Ala, in her womb holds the ancestors, they lived, they loved, they tilled, they danced and told stories. Our father journeyed and settled on her, she became their identity, her forests were bounty for meat, her river, water to drink and replenish their strength. And in her was a fertile harvest of yams, coco, palm oil, maize, nuts and every blessed crop for consumption. Ala, the mother earth, on her has the people learnt to till and soil the ground, the riches of the culture and tradition practiced, on her we have made our homes. Times and seasons nourish her and from her springs forth the greenness of the life-giving herbs and roots. The trees, the sun, the rain were all her friends.
The seasons told us when to plant, the trees gave us warm shelter, the sunshine radiated the plants and the rain and river nourished our crops. It was our duty to keep her. But it all changed, when we turned our backs against her, we cut down the trees, we spat on the earth. We let them mine for coals, dig through the river for oil and pollute the sea, they built industries to burn fossil fuel.
She cried because her people have lost their identity, they are more interested in economic development than environmental preservation. We have allowed the big brothers of the world to rape the land, pollute the air for their profit and have left the poor to suffer her wrath. She loses her strength as erosion washes away her nutrients, her people die of hunger, economic oppression and injustices prevails.
Oh, it is called climate change. Climate change involves human activities that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, depletes the ozone layer and reduces the amount of carbon absorbed from the atmosphere. They gave us green tax in place of the death of our land and the future of our children. Our women suffer from the effects of drought, as our streets turns into a desert. And we are left with nothing, but the vulnerability of climate change. And now, heavy rainfall and erosion is washing away our farm lands, agricultural produce unaffordable to the poor. Floods destroying people’s homes and the children drowning in it. Droughts suck up the river and the fishermen die of poverty, women and children are left to bear the loss. Wild forest fires spreads, the children suffer sunburns and rashes from bad weather.
The plants are dried, causing the herdsmen to clash with farmers, over who grazes and who plants. As seasons changes, so are the seeds laid to waste. We suffer from what we do not benefit from. God gave us the land to cultivate and guard it. Not to exploit and destroy, forcing the world to an end. She has cried and her tears are dried. But we will not be quiet. We are the generation of Ala that will not be silent while the future of our children and the land is laid to waste. We will keep speaking until the greed of men, is shoved up their throat, we will keep making our streets and schools aware of what going on until the government hears the cry of people. We keep planting the trees until we see changes, we will fight and we refuse to suffer from the operation of unjust system.
by CWM Training In Mission (TIM) 2019 Participant Anoke Faith Blessing from WSCF – Student Christian Movement (SCM) Nigeria