Cyclone Idai shows 'reality of climate change,' says Sask. man who has worked in Mozambique
'In this instance, we are seeing the absolute destructiveness that happens,' says Don Kossick
A Saskatoon man with close ties to Mozambique says one way to support the country after this week's devastating cyclone is to support efforts to fight climate change.
"This a real reality of climate change," said social activist Don Kossick, who has worked with the University of Saskatchewan on the Mozambique Canada Maternal Health Project.
The country, along with Zimbabwe, was hit by a disastrous cyclone earlier this week, which brought torrential rain and devastating floods. The death toll of 200 in Mozambique and 100 in Zimbabwe continues to rise.
The impact of the disasater, Kossick says, was magnified by the effects of climate change.
"I know that people would say 'there's no climate change,' but the reports are already coming out — that because of the rise of the oceans and because there was a drought in that whole area, those kind of factors have contributed a lot to the power of that cyclone."
He says drought also contributed to the flooding because the terrain was unable to absorb the moisture from the cyclone.
Kossick says people in Saskatchewan need to support the provincial and federal governments to "get on board" with climate change efforts.
"I think people just have to take on the deniers," He said, "In this instance, we are seeing the absolute destructiveness that happens."
Kossick says people can also donate to organizations like the International Red Cross and Oxfam Canada to help support Mozambique and Zimbabwe during their reconstruction.
Reaction to cyclone
Kossick says he is devastated and shocked that something as terrible as this has happened to a community and country that he is so close with.
"They've gone through situations of being underdeveloped," Kossick said, "So a cyclone like this just knocks them off their feet and just means that they really require the aid and support that's necessary."
Kossick and his wife recently spent much of February in Mozambique.
"We know a lot of Mozambicans — we've lived with them, they've come and lived in Canada with us," Kossick said. "It's had a really emotional impact on us."
They've been in contact with friends in Mozambique, but there are still areas where people cannot be reached due to the flooding.