Thought of the week

This week is Christian Aid Week. Our church has supported Christian Aid for many years and we will continue to do so. In the past we have joined with people from other churches in Bicester to carry out a door-to-door collection around the streets of our town raising thousands of pounds each year. Churches across the nation have done the same and this has been a major source of income for Christian Aid, enabling it to carry out its vital work to support and improve the lives of people across the world who are living in poverty.

The coronavirus has brought much of this to a halt and in consequence, Christian Aid’s income fell by more than £14 million last year. So it relies more than ever on the contributions which you and people in other churches across the nation are willing to make.

While the income has fallen, the need is greater than ever. The coronavirus and the long term effects of climate change are affecting the poorest far more than they affect us.

Rose Katanu Jonathan’s story highlights what is happening to many millions of people across the world.  Rose is 60 years old. She lives in rural Kenya and is caught in a cycle of climate chaos. From severe drought to flooding, extreme weather robs her of what she most needs to survive: a reliable source of water. 

When she was a child, Rose remembers how often the rains would fall, providing fruit on the baobab trees and plenty of nutritious food for all.

‘When I was a young girl, there was plenty of food,’ Rose says. Now, the rains are totally unreliable. The climate crisis has stirred up extreme weather and Rose’s community are feeling the brunt of it. Rose and her family live with drought for months at a time, but then heavy rains may bring floods.

Because of climate change, Rose worries a lot about food. I pray to God, she says, that the rainfall will become normal like it used to be. 

In times of drought, Rose sets out on a long and dangerous journey every morning to collect water for her family. She walks on an empty stomach.

‘Because I am old, I can’t walk very fast. When I get home I just rest in the evening. I have no energy to do anything else,’ Rose says.

Even when the rains do come, relief for Rose is often short lived. 

There is an earth dam just minutes away from Rose’s home. It should be a lifeline. But it’s not big enough for everyone’s needs. It runs out of water too quickly. Imagine how dispirited Rose must feel when the rains do come, watching it fall for days, only to find the dam empty just a short while later.

What’s more, the rains are much heavier than they should be, putting Rose’s community at risk of flooding. Rose simply won’t have the strength to fetch water from further afield for much longer.

With a reliable source of water, people like Rose would be free from long, painful journeys. They would be able to grow fresh vegetables to eat. And they would be better able to protect themselves from the dangers of coronavirus. With such dire need, every last drop of water that falls in Rose’s community is precious.

Your gift could help communities build better earth dams to harvest more water; sow drought-tolerant crops that need very little water; and you could join with others to demand change at the highest level and fight this climate crisis.

 

Colin Cockshaw

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Rose strives to provide for her grandchildren who live with her. She does all she can to give them happy childhoods, like the times she remembers when there was plenty of food. But the climate crisis is driving her to the brink.

Rose has to go on a long journey to collect water. - Adam Finch/ Christian Aid

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People like Rose need every last drop to survive this climate crisis. Your gifts will help ensure they can. This Christian Aid Week, will you give in church or on-line and help ensure people like Rose have the water they need to live.

Rose and her community are working together to clear the weeds and rubbish from the Itukisya dam.   Adam Finch/ Christian Aid