What caused the decline of shortwave radio

Island nation of KiribatiThe sea eats and eats ...

The Pacific islands of Kiribati are particularly threatened by climate change. So threatened that their president has already bought a piece of Fiji Island. If things get too serious, the residents should relocate. DRadio knowledge reporter Gönna Ketels met activists and the president of the island state.

Gönna Ketels visited the particularly threatened island state of Kiribati. A place where climate change is more real than anywhere else. Its consequences are visible on the island. The islanders feel threatened and are afraid. The rising sea level is the least of these. Garbage disposal problems, overpopulation and salinization soon make the island uninhabitable.

In Kiribati, climate change is not a bleak future scenario, but has already arrived in people's everyday lives. The violent storm surges, the King Tides, used to be rare. But now they come to the island every year. This time there was also a cyclone. The activist Tinaai Teaua and the other islanders are afraid of what is to come.

Life in Tarawa, the seat of government in Kiribati, is already hard enough - and unhealthy. The main island is totally overcrowded. The garbage from the 50,000 I-Kiribati - that's what the people call themselves here - ends up on the beach. There just isn't enough space. Allegedly, parts of the island are as densely populated as Tokyo. And it gets tighter every year: people from other islands move here in the hope of jobs and better education for their children.

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The sea is salinizing the groundwater

The people of Kiribati are poor. The poorest live in the villages close to the water. When a flood comes, their huts are the first to be destroyed - and the salt water robs them of livelihoods. The salt kills the breadfruit trees - they then stand black and dead in the landscape. It is a creeping death from flooding. Slowly but surely the land is becoming too salty and uninhabitable.

"Climate change, the very word constantly gives me a guilty conscience: Don't drive so much, eat less meat ... Otherwise? Yes, what actually? Then I hear from Kiribati - perhaps one of the first victims of our climate sins."
DRadio knowledge reporter Gönna Ketels

The downfall of Kiribati is forecast to come in a few decades at the earliest. Nevertheless, more and more people are fleeing - if they can. Sea levels could rise up to two meters by the end of the century. Then the island would be completely flooded.

"They don't care enough because they don't even know what climate change is. But you know, in countries as small as Kiribati we have no influence on emissions - unlike the big countries."
Tinaai Teaua on the islanders' attitudes towards climate change.