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UN encourages Somali journalists to increase reporting on climate challenges facing Somalia

Hassan Istiila
Friday May 3, 2024

Mogadishu (HOL) - The United Nations in Somalia is encouraging Somali journalists to increase their reporting on the climate challenges facing Somalia, as the climate crisis affects the lives of millions of Somalis.

On World Press Freedom Day, Friday, May 3, 2024, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, Catriona Laing, stated, "Somalia is on the frontline of climate change, with the climate crisis affecting the lives of millions of Somalis, especially the most vulnerable. Much more needs to be done to raise awareness of all aspects of the environmental crisis and journalism is indispensable for this purpose."

"For Somalia to achieve its goals of stability and sustainable development, it is necessary for journalists to report accurately, timely, and comprehensively on environmental issues and their consequences, as well as on possible solutions," she added.

As part of the campaign to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights last year, the United Nations launched media campaigns to promote and gather youth perspectives on climate change and environmental issues to hear their voices on how climate change is impacting Somalia.

Established by the UN General Assembly in 1993, World Press Freedom Day is dedicated to the importance of journalism and freedom of expression in the context of the current global environmental crisis. This year's theme is A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis.'

World Press Freedom Day aims to highlight the significant role that the press, journalism, access to information, and dissemination of information play in ensuring a sustainable future.

However, this year's commemoration coincides with the beginning of the country's April-June Gu rainy season, as fleeing continues in the central Somali town of Beledweyne for the second day following floods caused by heavy rains.

The areas still experiencing displacement include the Koshin neighbourhood, particularly the Raderka and Kutiimbo villages, which have been the most affected by the floods in the town. Many families displaced from these neighbourhoods have been trapped in their homes for the past 24 hours, unable to escape the flooding.

Since April 19, the Gu rains have affected thousands of people and resulted in the deaths of seven children. Jubaland, Hirshabelle, and Southwest states are the most severely impacted, according to the government.

Somalia is the second most climate-vulnerable country in the world and one of the least ready to face the climate crisis, according to the global climate index ND-GAIN.


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