Posted by: islandsfirst | June 18, 2008


Melitagi Lifuka calls Nanumea home. Having lived more than 60 years on Tuvalu’s northwesternmost island, she says that even if her family moves to New Zealand, she would rather stay in Tuvalu, endure flooding and die in her homeland.

Melitagi Lifuka

Susi Kofe works with Alofa Tuvalu, a local NGO that encourages local activism as a contribution to global efforts:

I bring together educated and uneducated people from government, civil society and NGOs. The educated people really get going about issues, and then uneducated women sitting at the back have to ask, ‘What are they talking about?’ My greatest challenge is trying to figure out how to keep all facets of society engaged with the important issue of sea-level rise.

Ladies of Nanumea

Underlining Ms. Kofe’s perspective, Roger Molesi, 70, describes the perspective of some island elders:

The older generations are comfortable with the natural fluctuations and occasional floods. That is the way it is when you grow up and learn to swim in the sea at age four. Outsiders and scientists talk about sea-level rise and doom for Tuvalu


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