The Africa Climate Justice Collective is concerned about the ravaging effects of the climate crisis in Africa, especially the recent flood disasters that submerged some parts of the Southern and Central African regions of the continent.
Cyclone Freddy has wreaked havoc in Southern African countries especially Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi since February 2023. Thousands have been displaced and hundreds have lost their lives while others are still missing. In Madagascar at least 300 000 people have been affected, 17 people have died and 3 are missing. Malawi has recorded 563771 displaced persons, 511 deaths while 533 are missing. In Zambezia province of Mozambique, 22000 people have been displaced, 10 dead and 14 injured.
In Central Africa, Buea City in southwestern Cameroon between 18 and 19 March 2023 experienced torrential rains that caused floods and landslides and resulted in casualties. The twin disasters which were both triggered by several hours of rainfall had led to the loss of lives (media reports confirmed 2 deaths) and destruction of properties. In total, nearly 300 people living at the foot of Mount Cameroon have been affected. In all these countries, houses and infrastructure have been destroyed and it will take a long time as well as require a significant stream of funds to recover. These events highlight the urgent need for effective disaster response strategies and climate change mitigation measures to protect vulnerable communities in the affected countries and beyond.
Faced by these tragic events, the African Climate Justice Collective (ACJC), which is made up of 27 movement-based and other allied civil society organizations, and individuals and partners all across Africa, is calling for concrete actions to address the ongoing Climate emergencies not only in Southern Africa but in the continent as a whole. Cyclone Freddy’s long journey began off the coast of Australia in early February 2023. After becoming an exceptionally powerful storm and crossing the Indian Ocean, Freddy first struck eastern Madagascar on February 21 and southern Mozambique a few days later.
According to Anabela Lemos, Director of Justiça Ambiental/Friends of the Earth Mozambique and a convenor of the ACJC “our people are compelled to pay the debt they never owed, they are forced to reap pain and agony from the crisis they never created while the government and multinational corporations go to the Bank with fat pockets”.
Rumbidzai Mpahlo who coordinates the ACJC stated that “As a collective, we continue to call for the activation of both climate finance and the Loss and Damage Fund without any debt- creating and repressive conditions. This is an emergency which should be treated with the urgency it deserves.
Maimoni Ubrei-Joe of Friends of the Earth Africa and Nigeria has stated that the recent IPCC report has further demonstrated the failure of world leaders to commit to addressing the global climate crisis. ““The time to act to reverse the negative impacts of climate change is now””.
This recent IPCC report has sufficiently shown how short-term climate forecasts (spans next decades) are not brilliant, and weather disasters like Cyclone Freddy, will multiply with disastrous consequences. It is therefore more than ever the moment to build a more effective and efficient disaster management that is capable of anticipating these risks and disasters, looking urgently at the case of the communities affected by Cyclone Freddy. Positive experiences of management of extreme floods and other climatic phenomena on the African continent should inspire the development and strengthening of rapid alert and response mechanisms.
The CADTM African network demands that the polluting multinationals recognize their climate debts and pay due compensations to the victims of climate change and Africa as a whole focusing on these three countries; Mozambique, Malawi, and Cameroon which are currently grappling with climate change impacts. The CADTM African network invites African leaders to restrain from refunding the debts they have contracted in repairing the climate damages.
We are hereby standing in solidarity with those affected in Malawi, Mozambique, Cameroon and Madagascar. The Global North and Governments of these nations should ensure that funds and relief materials are made available for loss and damages as agreed upon at COP 27 and these funds should be made available to those directly affected and not channeled to the nations ecological funds where they will be diverted to meet other national needs leaving out those that have been badly affected by the cyclone.
We are traversing a great moment of transition, from a system that is crumbling away, to a new one, that is not yet fully formed. At this very moment, a few and powerful blood-thirsty Africans continue to sell out our countries and our sovereignty, fomenting wars and destruction for vanity and personal gain to feed. At the same time, on the ground are showing the best of our human principles, throwing themselves into the post disaster chaos, to help victims, often reaching the areas where “no aid ever comes”, and so many others who mobilize their solidarity in their own ways to support their fellow nationals.
As much international solidarity there may be in any major disaster, African nations must muster themselves the vision, capacities, skills and resources needed to not only be prepared for disasters, but to manage its territories in harmony with Nature. The ACJC recognizes that there is great complexity in the actual implementation of this proposal, but only the Nation itself can claim its own sovereignty. African Governments MUST CHANGE COURSE. The solutions and proposals of the ACJC provide a guide for this. But there is much more to be done. Now more than ever, there is ample evidence that territories with wider biodiversity are significantly more resilient, or able to more rapidly recover from climate related shocks. Some, if not most, of the solutions are already within our grasp as a society.
Our hearts go out to all of the lost ones, and to those who are left behind in mourning, but also to all the survivors and those on the ground working to make their communities a better place for our loved ones.
A NEW AFRICA IS POSSIBLE! CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW! (Moz24h)