Famers locally and in Africa share experiences of climate change

22nd July 2022

‘We owe our existence to the top 6 inches of soil.’ Deanery and Parish Development Adviser and farmer Rob Walrond told those attending a climate crisis event organised by Ripple Effect (formerly Send a Cow) at Glebe Farm on the Somerset levels. Those at the event heard how farming practices in Somerst, and Africa are being forced to change to help mitigate the effects climate change.

Rob spoke about climate change creating challenging conditions in which to farm, 'long periods of dry or wet weather mean farming practices have been forced to change and farming is now concentrated into shorter time frames and there is less of a window for the harvest.' He also explained how the changing weather conditions are effecting the soil; he described soil as being 'like a community, with an intricate mix of different organisims and like any community it needs to be balanced and healthy in order to thrive and grow.' Now that intricate mix is being altered.

Rob's experience was echoed by Gloria Nimpundu (Country Director for Ripple Effect Burundi) who spoke via live video link, about the families she works with in Burundi, one of the poorest countries in Africa. Gloria said. 'Erratic rainfall leads to increased soil errosion, lack of fodder for livestock, reduced soil fertility alongside outbreaks of pest and soil diseases.

Gloria went on to say that most farmers in Burundi are subsistance farmers who don’t have the financial resources to adapt to the changes forced on them, and that is why, she said, the work Ripple Effect undertakes is making a huge difference to communities she works with. Hear more from Gloria in the video below.

Bishop Ruth, Patron of Ripple Effect, provided the opening address at the event on Glebe Farm. She said: ‘The partnerships that Ripple Effect has established in Africa are not just touching one individual life; it is communicating how to develop good relationships with the earth and farming techniques which are passed on. Through this ripple effect, many more people are supported.’

This harvest your church can help support the work of Ripple Effect and Light Mothers, community volunteers in Burundi.  Light Mothers, who are passionate about fighting child hunger, share vital knowledge on how to create thriving kitchen gardens that provide vegetables all year round, even in the face of the climate crisis. They also advise mothers how to prepare nutritious meals for their families, shine a light on family planning and promote good sanitation and hygiene. Read more about Light Mothers and the work they do.

You can also download free Harvest resources for your church from the Ripple Effect wbsite