Youths to Be Vigilant in Climate Change Interventions

By Tione Andsen

Steve Sinnott Young Ambassadors for Malawi have called youths to be vigilant in mitigate the effects of climate change in the country.

One of the Ambassadors, Jessy Nkhoma, 18 from Chilanga Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) made the call Wednesday in Lilongwe on arrival from London, United Kingdom where they spent two weeks engaging UK students, citizens and parliamentarians on issues of climate change access to education through support from Oxfam and UK based initiative called “Send My friend to School”.

She said mitigating effects of climate change in the country was a collective responsibility adding the youth need to take a leading role in their communities.

“We are not spared regarding climate change effects in our country. We had cases of flooding, change in rainfall patterns, drought, feminine and this has negative impacts to our farmers. Time has come for communities to device ways and means of addressing the occurrence of these natural disasters,” Nkhoma pointed out.

She added that the climate change effects has contributed to the change of rainfall patterns in the country where it was predictable that rain season might start in late October or early November but now the story is quite different.  

Nkhoma said in London they called on the UK government to massively reduce emissions saying this could help to address the effects of climate change globally.

“We participated in the mass protest on action of climate change in London. We were sending various messages to global leaders to take action in address issues of global warming which are contributing negative to climate change in the world,” the Ambassador added.

A young male Ambassador, Issac Mzembe, 17 said UK is one the country that was contributing 6.9 per cent emission in the world due to its advanced industrialization unlike Malawi is only at  0.1 per cent.

He said there is need to establish climate change groups in various schools in the county as one way of encounter the effects of climate change.

“Schools need to provide forums and increase awareness campaigns on the promotion of conserving natural environment as a means of mitigating the effects of climate change,” the young male ambassador viewed.    

Mzembe explained that during the visit they were able to highlight some of the challenges affecting the attainment of quality education in the country.

“We outlined issues of shortages of classroom blocks, desks, qualified teachers, text and note books, laboratories and libraries. We explained that in the absence of the said issues access to qualify education will not be achieved unnecessary necessary support is made to address some of the challenges urgently,” he stated.   

Head Teacher for Chilinda CDSS, Mervyn Chirongo, who part of the delegation said the new school curriculum has components of climate change in some subjects to enable students have knowledge on the subject matter.

He noted that some subjects such as Life Skills, Social Studies and Geography have some elements regarding climate change and its impacts.

Oxfam in Malawi Gender Programme Officer, Sarah Chisanje said the visit has had a good impression on the issue of climate change and access to quality education in United Kingdom.

She said Oxfam is working in partnership with Oxfam UK on “Send my friend to school’ initiative in order to increase level of participation of young people to continue campaign for key issues affecting them.-MANA