At the COP 16, we sat in to listen to some journalists from the Climate Change Media Partnership ,talk as panelists on climate change reporting in their various countries. These four journalists spoke on the different issues as it affects their countries. They all had one thing in common. The are already intensely feeling the impacts of climate change and it would get worse as the years roll by. They are reporting the issues as a matter of urgency. They are reporters with the most to lose.
I am a reporter with the most to lose. I do not just report on climate change for the passion for journalism, I do because my voice could help save my family, my friends ,my country and my continent. My name is Ugochi Anyaka. I come from Nigeria, West of Africa.
Coming from Amucha, in Njaba LGA of Imo state,a community that has experienced the menace of erosion has brought me first hand experience of how devastating natural disasters can be. My immediate family did not get to relocate from their lands when the erosion came but I know some relatives who did. They are already refugees. The people of the community live in fear, knowing that if nothing is done as quickly as possible, it would get worse. When the erosion first came swallowing homes and farm lands, the people of the community believed someone had desecrated the land. If not, how could something this strange and painful come to them. They said a man in the community must have secretly killed and buried the giant python . They believed this because the path of the erosion is curved like a giant python devouring anything standing in its way. It’s a taboo to kill the giant python in some parts of Igbo land as it is believed to be a great reptile worthy of reverence. If killed, would be buried like a human in style. But as the years went by, the people realized that the erosion was caused by a disruption in nature.
So today, in the company of my father, I set out to tell this story.I have my camera to make pictures of the devastation and my sound recorder, to get the voices of these affected people. I have already informed the local Chief of Amucha of my desire to speak to him but I would be starting with the locals.