After years of prolonged drought, the heaviest rainy season in more than 30 years has submerged large swaths of Chad, stranding nomadic livestock herders and emaciating their flocks. “Last year we saw our cows starve to death before our eyes, this year we are facing another disaster,” Fatime Tchari, a 34 year-old mother of four who was able to find elevated, but basically pasture-free, scrubland about 60 miles outside of the capital city of N’Djamena.
More than a quarter of Chad’s 16.4 million people face acute hunger. The crisis in Chad, along with crises across the continent, is intensifying as diplomats prepare for COP27 in Egypt next month, where the debate over loss and damage — demands for rich countries to compensate for the acute and long-term impacts of change in developing nations — is set to dominate the agenda. Despite its billing as the “African COP”, African nations, collectively responsible for a negligible amount of historic carbon pollution, are largely being shut out from the conference. (Chad: Reuters, Barrons, AFP; COP agenda: Grist, AP; Climate Signals background: Drought, Extreme precipitation increase)