17th February 2017
Tearfund Latest Prayer Points
Planting trees of life
For Aaden* and his fellow villagers, climate change isn’t just a vague concept, it’s a harsh reality that impacts their lives in devastating ways.
Aaden is a 45-year-old farmer from the Hargeisa region of Somaliland. He is part of a community who are learning that the solutions to environmental problems can come from within themselves.
Aaden remembers how, as a child, the climate wasn’t a problem: ‘We experienced drought rarely, and my family had a large herd of livestock,’ he recalls. But now periods of drought are far more frequent, making it almost impossible for him to keep livestock or grow enough food.
This dramatic change is due in part to a massive increase in charcoal production, which has had a catastrophic effect on the environment and livelihoods. ‘Many people became involved in charcoal production,’ Aaden explains. ‘This resulted in increased levels of deforestation, causing land degradation, soil erosion and a reduction in rainfall – ultimately leading to severe recurring droughts.’
However, thanks to Tearfund partner World Relief, the situation is starting to turn around. World Relief have been training the leaders in Aaden’s village in community mobilisation, environmental conservation and disaster risk reduction, giving them the knowledge and skills they need to take matters into their own hands.
Healing the land
Now Aaden’s whole village have rallied around the cause, enforcing laws that ban charcoal production and trade. ‘We ensure no tree is felled, and if you have to cut a tree, you plant five first,’ Aaden says. ‘As a community, it is our responsibility to protect and preserve our environment.’
Filled with hope as he points to some newly planted trees, Aaden remarks: ‘You can see our environment is slowly healing from the calamity of deforestation. This will help reverse the weather patterns, so that we can again have large herds of livestock and farm to produce enough to eat and sell.’
‘Our village serves as a good example of the success that comes from initiatives that are community led,’ Aaden says. ‘We just wish to continue working together with Tearfund to restore the environment for our children and grandchildren.’
*Name changed to protect identity
* Praise God for the transformation that has taken place in Aaden’s village and pray that it will continue.
* Pray that more communities in Somaliland will come to develop a positive relationship with the environment.
* Pray that the damage done to the environment in this part of the world will be reversed and that the increased prevalence of droughts will come to an end.
A note from...
'Communities in Somaliland live on the edge. Poor rainfall every three to five years leads to cyclical droughts. Much of Somaliland is facing drought now and the previous drought was only in 2011. Despite this, it's encouraging to see farmers like Aaden doing what they can to reduce the effect of drought, giving them enough to survive.'
Deputy Head of East and Southern Africa Team, Tearfund
PRAYER POINTS FROM
AROUND THE WORLD
Prayer Item #1
Lift up Uganda as they currently host 698,000 refugees from South Sudan – the most out of all countries. The UNHCR says, 'In less than six months, Uganda has more than tripled its population of South Sudanese refugees, hosting more than half of the 1.1 million people who have fled their homes in the neighbouring country.' Pray for those seeking safety, and that the international community will support Uganda in managing these refugees.
Prayer Item #2
Please keep China in your prayers this week. Our main partner, CEDAR Fund, are spending the coming weeks reviewing the last three years of work. Pray for the evaluation team and clear outcomes to guide future plans.
Prayer Item #3
The Cambodian political climate has been tense for the past few years as the opposition and ruling party repeatedly clash in quite a bitter relationship. This week's resignation of the main opposition leader adds further complexity and angst for the Cambodian people. Please pray for calm heads, compromise, and a vision for the greater good of the Cambodian people on both sides.
NIGERIA: BLESSINGS FOR CURSES
Nigeria has a recent history of violent tensions between its Muslim and Christian populations – made worse....
A TROPICAL STORM HITS MOZAMBIQUE
A tropical storm has left homes severely damaged and cut power to parts of Mozambique....
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