Why Climate Change Is Creating A New Generation Of Child Brides

Young teenage brides in the village of Nataka on the east coast of Mozambique, left to right: Carlina Nortino, 15, Muacheia Amade, 14, Lucia Eusebio, 15, and Fatima Amisse, 14. Photograph: Gethin Chamberlain

By Gethin Chamberlain

Everyone has their own idea of what climate change looks like. For some, it’s the walrus struggling to find space on melting ice floes on Blue Planet II. For others, it’s an apocalyptic vision of cities disappearing beneath the waves.

But for more and more girls across Africa, the most palpable manifestation of climate change is the baby in their arms as they sit watching their friends walk to school. The Brides of the Sun reporting project, funded by the European Journalism Centre, set out to try to assess the scale of what many experts are warning is a real and growing crisis: the emergence of a generation of child brides as a direct result of a changing climate.

And time and again, in villages from the south of Malawi to the east coast of Mozambique, the child brides and their parents told an increasingly familiar story. In recent years they had noticed the temperatures rising, the rains becoming less predictable and coming later and sometimes flooding where there had not been flooding before. Families that would once have been able to afford to feed and educate several children reported that they now faced an impossible situation. Read more…

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