For Sinteyo Legei, a widowed mother of five, life is tough. She lives in a small Maasai village in Kenya with no electricity, and since her husband died, she’s been the main breadwinner for her family.
But in recent years, things have got even harder. “When I was a girl, the climate was very predictable,” says Sinteyo. “But now things have changed. The rains are very unpredictable. We have more droughts, less rain, and life is more difficult for my generation.”
“Less rain means less pasture for our animals. This means we can’t get milk because the goats and sheep are not eating well enough. It is very difficult to sell the animals because their bodies are weak. And food becomes difficult to get because the crops are not doing well.”
When a devastating drought hit in 2011, most of Sinteyo’s animals died, and – because of the failed harvest – food prices shot up. For whole days, her family had nothing to eat.
Soon after, our local partner Caritas Isiolo helped Sinteyo and other women in her community set up a greenhouse, irrigated by a solar-powered pump that delivers water from the nearby river. They grow tomatoes to sell at the market.
While Kenya doesn’t have much rain, it gets plenty of sunshine. Solar-power is proving a cheap, easy-to-maintain and effective source of energy for irrigation and other important needs like lighting.
With the climate changing there is a need for people to work together,” she explains. “When there are no rains it’s important to support each other – you need your neighbour. If we don’t work together, we are alone, and we will not survive alone.”
Climate change is the biggest threat to reducing poverty that exists today. We can make a difference if we act together. Join our One Climate, One World campaign today.