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Stakeholders chat way around climate reporting, effects in Somalia

Thursday February 8, 2024

Climate Change Reporting panelists at the Kenya Editors Convention in December 2023. From Left: Fakat Kiin, a Reporter with Bilan Media (Somalia), Mary Harper (UNDP), Adrian Topoti (Base Titanium) and Faiza Mohammed a climate activist and Youth Representative from Somalia.

The effects of Climate Change always have a great influence on the people of Somalia, a youth Climate Activist has said.

Faiza Mohammed said the Geographical location of Somalia has also been a factor contributing to climate change.

She was speaking during a panel discussion held at a convention with the media and different stakeholders.

"When Somali was experiencing drought, we gave the people training and capacity building on environment and climate change," Mohammed said.

Kiin Hasan from Bilan Media in Somalia highlighted the challenges faced by the reporters as they go about their daily reporting work.

The team's job is documenting climate-related catastrophes such as floods and drought, they have to walk through mud and rough terrains.

All these Hasan said is for them to obtain stories despite the challenging situation.

Hasan further said it is important for media houses to also set up climate desks in the newsrooms.

"Somali media houses mainly focus on the major happenings in the country like the conflicts and politics. They do not have the special desks that talk about climate change," she said.

The panel moderator from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Mary Harper said in her reporting career, she never got to know certain stories did exist in Somalia.

"Somalis is one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist. Bilan media team is doing a good job and for defying this norm to report development stories in the country," Harper said.

Also available at the panel discussion was External Affairs Associate at Base Titanium Adrian Topoti.

Topoti on his side said they embedded sustainability, building resilient communities and deliberate biodiversity as well as ecological restoration in their operations.

"We have an open policy regarding journalists and the environment as well as how sustainably we mine. We do not use any chemicals in our mining and only use water. Mining is part of environmental degradation because we mine over a huge stretch of land," he said.

He added that they began their mining with sustainability in mind.

"At the moment 81 per cent of the land that we had disturbed has already been fully restored," Topoti said.


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