CAFOD Southwark Campaigns Volunteer Bernard White writes on why he is going to be in London on Saturday December 5 2009 to join ‘ THE WAVE ‘:
“All the things I had heard and read about the effects of climate on people in developing countries were confirmed for me when I went on a volunteer visit last February with CAFOD to Honduras and Nicaragua. I saw the effects of severe flooding caused by non-stop rain during October 2008.
“In the community of Buenos Aires we climbed over the trunks of large trees whose roots had been destabilised by the water rushing down the mountainside before seeing fallen half-ripe banana trees, coffee plants and the maize crop which had been almost wholly devastated.
“I also saw so many examples of work done by CAFOD’s partners to enable local communities in both countries to prepare themselves to deal better with the effects of climate change, such as building bridges and retaining walls to prevent rivers flooding in times of heavy rainfall.
“What really struck me was the way people of all ages in communities worked together to implement what they were being taught, such as planting and irrigation schemes and the relocation of houses built on flood plains.
Parishioners from my local Church, St Gertrude’s in South Croydon, have sent in the region of 300 “hands” cards to the Prime Minister and a similar number signed a petition to our MP calling for him to support calls for a tough deal in Copenhagen in relation to emissions reduction targets and substantial funding for developing countries to deal with the effects of climate change.
“Having spoken to our parishioners to urge them, in the spirit of Live Simply, to take up the challenge to come and join The Wave on the 5th December in London, I am now hoping that a number of them will be there with me. I have had made a fine blue banner for them to rally under!”