Open a satellite map of the African continent and you’ll see the Sahel front and centre, a large, brown band across Northern Africa. It suggests a vast and dry piece of planet Earth, with no visible sign of people and no hint of vegetation. But zoom in closer and the picture becomes richer. Contours cut across the Earth’s surface, villages are visible here and there, and small green dots pepper the landscape. Up close, one begins to see the story of communities regreening the Sahel.
In Bangla, the word for transition is ‘uttaran’. It is a fitting name for a social and environmental organisation whose aim is gender, class and caste equality in Bangladesh. A long-term partner of Both ENDS, Uttaran supports local communities in addressing social, environmental, health, economic and cultural issues and concerns. For many years, Uttaran has been a front-line advocate for community-based adaptation to climate change in Bangladesh’s southwest tidal river basins, which are extremely prone to sea level rise and cyclones.