“We will drown if we don’t act.”


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It’s week two of the climate talks. And while world leaders continue to confront the challenges of climate change in Copenhagen, Africans have been gathering together in their communities for months to share stories and search for solutions to help fight the effects.

Throughout the fall, Oxfam conducted dozens of these community-wide climate hearings across the African continent.

In the town of Assella, Ethiopia, over ten thousand people ran, walked, even rode to a local stadium to make their voices heard.

In Hadado, Kenya, a local man told the crowd, “I have never seen the situation this bad—there is no water at all. Cattle are our livelihoods, and when they are gone we have nothing left. Our children can’t go to school because they have to spend all day looking for water for the cattle. We desperately need another borehole and more water here.”

In Cape Town, South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu told a packed room that “We will drown if you don’t act. We are going down the tube together. Some might go in Mercedes Benz, others in local taxis.”

The Climate Hearings are an Oxfam project, as part of the tcktcktck.org Climate Campaign. Find out more about the Oxfam hearings in Africa here (don’t miss the photo essays, too)—and read about their global hearings here.


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