Climate change may force Tuvalu citizens out
Oct 21, 2011
Residents on the island of Tuvalu haven't seen significant rainfall since last November, and it's unlikely they'll get any until January, The Guardian reports.
After declaring a state of emergency last month, government officials and residents are wondering what they should do with no water and if they'll be able to stay in their homeland for much longer.
The prolonged drought has been linked to La Nina, though the crisis is also due to climate change in the area, according to the source. In recent years, the rising sea level has begun to take over the fresh water areas on the island, while areas that were once flush and full of greenery have now been turned to dust and desert-like conditions.
Aside from food security concerns and lack of clean water, doctors at the local hospital are worried that the shortage will create health problems - an outbreak of gastroenteritis happened just two weeks ago.
Because much of the problem is due to climate change, residents are angry that they may have to leave their homes because of problems created by developed nations.
"We think [industrialized countries] have an obligation to help us, if not to restore what was damaged or taken away, at least to assist us in some sense, to mitigate the effects of what they have done," Pusinelli Laafai, chairman of Tuvalu's national disaster committee, told the news outlet.