A caravan of hope

Hundreds of people from all over Africa are joining a “Caravan of Hope”, which is covering more than 4,000 miles and 10 countries en route to the UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa.

The coach convoy set off from the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, on 9 November, and is picking up people all along the journey’s 17-day route, passing through Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana and South Africa.

Some of those travelling on the Caravan come from communities affected by the drought in East Africa. They are taking their stories about the impact of climate change to world leaders at the climate talks.

Three of our partners from Kenya are joining the Caravan. One of them, Mark Diba from the Catholic Diocese of Marsabit in northern Kenya, said: “The current drought in East Africa has created a lot of awareness amongst pastoral communities on the impact of climate change on their everyday lives.

“Communities have witnessed the rainfall patterns being disrupted and this has had an impact on their ability to sustain themselves. Marsabit used to have a lot of consistent rainfall which enabled people to farm and to keep livestock.

“Now, we have had no rains for three consecutive years and even the shallow wells have dried up… This Caravan is an opportunity for these communities to tell their side of the story to the world on the impact climate change has had on their lives.’’

The Caravan has been organised by our partner the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance. Those travelling to Durban are demanding the UN talks help produce a just solution to the mounting climate crisis.

Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)’s Mithika Mwenda said:

“This Caravan is very important to us as we want to tell the African story on climate change, and to voice our concerns and aspirations on the impact of climate change on African communities.

“Africa is part of the global community and we would like to show we are responsible in discussing solutions to the problems of climate change. Africa has been doing a lot to address these issues and we feel the industrialised countries are not doing enough and therefore we want to travel to Durban to add our voice at the conference.’’