. In Zambia, PIN, with financial support from the Czech embassy, has built 10 bio-digesters and is planning to build more. In Cambodia, 22,000 biogas plants were built between 2015 and 2018 with Czech aid.
Author of the images: Tereza Hrdlíková