Supermodel meets Nepal 'climate change victims'

By Joanna Jolly
BBC News, Kathmandu

Image caption,
Villagers told Helena Christensen (right) their homes were flooded for 20 days

Supermodel Helena Christensen has been visiting a village in southern Nepal to see how it is coping with the changing climate.

The Dane, who is a global ambassador for the UK-based aid agency Oxfam, said mothers she met were fearful for their children's lives and their livelihood.

Photographs she took on the trip will be shown next week to delegates at the UN Climate Change Conference in Mexico.

The 41-year-old spent three days seeing how village life had changed.

"The villagers suffer from flooding and erratic rainfall that comes unpredictably," she told the BBC after her visit to the village in the district of Nawalparasi.

"They live under such conditions that basically they lose everything whenever the river level rises."

Christensen said she had spoken to women whose children had died because of the flooding and heard stories about people who were unable to access medical care because their village had been cut off.

However, she said aid projects were beginning to help villagers work together as a community to overcome the threat of flooding.

The head of Oxfam in Nepal, Scott Faia, said that there was no doubt that climate change was having a real effect in the country and that it was particularly harming the poor and vulnerable.

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