An area the size of Ireland, Turkana used to experience drought every 15 to 20 years.
However, from the late 1990s onwards, that reduced to every five years and, more and more, the devastating effects of global warming are resulting in lost lives.
“We used to drink milk, we used to eat meat and we had a lot of harvest from the forest. Life was so good,” pastoralist Atiir Kataboi told us.
“But now, things have really changed since the drought came in… it has cleared all the animals, all the livestock, the fruits of the land. The trees have also withered, there is nothing that comes from them. Everything has dried up.”
So, what can you do to help?
Did you know that, globally, more than 500 billion disposable cups are discarded to landfill or incineration every year? Let’s break that down: that’s one million cups a minute, every hour of every day of every year. The Conscious Cup campaign describes how these cups are virtually impossible to recycle due to the combination of paper and plastic in their design.
In Ireland alone, we dispose over 22,000 of these cups every single hour.
While there are recyclable and compostable cups on the market in Ireland, these should not be placed in the recycle bin. Mixed recyclables get sorted by machines that cannot differentiate between different types of single use cups, so plastic can end up in the paper stream and cause contamination.
Thankfully, we’re in something of a reusable cup revolution. Many cafés are now rewarding those people who bring their own cup with discounts, while others charge extra if you choose an environmentally-unfriendly single use container.
Get yourself a reusable cup and you can save money, as well as the planet.
Ireland goes to the polls on 8 February 2020 and Concern believes that climate action and overseas development aid should be priorities for the incoming government. That why we’re backing the One Future campaign, an initiative that is calling for faster and fairer climate action.
Our next government could be in place for as long as five years and these five crucial years will go a long way towards reducing emissions and hitting those 17 sustainable development goals set out by the Paris Agreement in 2015.
One key thing that you can do to help fight the climate crisis is to talk to political candidates about the issue when they come to your doorstep. The One Future website offers suggested talking points and materials to give candidates at the door, as well as advice on joining a canvass and spreading the word through social media.
You can follow the movement here.
Soft plastic cannot be recycled, and plastic bags risk escaping into the environment via landfill sites. More than eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every year, according to the United Nations, as our addiction to single-use plastic continues.
Around the globe, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every single minute, while up to five trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. This is clearly not sustainable.
Ireland has top quality drinking water, for the most part, and reusable bottles are as commonplace now as reusable cups. Some of them even keep your drinks cold - a very worthwhile investment.