How Scotland is making up for climate damage in Malawi

School in Mphatso (C) BBC 2 . jpg

One of the first nations in the world to contribute funds for "loss and damage" brought on by climate change in less developed nations is Scotland.

Homes were lost during the torrential downpours that hit the Malawian village of Mambundungu, but that was far from the worst of it.

Crocodiles were proliferating in the floodwaters. They took children with them. It was frightening.

The villagers eventually reached their breaking point in 2015 and relocated their entire community to higher ground.

The new village then started to flood as well.

The impacts of climate change have been particularly severe in Malawi in east Africa.

But because it is one of the world's poorest nations, it finds it difficult to afford the steps required to repair the harm.

The Scottish government has stepped in to advocate for the idea that wealthy nations should contribute to covering the costs of climate change damage in less developed nations.

Mambundungu villagers (c) BBC 2 . jpg
To avoid the flooding, the Mambundungu villagers relocated to higher ground.

It made a historic $2 million commitment for a "loss and damage" program at the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow. From April, another £5 million is promised.

Other world leaders finally decided they would follow that example in November at COP27 in Egypt.

Some of the funds are being used in Mambundungu to build flood defenses in the uphill new settlement.

Isaac Mambundungu, the village chief, claimed that he was forced to take his people to a safer location.

"People tried to construct good houses, but the water destroyed them," he said.

Even our kids got swept away by the water. Even the river's crocodiles would approach and attack the populace.

In light of this, we chose to relocate to a higher location. ".

Mambundungu New village flood defences (c) BBC 1 . jpg
Flood defenses are being built in the new uphill community with funding from the Scottish government.

However, not everyone has embraced the decision.

For the reason that the farmland is more fertile, Dorika Matiyasi has already moved back to the original village.

She claimed that the flooding they had fled also affected the new settlement.

So, what should we do? she queries.

The southern region of Malawi is a patchwork of small plots primarily used for the cultivation of maize, with an estimated 80 percent of the population living and working off the land.

According to the World Food Programme, there are 30.8 million people who are at risk of food insecurity and many rural communities live in extreme poverty.

Isaac Mambundungu (c) BBC 1 . jpg
Isaac Mambundungu, the village chief, claimed that he was forced to take his people to a safer location.

Organizations like Sciaf, the Scottish Catholic Aid Fund, spend money from the Scottish government in Malawi.

It identified six villages that have experienced significant climate change effects.

The Roger Federer Foundation and ActionAid-built Mphatso preschool in Ngabu is currently being rebuilt with some of the £500,000 Sciaf has allotted.

Early in 2022, Tropical Storm Ana and Cyclone Gombe brought rains that caused damage to buildings and halted instruction as the school was transformed into a temporary camp for the thousands of people whose homes were destroyed.

Mphatso school (C) BBC 2 . jpg
In the early months of 2022, rains from Tropical Storm Ana and Cyclone Gombe caused damage to the Mphatso pre-school in Ngabu.

Those from the lower grounds who were fleeing the water came to camp here, according to teacher Hannah Sozah. And they interfered with education. .

"Due to the people who had come to camp here, we were unable to operate our school. It was very difficult to teach. That was the difficulty we ran into. ".

Children have been forced to eat their breakfast porridge on the ground under trees because the school's kitchens were destroyed.

However, the money designated for "loss and damage" is now being used to rebuild the school's damaged areas.

Ben Wilson, advocacy manager at Sciaf, claims that the funds are distinct from the kind of humanitarian aid that is provided in the wake of a significant disaster.

He claims: "Frequently, that aid and those aid workers depart because they move on to the following disaster, which always occurs.

"This funding arrives after the communities have already benefited from immediate assistance. However, it is providing them with what they require to recover, to increase their resilience, as well as to put their lives back on course. ".

Lucy Banda Mbenje (C) BBC 1 . jpg
The leader of the group village, Lucy Banda Mbenje, claims that the atmosphere has significantly changed.

A portion of the funds are being used to safeguard a cemetery in the village of Mbenje where flood waters frequently lift and carry away graves.

The elders of the village had to ask the neighboring communities for permission to bury the dead in their cemeteries.

A long time passes after the floods have passed before they can resume digging due to saturated ground.

According to Lucy Banda Mbenje, the head of the group village, "When the water comes, the tombstones are underwater. Even after the water has subsided and we have a funeral, the water level is still very high even after a small amount of digging.

We can't bury the dead in the water, she explains, so we go ask for other cemeteries.

"The climate has significantly altered. If we consider previous flooding, our cemetery was unaffected. Our cemetery was devoid of water.

. "

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