Because of climate change, Kenya’s climate is starting to look different.
Truphena Ireri, a mother of three, who lives in Mbeere district, eastern Kenya explains:
‘We’ve learnt that there are a lot of changes in the climate. There isn’t enough rain for us. It was there before; now it is getting hotter and drier than it used to be, with erratic rainfall. You cannot predict it.’
Knowing when to plant is crucial to getting a harvest good enough to feed a family. In the past, farmers used the signs of nature that heralded the coming rains, but these are no longer reliable. Unpredictable weather hampered harvests and meant that Truphena’s family struggled to feed themselves.
Fortunately, as traditional methods of predicting the weather became less dependable, Truphena was supported in adapting to the effects of climate change.
She and her family benefitted from scientific weather forecasting. Mobile-phone technology, that enabled farmers to make better-informed decisions about rainfall, including what and when to plant, boosted their crop yields. Data supplied by the Kenyan Meteorological office was dispersed in local dialect and sent to farmers on the ground as understandable abbreviated texts.
Truphena’s story has been shared within Christian Aid repeatedly but it is still significant. More needs to be done so that she and others around the world can be protected from the effects of climate change.
This year Christian Aid is supporting a film called Thank You for the Rain. It tells the story of Kisilu, another Kenyan farmer who has been using his camera to capture the life of his family and his community as they struggle with a changing climate. A violent storm throws him together with a Norwegian filmmaker and together they bring his testimony to the international stage at climate talks in Paris 2015. This is where politicians in the world were meeting to decide our climate future.
Perhaps in part, because of the testimony of Kisilu, world leaders made decisions in Paris that mean we are all asked, in all parts of the world, to work towards a target of producing zero carbon emissions by 2050. After the film, Christian Aid will make available postcards that ask the First Minister in Scotland to lead that ambition.
Join us for our screenings of this powerful and moving portrait of resilience on the frontlines of climate change.
Christian Aid Scotland