Photographing Climate Change In Africa

Published February 9, 2012
Updated March 6, 2017
Turkana Tribe
A distressed young girl from the Turkana tribe in Northern Kenya looks for her mother.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Down On Ground
A woman from the remote Turkana tribe in Northern Kenya rests next to a goat skin as she waits her turn to see if she will be selected for food aid by other villagers at Kokuru.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Dust Cloud
A gigantic cloud of dust known as "Haboob" advances over Khartoum. These seasonal type of monsoons can reach a height of 3,000 feet and can change the landscape in the few hours that they last. AFP/Getty Images

Hand Raised=black White
A Turkana village elder talks to Oxfam aid workers about the drought crisis near Lodwar, Kenya.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

USA Water Jug
Children in northern Kenya wait their turn to fill an empty USA food aid tin with water at a river bed pit at Kaikor.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Boy In Tree
Bamako Encounters

Small Child Looking Up
A malnourished Turkana boy looks on as Oxfam workers arrive to inform them of the next food distribution date in the village of Kaikor near Lodwar, Kenya. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Malnourished Crowd
Men and women from the Turkana tribe wait their turn to see if they will be selected for food aid by other villagers at Kokuru, Kenya.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Dead Donkey
The carcass of a donkey, the victim of drought, lies in a dry riverbed in Kenya. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Desert Walking
A woman makes her way across the windswept desert to meet Oxfam workers in Kenya. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Little Girl Food Aid
Children from the remote Turkana tribe in northern Kenya look on as Oxfam workers arrive to inform them of the next food distribution date in the village of Kaikor.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Cracked River Bed
A young boy in Northern Kenya stands on a dried up river bed.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Walking Barren
A Turkana boy walks across a dried up river at Kokuro near Lodwar, Kenya.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Child Africa Fountain
Children in northern Kenya drink water from a nearly empty well.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Clouds Africa Climate Change
Bamako Encounters

Small Boy
Bamako Encounters

Boy Holding Stick
Bamako Encounters

Holding Shovel
Bamako Encounters

Hungry Tribe
Men and women in northern Kenya wait their turn to see if they will be selected for food aid by other villagers at Kokuru. The villagers themselves decide which family gets food in a democratic voting process. Selected villagers usually give food to those that lose out as there is never enough to go round. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Stone On Beach
Bamako Encounters

Fountain Drink
A boy from the village of Bama, near Bobo Dioulasso in Burkina Fasso (one of the countries hardest hit by droughts), drinks water at the village's fountain.Bamako Encounters

Women Hungry Africa
Women from the Turkana area of Kanukurdio rush across the windswept desert to meet Oxfam workers in Kenya. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Digging Hole
A young girl in Northern Kenya digs a hole in a river bed to retrieve water. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Hole Water
Children in northern Kenya dig a hole in a river bed to retrieve water. As water levels dwindle, many children are killed as the walls of the pits they collapse on top of them. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Morning Water Run
Women in northern Kenya carry water from a well. Some villagers are having to walk up to ten miles, leaving at 4 a.m. to miss the daytime heat, to get fresh water for their families as wells and river bed pits run dry.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Turns Well Family
A woman in northern Kenya and her children wait their turn to draw water from a river bed well.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Family Hungry Meal
A family prepares to settle down for the night after eating a sparse evening meal in Kenya.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Walking Well Water
Women in northern Kenya carry water from a well. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Drink Well Water
Children in northern Kenya drink water from a nearly empty well.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Dry Riverbed
A woman in northern Kenya walks along a dry riverbed near Kanukurdio.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Food Aid Kenya
In Kenya, children meet Oxfam workers to find out when the next aid delivery will arrive.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Child Hole Water
Children in northern Kenya dig a hole in a river bed to retrieve water.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Water Jug
A woman in northern Kenya carries water from a well. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Despite consuming a paltry amount of the world's resources, many predict that it is the people of Africa who will bear the brunt of climate change's disastrous effects.

From Nigeria to Ghana, African photographers convened at the Bamako Encounters exhibition to give their unique perspectives on the effects of climate change in Africa.

It is a perspective that is sorely needed. According to a recent Climate Change Vulnerability Index, seven of the ten countries that climate change is hitting the hardest are located in Africa.

350Africa.org lists the ways that climate change will make life even more difficult for these African countries.

Flooding and drought will be the main killers, ruining much-needed crops while also causing untold deaths in the decades to come. Its effects will reverberate throughout the world of agriculture and spread disease like nothing the continent has seen before.

Countless homes will be destroyed, all of which will affect the vulnerable populations -- women, children, and the elderly -- the most.

Climate change will also impact the water resource situation in Africa. For example, the glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro had acted as de facto water towers for the region surrounding it before they withered away to almost nothing. And when they disappeared, so did the rivers that those glaciers fed.

And as competition for resources increases, so too will violence that will pit populations against one another in bloody struggles.

And when that happens, the industrial world will once again be responsible for wreaking havoc on Africa.


Next, see how climate change is wreaking havoc around the world before checking out how humanity is accelerating natural climate change by a factor of 170.

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All That's Interesting is a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that seeks out the stories to illuminate the past, present, and future.