COCO is aware of the catastrophic effects that climate change is having across the globe. Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing the world today, and we believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to play a part in reducing the negative effects and preserving the planet. Tackling climate change is a key development priority, and is included as Sustainable Development Goal number 13 (read more about its importance here). Climate change disproportionately effects the poorest in the world, who not only live in areas more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, but also are also less capable of preparing for and dealing with the effects. COCO works with some of these communities in East Africa, in a number of ways.
Sustainable Agriculture Training
COCO trains community members in sustainable methods of farming. Waste from previous crops and farm animals is used instead of harmful chemical fertilisers, which is better for the ecosystems, and means waste is reused and not burnt, reducing carbon emissions. Growing food locally also reduces carbon emissions linked to transport, and reduces the need for food packaging.
Trees are essential to the planet’s survival. Planting crops and trees (like these at FOCUSSA Primary School) helps to reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
All of COCO’s partner Schools for Life are powered by solar energy, which is free and in abundance in Africa. This means that communities do not become reliant on burning fossil fuels for electricity, without being left without a source of power.
Water collection and transportation
Although every effort can be made to reduce the effects of climate change, they are already being felt. By installing rain water harvesting on school buildings and providing water transportation like at Maasai Academy, communities become resilient to famine, as they have access to water and are able to grow crops even during a drought.
And here in the North East!
It’s not just in our overseas work that we’re aware of a need to address climate change, here in our Newcastle office we’re also doing what we can. Most of our employees and volunteers cycle or take public transport to work each day, instead of driving individual cars. We are very energy efficient, using central heating as rarely as possible and always making sure plugs are turned off when not in use – saving money and the planet!
COCO is only a small organisation, working in a limited area. We aren’t perfect - there is still more that all of us can do, but we believe that if everyone makes some effort, then the children of tomorrow will have a planet left to live on.