Letter: More must be spent on flood prevention

I concur with Malcolm Smith’s sentiments sympathising with the people in various parts of the country who have recently suffered terribly from flooding, and as he says, climate change is only going to make this worse in the future.

However, he is wrong by a factor of 10 in the amount the UK gives in foreign aid - it is not 7 per cent of national income, but well under 0.7 per cent (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Research, July 2015). Certainly we need to take more care that this is spent wisely, but it is our duty as human beings to help those who are far worse off than ourselves.

We do of course need to spend a lot on flood prevention. This includes not only resilience of buildings and some better barriers, but crucially other measures. We need to avoid building in flood-prone areas. We need to make the uplands hold back more water by encouraging natural features such as trees and peat bogs, if necessary compensating farmers for loss of income. And we need to look further ahead and take urgent measures to stop climate change getting much worse.

Dilys Cluer,

Green Party,

Alexandra Park