Floods in South Africa and the Philippines


The members of IASSW are appalled by the unending disasters that are buffeting people’s lives across the world. While we see the many links between them, we also wish to embrace the people suffering from specific ones and offer them whatever help we can. Many people have heard of one current man-made disaster, Putin’s War in Ukraine. However, we now want to highlight another (hu)man-made one that has struck several countries at once. Of particular horror is the loss of lives, homes and other built infrastructures caused by the floods in Durban, South Africa and Leyte in the Philippines. Our hearts go out to all those affected, and we extend to them arms of friendship, support and hope. The Board of IASSW calls upon our members to donate generously to the people struggling to recover from these floods. The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and the national Red Cross in your own country are collecting for those affected, and we urge you all to contribute. All of these disasters are attributable to climate change. Other countries are affected by drought (Ethiopia, Iran); and tropical storms (Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan), to name a few. Consequently, the world as a whole has to take seriously the climate crisis as it is the major cause of extreme weather events that include flooding. Therefore, IASSW asks that each individual person does what they can to reduce their demands on fossil fuels and ask their governments to share and make easily available renewable energy technologies, thereby to mitigate future flooding and droughts. IASSW also urges all countries to take their responsibilities to reach ‘net zero’ as agreed under the 2015 Paris Accord as soon as possible. This objective must be reached quickly because the longer it takes humanity to reach this agreed objective, the more people will die, and the more the fragile ecosystems in which people, especially poor people reside, will be degraded.


Lena Dominelli

Chair, Disasters, Climate Change and Sustainability Committee

International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW)