Green Streets are linking with Mali in Africa

Green Streets are linking with Mali in Africa

MALI CONNECTION!

TRANSITION TOWN HORCASTLE GREEN STREETS PROJECT LINKS UP WITH MALI

Today, Saturday 6th February, Transition Town Horncastle joined the Horncastle Christian Aid team at their Christian Aid coffee morning.  We were there explaining how the Green Streets, Green Babies and Toddlers project is linking with Mali through Christian Aid this year.  We were also joined by Patricia Sumner, Sustainability Officer from East Lindsey District Council, giving advice on energy efficiency, explaining what we can do in our homes to reduce the impact of climate change all around the world, including in Mali.

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, with an exceptionally high infant mortality rate, for example.  They are already suffering the effects of climate change today in devastating ways, and this is one of the reasons for our linking with them: it helps raise awareness of the effects of climate change, which for many are not a distant threat, but current and life-threatening.  We’ll be doing projects with the local schools, Sunday schools, and other settings around the Mali connection.

MalichildImpact of climate change in Mali

“We have difficulties living here. There isn’t enough rain. This year the rain wasn’t very good. In the past if was much better. Things are definitely getting worse. We used to get a good harvest. We have only been able to harvest once this year. We used to be able to do it at least twice or sometimes three times a year. This year I don’t think we will have enough food. Even the hardworking people won’t have enough. We need 10 tonnes of rice to come to this village. We will all go hungry I think.”

“With the climate changing we are able to grow less and less. We used to grow a lot but now the production is very low. We used to be able to get 3 crops a year for peanuts. Now we can only get one. The problem is the lack of rain. My husband and I cannot grow enough to feed our family. When all the stock is finished we will have to buy food. As a farmer paying for food is very difficult. It isn’t really possible. Hunger will be a problem for us.”

The link to our project is that over this year we are delighted to be making Horncastle a little more sustainable with our work with energy efficiency and renewable energy through the British Gas project.  It will be great to reduce the energy bills of our community buildings, and spread awareness of the technologies, and so on.  However, for a country like Mali, renewable energy makes a phenomenal difference, literally a matter of life or death.  This is the main reason for our fundraising for Christian Aid energy projects over the coming year.

CASE STUDY: Clean Energy Examples of Success

Mali-womenTabakoro village now has three different sets of solar panels that generate electricity for a health centre, a school and a water pump. This means that the village has 24 hour access to health care, a fridge to store life saving vaccines, electricity at the local school and clean water all year round.

Previously, villagers had to travel up to two hours to the local hospital for vaccinations and the local water supply was unreliable and dirty. Also, with the solar panels on top of the school, a teacher has been running literacy classes for the women of the village in the evenings. For the last year the women have been learning to read, write and count.  This has been particularly useful for the women when they sell their crops at the local market. They are now able to demand the right price for their crops and keep account of their income. Solar energy leads to literacy.

If you would like more information or would like to get involved with the Green Streets project in any way, please contact Jenny Davey: dippyjenny@hotmail.com, tel. 01507 524088