The rainy season is here, and like most years, the village is expected to have abundant rains. Nature blessed Thampèreh with so many showers that even in the dry season, the village still experiences rainfall.
But the blessing has also been a major curse to the village. From floodings to mudslides and diarrhea outbreaks, the rains are often one of the biggest threats facing Thampèreh. Dark clouds bring panic and fear among citizens, and many hardly ever sleep until the skies are clear.
Unlike past seasons, this rainy season poses even bigger threats to the village. There has been an increase in environmental destruction across the village. From deforestation to pollution to sand mining and land grabbing, the danger of what lies ahead in the coming moon circles is sending shocking waves to the people. The village has seen how land grabbing in some of its green belts caused massive water shortages prompting the Painter to call for an investigation into the sale of land in those areas.
And even though the call is one of the boldest steps ever taken by the current Painter, it risks going unanswered. Many within his circle have already begun politicizing the move citing an “election season” as the wrong time to take such decisions. While elections come and go, climate change issues, the destruction of the village’s environment, and its impact on the people will be here to stay if nothing is done about them soon.
The impact of climate change is very evident in the village, with a high rise in temperatures from the blistering heat during the dry season to the recent record of violent storms right in the first moon circle of the start of the rainy season. With all the major problems facing the village, the last thing it would want to deal with is another man-made disaster.
The people of Thampèreh must act now, starting with taking bold steps devoid of politics and the fear of losing votes. Villagers must encourage and accept decisions by the Painter and other elected officials to reverse the impact of climate change and the destruction around us. It is time to support more grassroots initiatives working on environmental issues to take the lead in overcoming these challenges. Let us urge one another to plant more trees this rainy season. It is time we mobilize youth groups to carry out sensitizations and engage more people within their communities to clear drainages and waterways and minimize the chances of flooding.
This rainy season is going to be violent. It will be fierce and a threat to our national security. Let’s sound the alarm now and start taking action. The village does not have the resources or strength to deal with the disaster that would come with the rains this season. The only way to act is to prevent it from happening. And there’s no better time to start preparing than now. It is either we sound the alarm now and act or wait for the sounds of sirens from ambulances to remind us of what we could have done.