Welcome to #ClimateStory4Kids!
Climate change is causing extreme heatwaves in many communities. Heatwaves are periods of excessively hot weather, which is sometimes followed by high humidity. Heatwaves are becoming frequent in oceanic climate countries due to climate change.
Our story for today is about a village’s struggle to survive the extremely hot weather and Kovu’s race against time to save his village.
“Nothing. We caught nothing again”, said a middle-aged man as he slowly made his way into the village, a line of men with their fishing nets trailed behind him.
The villagers started coming out of their huts one after the other, gloom masking their faces.
Djibouti village used to be a flourishing community. Its closeness to the ocean meant an abundance of fish and other sea creatures which the villagers traded.
People from distant communities would travel to Djibouti village to buy baskets of marine species and sell in their respective villages. Those were the glory days but things aren’t as they used to anymore.
The village had been experiencing unbearable hot episodes. The hot weather was heating up the ocean and chasing the fish away. The villagers were also experiencing severe dehydration because their bodies were heating up due to the harsh weather.
Sick people who relied on medication were dying because of complications, and older people, as well as children, were developing blood clots due to the heat. Nobody knew the cause of the change in weather and the villagers had tried every means possible to adapt but nothing seemed to work.
As the fishermen broke the news of, yet, another unsuccessful fishing venture, a teenage boy, Kovu by name, knew he had to do something, and fast. His mother had been ill for a while and he didn’t want her to die as the others had.
What’s the solution to heat and dehydration? Kovu thought to himself as he slowly walked along the bush path that led to the open fields from where the ocean could be seen.
It was getting to evening time and he needed to clear his head before heading back to the village.
By the time he got to the shore, it was already dark. He could make out the waves from the ocean from where he stood, thanks to the moon.
Kovu kicked at a seashell and watched it fly into the raging waves. He shivered.
It was cold and as he felt the water touch his feet, an idea struck him.
The ocean was usually cool at night which meant the villagers could camp on the patch of dry land just before the seashore for the night. The fishermen could also carry out their fishing activities at that time because the water would be cool enough for fish to live in.
He could also construct a cooling system of sorts that could serve the village during the day.
Kovu shared his idea with the village elders and they immediately got to work on the cooling system. They got some wood from the forest and constructed several mud houses. The mid houses also had handmade hammocks in them.
In the daytime, people stayed in the mud houses to cool off while at night, they moved to the ocean to fish and enjoy the cool breeze.
This seemed to work for everyone and the village was able to cope with the extreme weather conditions, thanks to Kovu.