Speech at Solidarityparty

Afrika Kontakt threw a party at UNION in solidarity for the victims of the climate disaster in Mozambique

Zofia Sjeerm was talking on behalf of Afrika Kontakt at our event to show support for Mozambique and raise money to the local community. This event was a collaboration between individuals, Konfront, Union and Afrika Kontakt.
09. april 2019

Hi everyone,

My name is Zofia Sjeerm. I am part of Afrika Kontakt and one of the organisers of this event.

First of all, a warm welcome to our Mozambique event – we are very happy that so many of you decided to show up and support this cause.

We are all here because we are terrified of what has happened in Mozambique and because we feel for the people affected by the cyclone.

As most of you know the Idai cyclone has been said to be one of the worst natural disasters to have ever happened in the Southern hemisphere.
It has destroyed around 700,000 hectares of crops, and destroyed housing and infrastructure.

It has killed more than 700 people and injured 1500 people.

And it has affected around 1,85 million people’s lives.

And even worse is the fact that Mozambique is deeply indebted.

A debt of 12 billion DKK.

A debt created behind the Mozambican population’s back.

A debt created by corrupt politicians and Russian and Swiss bankers.

A debt that left no money to save the people from the disaster, help rebuild the area in the coming period.

But also a debt that the local Mozambicans are to pay back.

Mozambique is one of the countries most hit by climate change in the world – experiencing high levels of both droughts, flooding, cyclones and other natural disasters.

I have a quote by Dipti Bhatnagar, from our partner Justica Ambiental - Friends of the Earth Mozambique, that I would like to share with you.

“Mozambique did not create this climate crisis. Our people have contributed almost nothing to the climate crisis, but this is the irony of the climate crisis – it affects those that did not do anything to create it. The poorest and most vulnerable people of the planet are going to be affected the most. We need to deal with it, we need to stop dirty and harmful energies everywhere!”.

This aspect of harmful energies is also eminent in Mozambique, where the large US company Anadarko is exploring a large gas field.

Marie and I were back in February/March in the Cado Delgado province in Mozambique to do a start up visit with our partner JA! – Friends of the Earth Mozambique.

And generally people are very skeptical towards this project.

People know that the money that the project generates will not benefit the Mozambican people in any way.
But the Mozambican government has said that it wants to use the profit from the gas to pay back the debt.

This is so wrong!

We know that all previous projects have not fostered development in Mozambique.

Unfortunately, Mozambique is hit by many different crises, along with the cyclone.

But the good thing is that many, many people are coming together to fight back.

So many organisations and individuals are working hard to create change, and I would like to mention some of them.

CIP, the Integrity Center, is stating that they are not paying back the debt and are distributing t-shirts - like the one I am wearing - to people.

JA! is a very critical organisation that is stating how gas is not seen as a means to replace fossil fuels and generally working towards climate justice.

Forum mulher is supporting the local women and strengthening their positions in society.

Alternactiva has created a democratic media platform for the Mozambicans to be able to receive critical news, independent from the government.

And of course there are so many more, and we need to support them.

I think it is really important to unite in times of these and show our solidarity.
And we will continue to support all of these brave people that will be there to help rebuild the cyclone affected area.

Thank you so much for coming today - and let us have a party!

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