BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO
THE people of Lord Howe islands are struggling to adjust to the effects and impacts of climate change.
Sea level rise and salt water intrusion are some of the effects felt by the people.
From promises made in the past by governments and visiting stakeholders, the people are now losing hope and support from these key people in the country.
In an exclusive interview with Chief Peter Kalali of Lord Howe islands, he reveals that sea level rise and issues of climate change are real to the people.
Kalali said Lord Howe communities are facing the brunt of climate change and for sure cannot be avoided.
He said they will continue to face the changes caused by human activities not of their making.
Kalali said saltwater intrusion is now having its effects on agriculture sectors. Local crops for consumption is now scarce, commercial businesses not making profits anymore and their water sources are not safe due to ground water salinisation .
He said as the sea continues to rise, their beautiful islands, the people and their culture is also under treat.
Kalali said sea level rise has contributed to the loss productivity of their land and the increased rate of shoreline erosion is uncontrollable which has been the main cause for ground water salinization
He said as the sea continues to rise, their beautiful islands, the people and their culture is also under threat.
He said there is nothing much they can do about it to combat nature, but they simply undergo an initiative of prayer, caring and sharing whatever they have in terms of foods, water and land to neighboring families and communities.
“We only live through the climate change and sea level rise through prayer, caring and sharing with our neighboring families and communities within Lord Howe,” said Kalali.
He adds for now the situation is getting worse and they are likely to have many of their coastal settlers relocated.