When it comes to climate change, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves doesn’t mince words: he will tell you that it is a matter of life and death for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
When the 2004 Asian Tsunami lashed the coasts and island territories of India, one of the hardest hit areas were the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI), which lie due east of mainland India, at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
Having lived and worked for more than a decade in four Caribbean countries, I have witnessed firsthand how Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are extremely vulnerable to challenges ranging from debt and unemployment to climate change and sea level rise.
One year ago, Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast United States, causing an estimated 68 billion dollars in damage and paralysing the world’s financial nerve centre.
Wambui Karunyu, 72, and her seven-year-old grandson are the only surviving members of their immediate family. Karunyu’s husband and five children all succumbed to the hardships of living in the semi-arid area of lower Mukurweini district in central Kenya.
Nepal now ranks 11th
on a list of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, yet it remains one of the least disaster-prepared nations globally.
In the aftermath of a natural disaster, women are often the most vulnerable. Particularly in rural areas, women suffer disproportionately from inadequate shelter and poor sanitation facilities and are often tasked with rebuilding shattered homes.