Bintu Abiso, Nigeria
"The climate is changing. The dry season is longer and very hot. It affects everything: our environment, our livelihoods and our animals."
Abdus Samad Sarker, Bangladesh
"During the day we go to our neighbour’s house, but at night we sleep on a boat," he says. "I’m 78 years old and I don’t have any job prospects, so receiving this money helps me feed my family."
Marta Domingo, Mozambique
"If I get a future, if I go home, I will go back to farming to survive. I want my baby girl to have food and clothing. The cyclone has taken everything. But I want her to go to school."
Lourenço Custodio, Mozambique
Djeneba Diallo, Burkina Faso
"Water collection takes us so much time that we cannot go to the market again to sell and buy enough to feed ourselves."
"We all live in peace. The only problem is water. All our clothes are dirty, and it creates a lack of hygiene that makes us fear diseases like diarrhoea, especially for our children."
Adam Arouna, Niger
"I have lived next to the river all my life and I have never seen anything like this."
"I believe this is a message from God. He is the one to tell us what to do and not do. He always sends catastrophes when he is unhappy with man’s behaviour. God is patient, but when humans do not listen to him he sends catastrophes to remind them of his presence."
Amsatou Abdoulaye, Niger
"Only God knows why this happened. I never saw anything like this before. There is too much sand in the river now. In 2018, for the first time, I saw someone walk across the river during the dry season. This had never been possible before."
Rowshan, Shahidul and their daughters, Bangladesh
Johura and Bokkor, Bangladesh
Chirica Guimba, Philippines
Nguyen Van Hat and Ho Thi Ha, Vietnam
Carlota Rosario, Mozambique
Nadia Meio, Mozambique
"I don’t know why the weather is like this," she said. "But I heard on the radio that these cyclones will become more frequent here in Mozambique."
Mateboko Hlashla, Lesotho
"But the most painful thing is that we normally sell our livestock in order to get enough cash so that we can buy what the kids need for school. But now that we have lost a lot of livestock it’s not definite the children will be going to school."
Secundino Orellana, Honduras
"I thank God for my life. It’s very painful to lose everything one owns, but the most important thing is to save one’s life. You have to endure. All of us lost everything. The water washed the houses away. I have been living here for 30 years. I have never seen anything like this before."
"We are fighting to survive. We can’t give up, because we have to look forward."
Nneheiyg Smith, Lesotho
"When I was growing up, when I was still young, we had seasonal rains that were named. There was a lot of rain. We were able to plant everything we wanted at any time. We used to have livestock, as the grazing was good. But now everything has changed. The time we used to have rain – the rain doesn’t come. Instead we are expecting dust or wind, which can come at any time. I’m aware that things have changed."
Mohamed Qadis, Afghanistan
"The prices were way too low. I sold them for a fifth of their real price. But I could not wait to sell, I had no choice. Twenty of my sheep had already starved because I had no fodder for them and no water."
Tonima Mehzabin Islam, Bangladesh
"In shelters there is sometimes no light and there are men everywhere. At night, if a woman wants to go to the bathroom or somewhere else, having a torch is crucial for her safety."
Sophia Angelica Majid, Indonesia
Ahmedou Ag ElBokhary, Mauritania
"We want to go back home, but the projects we have are projects for the area. If we leave, people will not say that the refugees made them miserable, they will say that we returned with our heads held high."
He adds: "There is a proverb in Tamashek that says, ‘Whoever has planted a tree has not lived in vain’."
Rokaya and Jamila, Niger
"We miss school hours by going to collect water. It's a girl’s chore. Sometimes we are late to class and the teacher scolds us."
"If I can finish my studies, I would like to dedicate myself to something related to education. Something that allows me to learn and learn."
We need to pressure world leaders to take meaningful climate action for those who need it most.
They must commit to putting vulnerable people front and centre at the UN climate summit (COP26) in November.
This is a race we must win.
*The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is a humanitarian fund established by the United Nations General Assembly on December 15, 2005 and launched in March 2006. With CERF’s objectives to 1) promote early action and response to reduce loss of life; 2) enhance response to time-critical requirements; and 3) strengthen core elements of humanitarian response in underfunded crises, CERF seeks to enable more timely and reliable humanitarian assistance to those affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts.
The fund is replenished annually through contributions from governments, the private sector, foundations and individuals. From the fund’s inception untill August 2013, donors include 125 member states and more than 30 private donors and regional authorities.