Climate witnesses.


Stories of the human impact of climate change from around the globe.


People from communities in different parts of the world explaining their struggles with climate stresses and its impact on their lives.


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Jyotsna Giri, India

Jyotsna had a small farm on Lohachara Island in West Bengal. Fifteen years ago she had to move to a refugee colony on a neighbouring island when the sea claimed her home and farm.

“I still remember that fateful day, when I lost everything. When we approached Lohachara Island, I suddenly noticed that my sheep were all drifting in the river. I found that half of my house was washed away by the river. Slowly the entire island got submerged.”

Source: WWF India

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Tulsi Khara, India

Tulsi has lived all her 70 years in the world’s largest delta, where the Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers meet and flow into the Bay of Bengal.

“We are not educated people, but I can sense something grave is happening around us. I couldn’t believe my eyes — the land that I had tilled for years, that fed me and my family for generations, has vanished. We have lost our livelihood. All our belongings and cattle were swept away by cyclones. We have moved to Sagar Island and are trying to rebuild our lives from scratch. It wasn’t like this when I was young. Storms have become more intense than ever. Displacement and death are everywhere here. The land is shrinking and salty water gets into our fields, making them useless. We feel very insecure now.”

Source: WWF India and Vissa Sundar

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Joseph Kones, Kenya

Joseph is a farmer in Mara Basin who has seen gradual climate change over the last 20 years.

“When I was young, we used to have regular rains, but now it rains any time of the year. These changes started about 20 years ago. Food production in the area has gone down because people are not sure when to plant and even when they plant, they may not get rains at the right time. Farming in our area is not only for our food, we depend on agriculture for income too. Some people have even had to resort to food donations from the government, something that has not happened since I was born.”


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Mbiwo Constantine Kusebahasa, Uganda

Mbiwo is a farmer at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains. He has seen the glaciers on the mountains recede, rainfall become erratic, and temperatures increase.

“When I was young, this area was very cold. Now the area is much warmer. Before the 1970’s, we did not know what malaria was. The mosquitoes that spread malaria are thriving due to the higher temperatures. At present, there are many cases of malaria in the Kasese area.”

Source: WWF

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Pablo Huerta Mandez, Peru

Pablo is a farmer on the Andean slopes. To make better use of its limited water supply, the community has built a concrete reservoir costing USD 1,500. With this they use 1/7 of the water they used to.

“It barely rains, now. Year by year it’s less and less. I’ve farmed here for 10 years and there is more heat, which affects the plants and causes plagues. If the weather continues, people will only be able to cultivate half their land. The flow decreases, and water might dry out because of the heat. We’re very worried about climate change. The drip irrigation is very useful, and more profitable. It prevents erosion, and we have seen an improvement in our crops. We have a better income and larger harvests.“

It is this more efficient use of water which is helping farmers cope with less water, and which farmers across Peru will need to adopt as the impact of climate change becomes increasingly apparent.

Source: Oxfam

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Alizeta Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso

Alizeta lives in a Sahel country where 90 percent of its inhabitants are farmers.

“As far as my own family is concerned, the crops are always bad, and we don’t have enough food. My mother is very poor because of the drought.”

“For the community, it is even more serious since everything is bought with money from agricultural products. Every year, there is a food shortage. Children quit school because they cannot afford supplies and school fees. Girls sometimes prostitute themselves and may end up with an unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease. People do not go to health centres, and some contract diseases caused by a lack of hygiene.”

Source: UNICEF

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Jerome Robles, Malaysia

Jerome has been witness to changing rainfall patterns resulting in landslides and flooding, destroying homes, lives and livelihoods.

“There does not seem to be a distinct monsoon season anymore. The rain is more frequently, random and certainly more intense. I wonder whether the more intense rains could be a result of global warming. Long gone are the days when children are able to play in the rain like I used to. Now we are afraid of flash floods and strong winds which normally accompany the intense rains.”

Source: WWF International and Jeremy Robles

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