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Rose Katanu Jonathan sitting on the dry land caused by extreme drought in Dili Village, Kitui.

Rose Katanu Jonathan sitting on the dry land caused by extreme drought in Dili Village, Kitui. - Adam Finch/ Christian Aid

Rose's story

Rose fights hunger every day. This is her climate crisis. This is her story.

Rose is caught in a cycle of climate chaos. From severe drought to flooding, extreme weather robs her of what she needs to survive: a reliable source of water.

When she was a child, Rose remembers how often the rains would fall, giving fruit to the baobab trees and providing plenty of nutritious food to eat.

‘When I was a young girl, there was plenty of food,’ Rose says. Now, the rains are totally unreliable. The climate crisis has galvanised extreme weather and Rose’s community are feeling the brunt of it. For months at a time, Rose and her family lives with drought.

Because of climate change, I worry a lot about food. I pray to God that the rainfall will become normal like it used to be.

- Rose Katanu Jonathan.

Rose has to go on a long journey to collect water.

Rose has to go on a long journey to collect water. - Adam Finch/ Christian Aid

Rose strives to provide for her grandchildren who live with her. She does all she can to give them happy childhoods, like the times she remembers when there was plenty of food. But the climate crisis is driving her to the brink.

In times of drought, Rose sets out on a long and dangerous journey every morning to collect water for her family. She walks on an empty stomach.

‘Because I am old, I can’t walk very fast. When I get home I just rest in the evening. I have no energy to do anything else,’ Rose says.

Even when the rains do come, relief for Rose is often short lived.

There is a nearby earth dam just minutes away from Rose’s home. It should be a lifeline. But it’s not wide enough or deep enough for everyone’s needs. It runs out of water too quickly.

Imagine how dispirited Rose must feel watching the rain fall for days, only to find the dam empty just a short while later.

What’s more, the rains are much heavier than they should be, putting Rose’s community at risk of flooding.

Rose is over 60 years old and simply won’t have the strength to fetch water from further afield for much longer. We need to fight this climate crisis together.

I believe God gives me strength and helps me persevere. I pray that God will help people to help me.

- Rose Rose Katanu Jonathan.

With a reliable source of water, people like Rose would be free from long, painful journeys. They would be able to grow fresh vegetables to eat. And they would be able to protect themselves from the dangers of coronavirus. With such dire need, every last drop of water that falls in Rose’s community is precious.

This Christian Aid Week, will you stand with people like Rose for every last drop and help them fight the climate crisis?

Rose is part of the Itukisya earth dam project, Dili Village, Kitui. Her community are working together to clear the weeds and rubbish from the Dam.

Rose and her community are working together to clear the weeds and rubbish from the Itukisya dam. - Adam Finch/ Christian Aid

Your gifts could help communities build better earth dams to harvest more water; sow drought-tolerant crops that grow even with the fewest of drops; or set up an advocacy group to demand change at the highest level and put a stop to this climate crisis.

People like Rose need every last drop to survive this climate crisis. Your gifts will help ensure they can. Give today and help ensure people like Rose have the water they need to live.