Young Africans from different countries converged in Accra Ghana for Africa Climate week in from 18-22nd March 2019. Apart from participating in various sessions during the week, PACJA in collaboration with YOUNGO and other Youth organization organized three lively side events.
Find attached the report.
The first Leg of the visit landed the team at The Caritas offices in Kitui where the team on the ground briefed PACJA officers of the progress being made so far. The major highlights are on the progress of the legislative process ongoing at the County Assembly to adopt and pass the Policy Framework on Climate Change for Kitui. In addition, the team was appraised on the level of preparedness among the communities for the expected rains arising from the trainings on Natural Resource Management that was done by PACJA earlier in the project. Some of the challenges highlighted include the need for cascading the policy training to the Ward mangers and village administrators in view of getting their support in mobilising the community to participate in the hearings and contributions to the bills from the County assembly once they are ready for discussion at the Public Participation forums. In addition, these Cadres of administrators are vital in the policy and legal implementation once they are passed and enacted into law.
At the Community Level, the PACJA team visited two demonstration farms at Ngomeni and Nguni where they had the opportunity to meet the partners of Caritas Kitui on the ground and saw first hand the work being done at the demo farms. The challenges of Climate Change were evident from the visit and the members of the community shared with the team on the heavy repercussions of climate change. There has been delayed rains in the last two seasons, and the rain is insufficient bring down yields and burdening the communities with food insecurity. these have had further repercussions on families who have not only suffered from food shortages but also have had to deal with the shortage of water that has forced both women and children to travel long distances for the precious commodity.
It was evident that women and children are disproportionately suffering from the effects of climate change, not only because they have to walk long distances for water, but also carry the heavier burdens of diseases among children from lack of adequate water for sanitation. Women particularly of childbearing age have been reported to suffer heavily from the challenges of shortage of water, that some are know to have miscarried and others gotten premature babies as a result of the water challenges and changes in the weather conditions.
Caritas Kitui and PACJA have partnered to support the community in building resilience against climate change on the ground. Caritas through the demonstration farms in which Agro-ecology has been taught and knowledge and skills imparted to the communities to help them cope with the changing times. PACJA continues to support them through various efforts to effect and bring about policy and legislation that is climate relevant and ensuring that both the County and National governments put in place the relevant legislations.
By Mike O'maera.
Recently , Youth around the world are gearing up to demand for climate justice and climate action. The growing movement is now in Africa, with young people taking to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to place pressure on their governments to increase ambition on climate change
But, it is not just about increasing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) , or sitting in boardrooms in front of policymakers to talk about our continental Adaptation Plans. It is about securing future generation, protecting livelihoods and saving the planet earth from climate Change impacts .
Young Vibrant Africans today walked on the streets of Accra Ghana to demand for change. The peaceful protest was held at the sidelines of Africa Climate Week by PACJA in collaboration with YOUNGO and Ghana Youth Education Movement (GYEM). The March brought together youth organizations and CSOs across Africa to demand for immediate action on climate change from leaders . According to participating youths, Climate Change is no longer a myth. It is that dark monster knocking at their doorsteps in broad daylight telling them that maybe tomorrow is not promising.
Speaking during the event PACJA Executive Director Mithika Mwenda emphasized that the war on climate change will be worn by young people through holding government into accounts on key projects implementation. He went ahead to retaliate that PACJA is ready to offer support to all African young people to ensure they are fully participating in decision making and implementation of Climate policies. Mithika also challenged young Africans to grab emerging opportunities especially on green technologies and shape Africa destination towards reducing emissions of Green House Gases (GHG) in atmosphere. Drought scourge is now extending for more than two months and threatens the food baskets of Africa. It is the abnormal rising temperatures in the night and in the day that result in heat strokes for babies and increase the spread of diseases.
Young people are not going to sit down and do nothing. They will push back and say enough is enough!. Today they resolved they will not stand on the sidelines and watch their governments negotiate how the future will look like without including them. Additionally youth demanded African governments to support innovative ideas from young people especially on small medium enterprises and green growth agendas. This will greatly support young people to invest more on green energy technologies. In this age of digital technology, globalization and multilateralism, Youth are demanding to be heard, demanding to be included, demanding for real action. They need leaders to pay more attention to adaptation and loss and damage, to take responsibility and ownership of national budgets and the private sector so that we can implement strategies towards climate neutrality.
National dialogues must meaningfully involve young people, otherwise what is a stakeholder consultation, when the key stakeholders that matter are absent from the room? According to most participants during the event, they are tired of the status-quo, of being locked out of meeting rooms where decisions are made. It is ever so easy to bracket and delete crucial texts on contentious issues that appear too difficult to deliberate on. Gone are the days when contexts like financing, carbon pricing and clean development mechanisms were left for those older than us to demystify. Young people are now more informed and educated generation with innovative ideas and solutions that work. All they need is someone to listen and support them because they are youthful generation and they make up nearly half of the world’s population.
Now is the time to take the needed steps that will ensure Africa continent remain within the 1.5 degrees target by 2030. Youth used the opportunity Africa Climate Week, to create pathways for green jobs, to power Africa with renewable and affordable energy and to place women, children and youth in the center of policy processes. They committed to contribute more ideas on climate funding in order to take Climate financial responsibility and put a price tag to climate change. Now is the time for Young people to become guardians of Africa continent and believe that they can achieve climate neutrality together. Like Nelson Mandela said “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. At the end of climate week activities Youths resolved to join forces towards a green and sustainable Africa.
By Dickson Kithinji.
The struggles to mitigate Climate Change and respond to the challenges brought about by the vagaries of weather require practical steps that have meaningful impact among the people. PACJA in partnership with UKAID through Trocaire have worked with local communities in 3 Counties to support the change of policy and legislation. In addition they have taken the extra step to demonstrate the effect of good policy and legislation on the ground by putting in place demonstrations farms to showcase some of the best farming practices in the difficult conditions that some of our farmers live in. In Ishiara, Embu through the work of the Order of St. Augustine, PACJA and Trocaire have supported the Demo Farms that have been a learning ground for farmers across the area. PACJA officer made a monitoring and Evaluation visit to get an insight on the depths of learning and the feedback from both the beneficiaries and the project implementors. The Challenges of insufficient resources to expand and create bigger impact stood out.
By Mike O'maera.
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