The recent wildfires on Maui have forced thousands of people to evacuate, including many Native Hawaiians.
The indigenous people of Maui have already been disproportionately impacted by climate change and rising sea levels, and the wildfires are only adding to their woes.
The Hawaii Red Cross is on the ground providing assistance to those affected by the wildfires, including food, water, shelter, and emotional support. The organization is also working to help Native Hawaiians find temporary housing and connect with resources to rebuild their homes.
In addition to the immediate impact of the wildfires, Native Hawaiians are also facing a long-term challenge of displacement due to rising property prices.
As more and more people from the mainland United States move to Hawaii, property prices have skyrocketed, making it difficult for Native Hawaiians to afford to stay in their homeland.
The growth in house building is also linked to erosion and makes fires more intense. When developers clear land for new homes, they often remove native vegetation that helps to protect the soil from erosion.
This can lead to landslides and flooding, which can damage homes and infrastructure. Additionally, the heat from wildfires can be amplified by the heat-trapping effects of concrete and asphalt, making fires more destructive.
Action for Change
The displacement of Native Hawaiians is a serious problem that is only going to get worse if we don't take action to address it.
We need to find ways to make housing more affordable in Hawaii, and we need to protect our native ecosystems from development. We also need to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are driving climate change and making wildfires more frequent and intense.
If you are interested in helping Native Hawaiians affected by the wildfires, there are a few things you can do:
By taking these actions, we can help to ensure that Native Hawaiians can stay in their homeland and thrive.
My SOS Family
If your concerned or worried about the safety of an elderly family member, your staff, a family member or a friend that spends time alone, they may benefit in using the My SOS Family App for Smartphone, the My SOS Family Skill for Alexa or the My SOS Family Speed-Dial service for Landlines or simple cell-phones.