Shortages of food, water and electricity: how Djibouti has been destroyed by climate change

  • Jun 19, 2019
  • Dehai

Villages have been abandoned, people displaced and ancient ways of life changed forever. Plant species have disappeared, which in turn has impacted the country’s livestock. Cattle – once plentiful – are now scarce; camels – once ubiquitous – are now few. And goats have become the dominant livestock.

Inevitably, poverty has increased, diets degraded.

"People now have a nutritional deficit," says Hibo Mohamed, assistant to the UNDP’s ecological programme. "The health of the people has deteriorated."

Climate change is also transforming society. Men are now obliged to leave home to find daily work, transforming traditional roles. "Women have become the main providers," Hibo says. "With the new challenges, everything is changing. Now, everyone is just trying to survive. The traditional rules are no longer true."

Life now revolves around water points: collections of blue barrels lining the road. Villages form around these water points which are regularly replenished by the government.

Sixteen kilometres south of Djibouti is the village of Damerjog, where single-storey concrete blocks house farming families displaced by climate change. Saharla Hussein, 35, was born in a village not far from here.

Register for access to the Energy news and press releases