Wheels for Climate Change Emergencies
According to The New Humanitarian, a recent report shows that the consequences of a Climate Change are already evident, and are taking place in countries and communities with the fewest resources to adapt. Super-charged storms, devastating floods, longer droughts, and blistering heatwaves are already intensifying food insecurity, resource-related conflict, and human displacement.
Angola (with significant drought in the South) and Mozambique (with two Cyclones this year) are at the forefront of this increase in climate change humanitarian crises.
In Angola, 2.3 million people are in need. The government declared an emergency in the three southern provinces of Cunene, Huila and Namibe in January. Angola has been pursuing a humanitarian self-reliance policy but there has been an inadequate humanitarian response to address urgent needs and the situation is deteriorating. The drought in Angola continues to be exacerbated by below average and erratic rainfall.
In Mozambique, more than 1.7 million people were identified as ‘in crisis’ between September and December 2018 across 11 provinces. As a result of Cyclone Idai and Kenneth, an estimated 1.85 million are now in need of aid. Recent information from USAID has highlighted acute food security in Mozambique between September and December 2019.
Practical Assistance to Enable Pastoral Support
The need to help our brothers and sisters in Angola and Mozambique is very clear. The challenge faced is how to enable churches to respond in a practical and pastoral way.
The four Partner Bishops in the ALMA Diocese are seen, and looked up to, as community leaders. They need to respond quickly in a community that is suffering; struggling as a result of adverse conditions – drought, flooding, etc. However, the sheer size of the areas that the Bishops must cover, (the inland flooding following the Cyclones in Mozambique alone was of a similar size to that of the UK), means that they have a mammoth task.
In many cases, it is not just the Bishops’ physical presence and ministry that is required; they need to offer practical assistance, delivering vital supplies wherever they are needed.
The Lent Appeal 2012 on behalf of ALMA raised money towards the cost of buying new trucks for each Diocese so that any necessary supplies – water/charcoal/building materials etc – could be delivered by the Bishop at the same time as he responded in person to the emergency. These vehicles are now more than six years old and coming to the end of their life span.
The money raised by Wheels for Climate Change Emergencies, next year’s Lent Appeal on behalf of ALMA would be distributed equally between the four Dioceses to help them replace these old, and in some cases, broken down vehicles. This practical assistance will enable the Bishops to continue to provide the much-needed pastoral support in a practical way.