It’s easy to understand why Brazilian farmer Pedro Santana Oliveira has struggled to feed his family when you try and get to his smallholding.
The track to his place in the north eastern state of Pernambuco is so sandy that the tyres of any vehicle have difficulty getting traction and that same sand permeates the soil around his home, making crop growing extremely hard work.
Access to water in this arid area is a problem. There was a reservoir but the changing climate and environmental degradation means it has dried up, leaving Pedro and his neighbours facing seven mile round trips using donkeys to fetch water from the nearest source.
It's little wonder that many locals are giving up working the land in favour of migrating to Brazil’s cities, but many encounter further hardship as they discover their agricultural skills are insufficient to find an urban livelihood.
Tearfund partner Diaconia is beginning to help Pedro and his neighbours remain on their ancestral lands.
Pedro has had help to install a rainwater harvesting tank to capture whatever falls when the heavens do open and Diaconia staff have also introduced an irrigation system which uses solar panels to power a pump that moves the water around to serve 20 families.
Pedro has now started growing crops again for his family’s consumption and hopes to be able to sell them in the market soon.
Our work on climate change
Tearfund works on climate change because extreme weather patterns hit the poorest people hardest. Poor communities across the world tell us they are already feeling the impacts of changes to their environment.
Unpredictable rainfall means more droughts and floods. More droughts mean a greater risk of famine, more floods mean greater destruction of homes and livelihoods, and the potential for infectious diseases to race through the population.
The bible tells us that ‘love does no harm to its neighbour’, yet the way we live now harms our neighbours in poor countries. Tearfund is campaigning to convince world leaders to take drastic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help poor countries adapt to the devastating impacts of climate change.