Environmental Justice Forum in Cacuaco

On June 18, 2022, as part of the “Environmental Disaster and Civic Mobilization in Angola” project, we held an Environmental Justice Forum, in collaboration with the Terceira Divisão Movement. The event took place at the headquarters of the Terceira Divisão in Cacuaco (Eco Campo) and featured team members Cláudio Fortuna and Ruy Llera Blanes, as well as Auber Fichess, co-founding member of Fridays For Future Angola. For technical reasons, it was not possible to count on the participation initially foreseen by Justiça Ambiental Moçambique.

In the event the Strategy Guide for the Concerned Citizen: Trash, Citizenship and Local Politics (in Portuguese), produced by the project and by Terceira Divisão.

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Report: Drought in Angola. Situation Report 2020-2021. Causes, Responses and Solutions

March 2022

Our research team has published the report “Drought in Angola. Situation Report 2020-2021. Causes, Responses and Solutions”

Summary:

Drought in Angola Report

In 2019, the southwestern provinces of Angola found themselves on the brink of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, due to a prolonged drought cycle that spanned nearly a decade. The research project “Environmental disaster and civic responses in Angola” carried out a local survey of the situation in southwestern Angola during 2020-2021, collecting testimonies from local communities and stakeholders related to this environmental catastrophe. At the same time, it mapped past and current responses to drought and analysed the case of Southwest Angola in the context of global environmental disasters.

Bibliographical reference:

Blanes, Ruy Llera, Carolina V. Cardoso, Helder A. Bahu & Cláudio Fortuna. 2022. Drought in Angola. Situation Report 2020-2021. Causes, Responses and Solutions. Research Report. Gothenburg and Lubango: School of Global Studies & ISCED-Huíla.

Download:

High resolution version (110MB) zip file

Low resolution (2MB) pdf

Collective roundtable “Garbage, Citizenship and Local Politics”

A collaborative meeting with researchers and activists in Angola held at the Instituto Mosaiko in Viana, on 1 July 2021, to discuss the “garbage crisis” in Luanda, and its consequences in terms of citizenship and human rights – at a time when Angola is struggling with serious environmental problems, from the drought in the southern provinces of Angola to pollution in large cities and the impact of the extractive industry (oil and diamonds).

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On garbage, plastic, and drought in Angola

Plastic bags in Matala (Huíla). Photo © Ruy Llera Blanes, October 2020.

Landscapes like the ones in the photo above – taken near a market in the commune of Matala (Huíla) – are, unfortunately, recurrent in the Angolan countryside, especially around commercial activities such as markets and sales. From this perspective, the problem of garbage and waste, both in Angola and in the world context, is not exclusive to urban landscapes, but increasingly a phenomenon that intersects all types of landscapes. This is the case, for instance, of pollution caused by plastics and micro-plastics in local ecosystems, or even in the local food chain of animals such as goats.

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A new exodus: drought refugees

Empty kimbo. Oncocua, Curoca (Cunene). Photo © Ruy Llera Blanes, June 2021.

The photo above is of a kimbo (family settlement) near the village of Oncocua (Curoca, Huíla). This kimbo, belonging to the soba Batista, is not uninhabited, however several of its youth have moved to other places in search of work in the fields or in the agro-industry to survive. In this context, soba Batista’s kimbo is one of several in Cunene province that are suffering from a new exodus caused by the drought. While some seek the Calueque area, where several agro-industrial fazendas are located, others seek to cross the border with Namibia, looking for work or trade opportunities. Many kimbos across Cunene are completely empty and abandoned.

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Drought only in the South of Angola?

“X-ray of drought”, average of February 2021. Source: LAOT’s Facebook page.

If the south of Angola is being affected by a period of drought that lasts several years now, in recent times there has been a worrying multiplication of data and references to drought-related problems in other regions of the country. A serious analysis by the competent entities and organizations on the ground is needed to answer the question: are we facing an increase in the territory affected by drought in Angola?

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Boer legacies in southern Angola (2): the “Boer-style wagons”

“Carro bóer” (Boer cart), circa 1922. Source: Biblioteca Nacional (Portugal)

A recurrent reference regarding the Boer presence in the province of Huíla refers to the introduction of ox carts or wagons as the preferred means of transport in the region – the famous “Boer-style wagons”. In this post we share some of these historical references.

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