/ 2018 / Press / Feature Story

A Climate for Conflict

  • Prize
    Silver in Press/Feature Story
  • Company
    VII
  • Photographer
    Nichole Sobecki
  • Credit
    This project was created in partnership with writer Laura Heaton, and through the generous support of The GroundTruth Project.

Somalia has never been a forgiving place. A land of extreme
temperatures and little rain, the country has faced cyclical
droughts and periodic famines throughout the past century. But
decades of civil war, coupled with the effects of climate change,
have set the country on a path to environmental disaster. Home to
a bloody Islamist insurgency that is arguably the world’s first
climate war, Somalia is grappling with rapid desertification,
increasingly erratic rainfall, and the destruction of coastal waters
by foreign fishing fleets. “With this weather pattern, Somalia or
Somalis will not survive,” says Fatima Jibrell, a Somali-American
environmental activist. “Maybe the land, a piece of desert called
Somalia, will exist on the map of the world, but Somalis cannot
survive.”