All over the world, COVID-19 has left a difficult legacy, hampering communities in their livelihood activities and altering their environment.
In the Comoros, COVID-19 has had significant impacts on the mangroves, which are home to considerable ecological wealth and are incredibly important for the environmental health of the country. Indeed, with the lockdown measures, there was an increase in the amount of waste produced within households while the waste pick-up systems were also struggling to function. At the same time, the economic hardship which occurs during this period forced some people to find alternative sources of income such as the sale of firewood.
Excessive deforestation, the accumulation of household waste and the systematic destruction of mangrove regrowth have all continued rapidly during this period. This situation has been made even worse by the effects of climate change in this Indian Ocean region.
Aware of the need to act quickly, Kalathoumi Charif, a representative of the youth section of the Comorian Red Crescent, has developed a project focusing on the sustainable management of the natural environment in the face of climate risks. Its aim is to help communities understand the importance of this ecosystem and to help them put in place effective conservation mechanisms.
Thousands of volunteers—primarily youth volunteers—from the Comorian Red Crescent will deliver training and awareness-raising sessions on the conservation of cultivable soils and the protection of mangroves from the effects of climate change. These sessions will take place over one year and cover people on the country’s three major islands: Ngazidja, Anjouan and Mohéli.
This is the first time I have had the chance to submit a project like this. I am delighted to be able to put my knowledge into practice. And to participate in the preservation of the mangroves in my country. I would like to tell young people who don't dare to take the plunge yet that there is a first time for everything, so it's time we have confidence in our abilities.
Comorian Red Crescent
The IFRC is convinced of the potential of young volunteers and their ability to bring about positive and impactful changes in their communities. Which is why it’s important to support such initiatives, especially those related to climate risk reduction. This project will therefore benefit from technical and financial support from Limitless, the IFRC's Innovation Academy.