By Atayi Babs
Negotiators at the ongoing Climate conference in Warsaw, Poland have been urged not to relegate the severity of the tropical cyclone that killed over 100 people in Somalia last week. Leaders of African civil society organisations under the umbrella of Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) made this declaration today as the climate conference enters its final week.
In the wake of the typhoon Haiyan tragedy that killed thousands in Philippines, a tropical cyclone hit the north-eastern Somali region of Puntland and killed up to 100 people, displacing thousands. The strong winds, heavy rains and flash floods that hit the semi-autonomous region destroyed homes, buildings, boats and entire villages were lost with over 100,000 livestock missing, endangering the livelihoods of tens of thousands of local people.
While commiserating with the Somalis as well as the Philippines, the Alliance urged Negotiators at the conference to ensure that the Somalian tragedy receives the deserved attention as well as fire negotiations on immediate and deep emission cuts and changes to the development pathways, Climate Finance and Technology Transfer commitments, global emissions budget and equity, and institutionalized compensatory framework for impacted people should be addressed without further delay.
PACJA’s Mithika Mwenda warned that “we must not forget the 10,000 lives affected by the storm in Somalia. One more death due to climate disasters is unacceptable to Africans and we must all commit to more ambitious, bolder and bigger greenhouse gas reduction targets in Warsaw!"
The Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), a continental coalition of Civil Society Organizations from diverse backgrounds in Africa, has emerged as the most vibrant and largest Civil Society platform on climate change and sustainable development. With a membership of more than 500 organizations and networks, the Alliance brings together Faith-based Organizations, Farmers and Pastoralists` Groups, Community-based organizations, Non-Governmental organizations, Trusts, Foundations, among other sectors with a common goal of promoting and advocating for Pro-poor, climate-friendly and equity-based responses to climate change.