“2°C is suicide to us” : Climate Change Impact in Lilongwe, Malawi

by Ayina Mwamadi

Summer blooms its way in. I am happy to see the warmth it brings in my cold veins. The sun shines so bright, it continues to shine only to feel my heart now burning inside. I must say, I wish I could rewind my days back, wishing for a little snow fall, to cool the heat my body is burning from. I live in a small house where directly the heat is absorbed in my small space. The temperature is so high that it’s really hard to breath, I move outside all I see is a bare ground, I cannot find any shelter cause in my area the trees were cut. What can I do? I have nowhere to run to, I’m running out of breath.

Breathing fresh air was something I experienced long before. As I remember there was a lot of trees around me. I found it’s normal that I never complained about how the weather was out. I was living normally. In the months of November and December was the rainy season, by then I would see maize growing healthy, it’s green beautifying our environment, giving us food to eat. Today as I walk I see none, we are sitting down praying for the rains to come, it’s December but the rains are not falling, we have an extreme heat wave out here, while the growth of crops remains unpredictable.

Malawi's Water Woes

These days making a living is hard and living itself is hard. My food at home prepared with love, kept for the evening is heated, so much that it becomes spoiled before I would feed on it.  I am working in my home, I have things to read and write but see what I’m more concerned with. I’m being heated up, that it’s draining my strength. I sit there the next minute I found myself in another planet, sleep catches me quick these days. But as I sleep, the heat wave in the room is just too much. In the night, as I sleep the windows are left open to let some air in, only to let in mosquitoes, so my health is still compromised.

We are men and women, children and adults experiencing climate change effects. The water at home is not running as it should, we experience the shortage, and now we have to buy more water. Just early November the water prices have been raised. With the economy I’m living in its a burden, for me, for all of us. They said the lakes and river water levels are low. Water boards are having difficulties to pump enough water for all. When the water stops the grain of sand and mud comes along in our running water. So sad that we are prone to water borne diseases, and sometimes we are misusing water in waiting for it to start coming out more cleaner. You know, sometimes I stay waiting the whole day until the next day, but still the water comes out in the brownish colour. I can’t wait any longer, I’m forced to take it in. Little by little we are depleting man’s good health and wellbeing. We have NOWHERE to run to.

 2°C is suicide to us. I urge that we stand together and reconceive our vegetation to reach to 1.5°C.

Ayina Mwamadi

Ayina Mwamadi is a youth for climate justice from Malawi. She believes that when people are able to understand better, they would be able to tackle climate change issues more effectively. She's a member of Green Girls platform, a female-led initiative that works to achieve women’s participation in the environment. She's is the holder of a bachelor’s degree in Human Science and Community Services from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Ayina is passionate about women empowerment. She is enthusiastic about seeing young girls and women stand out as creators of change.

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