Climate change is a defining issue of today, across the globe. Global sea levels have risen about 8 inches in the last century, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass, tropical rainforests are suffering from high levels of extinction and scientists are confident that these global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come (NASA, 2019).
Taking urgent action against climate change is the 13th goal of the Sustainable Development Goals; a goal that COCO supports and is core throughout our work, both in the UK and overseas. We understand that every individual and organisation has a duty to protect the environment and make efforts to reduce or reverse the current climate catastrophe.
In our partner Schools for Life, renewable forms of energy are installed, to ensure these schools are not reliant on fossil fuels from the outset. The sun is in abundance in East Africa, so solar energy is a reliable, sustainable solution. The use of solar energy in schools enables COCO to help students progress with valuable skills, such as IT skills through solar powered computer labs. Progress like this allows COCO to act sustainably; benefiting both people and planet!
As the majority of people living in rural parts of East Africa are subsistence farmers, it is important to ensure that farming methods are sustainable, where possible. These methods are organic, simple, and affordable, allowing an increase of crop growth, diversity of crops and preservation of soil. Such methods reduce the need for artificial fertilisers and pesticides which damage soil. Providing a practical education on environmental protection and climate change form part of COCO’s ‘Sustainable Agriculture Training’.
When installing vital water and sanitation solutions to communities, COCO looks to sustainable options. For example, composting toilets that are installed have the ability to separate waste, which is then used as manure for growing crops organically and to generate biogas for cooking; reducing reliance on wood and charcoal. Also, the implementation of rainwater harvesting allows for the collection and storage of rainwater from classrooms and buildings without disrupting the water table and helps to reduce soil erosion during rainy seasons.
COCO’s work aims for equal access to quality education for every child, carried out sustainably for a better future for all!
NASA (2019) 'Climate Change: How Do We Know?' Available at: https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ (accessed: 20/10/2019)