Tuvalu 2011 (3)
Falevac and Meere Safefa, who were two of the kids in Gary Braasch's 2005 photograph of Tuvalu King tide flooding, wade in this year's tidal flooding at the same spot where they sat with a neighbor girl 6 years before.
Falevac, then 11, and Meere, who was 3 at the time, sit with neighbor girl Taupulega in Gary Braasch's 2005 photograph of Tuvalu King tide flooding. Taupulega's family has since moved to Vaitupu Island. This image has been used by the United Nations climate convention to influence negotiations, and in textbooks to help show the human effects of climate change.
Nine-year-old Meere sits with her mother, Melelusi Safefa, on the open porch of their home. The family added this room in 2001 to the 20-year-old government-owned house, which they lease.
Mother Melelusi sews in the open door of the porch with full view of the neighborhood. On this day, many people had come to the local meeting hall next door for a birthday party.
Charles Safega, her husband and the father of Meere and Falevac. Charles is the Director of the Customs office in Funafuti. They have lived in this house for more than twenty years, and he has considered that if flooding was worse, they might have to move. He says that just raising the house would not be an answer: "The problem still remains. The water will cover the land."
Falevac in the kitchen, before beginning his chores which include tending the family's pigs. He is 17 and a junior at the local church high school. He is a striker on the soccer team.
Meere with her older sister, 24-year-old Sagaga. Sagaga is married and has a one year old son.
Here is Meere smiling at me. The house is located near a borrow pit left over from WWII runway construction. But high tide flooding comes right up through the porous coral ground, and then at peak tides flows from the over-flowing pit. This occurs several times a year and during large storms.
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