Tuvalu King Tide – Wed 16 Feb 2011

Food & climate change article written on the 16 Feb 2011

Photo: Rodney Dekker/OxfamAUS

As the king tide hits the small Pacific island of Tuvalu, photographer Rodney Dekker is on the ground for Oxfam to record this event. We’ll be updating you as his reports come in.

Don’t forget to ask your own questions that we’ll then put to the locals on the island.

Fuel drums are being utilised as sea walls providing effective protection against coastal erosion, southern Funafuti, Tuvalu.

Sesilina Iosia (22 years) stands in front of taro pits that supply food for the family.

Sania Lototele (5yrs) is learning to make bead necklaces. The necklaces her family make provides their only income; they sell them to tourists at the airport. When the king tide strikes in a couple of days, water will lap against the bottom of their house and may flood the lower level which is positioned on one metre stilts

Sesilina Iosia stands on the sea wall that was built to protect their house in Kavatoetoe, Funafuti after the king tides flooded the whole place in 2001.

Sesilina’s grandfather, Laloniu Samuelus, has been living in Funafuti for more that 20 years and noticed a significant change in the level of the tides [and how] “it’s getting hotter and hotter”. He has adapted to the impacts of climate change by building a sea wall that now protects his family home and by building concrete walls around crops that have been effective in mitigating the impacts of flooding and salinity.

Photos: Rodney Dekker