Scotland was one of the first countries in the world to fund ‘loss and damage’ caused by climate change in poor countries. When heavy rains hit Malawi’s Mambugungu village, people’s homes were washed away, but it wasn’t the worst. The waters of the flood were infested with crocodiles, and the children were carried away by them. In 2015, the villagers couldn’t take it any longer and moved the entire community to higher ground. Malawi in East Africa has been hit hard by the effects of climate change
However, it is one of the poorest countries in the world and struggles to pay for the necessary measures to repair the damage. Here the Scottish government stepped in and promoted the idea that wealthy countries should bear the damage caused by climate change in the developing world. At the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, she pledged £2m for the world’s first ‘loss and damage’ program. A further £5m has been pledged from April. Finally, at her COP27 in Egypt in November, other world leaders agreed to follow suit. Village chief Isaac Mambundungu said he had no choice but to lead the villagers to a safer place.
The Scottish government’s money is being spent in Malawi by organizations such as Sciaf, the Scottish Catholic Aid Fund. It identified six villages where the impacts of climate change have been significant. Some of the £500,000 Sciaf has been allocated is being spent rebuilding the Mphatso preschool in Ngabu, which was originally constructed by the Roger Federer Foundation and ActionAid. A portion of the donation will be used to protect the Mbenje village cemetery. Graves are often lifted or washed away by floods in Mbenje village. Saturated soil means it takes a long time to start digging again after a flood.