South Africa has suffered one of its worst floods in history, another sad example of the devastation climate change brings upon third-world countries. However, we are still not talking about it.
The Disaster in South Africa
South Africa has been hit with devastating floods over the month of April, a catastrophe that has led to the loss of over 400 lives, with many more people still missing and thousands left without a home to live in. This flood followed what is probably the deadliest storm in South Africa’s history, as it hit the major port city of Durban. Furthermore, there has been widespread infrastructure damages in the region, with these rains destroying what was already a crippled road system.
This storm caught most meteorologists by surprise as it had never been seen before, but all in all there is a clear consensus on who to blame for this: climate change. This disaster is not the only big climate event that southern Africa has experienced this year, with multiple large cyclones and storms hitting the region at the beginning of the year, taking the lives of at least 100 people in Malawi from January to April.
Climate Change in Developing Nations
This is yet another reminder of the direct consequences climate change has on people and a warning that if nothing is done, the situation will continue to get worse and the world will experience more and more of these episodes. Another example is represented by the heavy storms experienced in Brazil this year, which also took the lives of hundreds of people. But another conversation that is worth having is the fact that these storms in South Africa, cyclones in Malawi, and floods in Brazil are not discussed by the international media, while whenever anything of this magnitude hits a western nation there is a media frenzy surrounding it and ample coverage, as it was with the disastrous storms in Germany in 2021.
The entire world will suffer due to the consequences of climate change but those who will suffer first and the hardest are the people most in need in developing nations across the world, and this is exactly the demographic that western media does not acknowledge most of the time. As climate change wreaks havoc one must pay attention and assist the most affected and poorest in resources countries in order to mitigate the effects on the people that live there. In Africa specifically, issues relating to climate change have been prevalent, as diverse ecosystems are suffering and affecting local communities such as Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania.
All in all, we need to act fast on finding solutions to face the threat of climate change, as it will affect every country in the world. But in the meantime, we also need to talk about who is already experiencing what will be the near future of western countries. The media has the moral duty to give space to the voices of climate victims and refugees, pushing governments to send funds and resources so that the human cost of these climate disasters will be reduced to the minimum.