Go green or die

IMAGINE the year is 2060 and you have finally managed to get enough money to visit the 7th wonder of the world; the Victoria falls. As the guide leads you to your destination, you have high expectations.  Before you realise it, you ground to a halt and hear the guide saying 'this is it'. You discover you are standing at a deep narrow steep-sided valley; a ravine. It is a lifeless place. No water cascading over masses of rocks. No lush greenery on the banks. Coarse dried up grass and grey-brown rocks are all that meet the eye.

Imagine the world 50 years from now if people do not take an active role in fighting climate change. IMAGINE the year is 2060 and you have finally managed to get enough money to visit the 7th wonder of the world; the Victoria falls. As the guide leads you to your destination, you have high expectations.

 Before you realise it, you ground to a halt and hear the guide saying 'this is it'. You discover you are standing at a deep narrow steep-sided valley; a ravine. It is a lifeless place.

No water cascading over masses of rocks. No lush greenery on the banks. Coarse dried up grass and grey-brown rocks are all that meet the eye.

Imagine how grave that would be to a country like Zambia that is starting to depend highly on tourism.

Imagine having weather patterns shifting to such an extent that the cold season that is experienced in June is felt in October. A Zambia where instead of the sweltering October heat, people bundle up in their winter clothes.

Imagine the world 50 years from now if people do not take an active role in fighting climate change.

Time to act is now.

Accordingly, organizations like the Youth Volunteers Environment (YVE) have embarked on a sensitsation campaign meant to sensitize people on clean energy usage which is one of the most effective ways of fighting climate change.

YVE is concerned with environmental sustainability and climate justice.

YVE Executive Director, Clarence Muzyamba says Chongwe was one of the highly deforestated areas in Zambia where a team had gone to implement the Clean Energy Project (CEP).

Zambia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world due to the high demand for charcoal. Various chiefdoms in Chongwe and Nyimba districts are most affected by this and it is for that reason that YVE Zambia chose to start sensitaisation in Chongwe.

Mr. Muzyamba noted that there was need to plant trees in Chongwe because most of the area has been highly affected by deforestation.

“Some of the effects of climate change are that the rainfall patterns become abnormal and farmers start to experience difficulties with their crop rotation mechanisms. Lives, in the long run, are also lost. Take for instance the floods that are experienced in Misisi… we as an organization are urging people to be more responsible in helping to combat climate change,” he said.

Mr. Muzyamba explained that three environmental friendly stoves were donated to a YVE club that was formed as a result of the workshop as the beginning of a conservation awareness mechanism in the community.

The stoves are made of clay and absorb a lot of heat thereby reducing on the amount of charcoal used during cooking.

The YVE director disclosed that there are plans of providing the community training on how to make the stoves so that the people can make a business out of it.

Meanwhile, YVE board member, Dr Malungo reveals that out of every 100 households in Zambia, only 18 have access to electricity and as such Government had embarked on a rural electrification programme to improve the situation.

“As some households in Chongwe have no electricity, people have resorted to using firewood and charcoal. As most charcoal in Lusaka comes from Chongwe there is need to plant trees here,” he said during the CEP workshop.

Dr Malungo also stated that the use of Solar energy, Windmill energy, Biomass energy and Geotheo energy should be encouraged.

“Zambia is blessed with so much sunshine that we can use for energy,” he said.

A total number of 20 Headmen and 25 community local leaders attended the workshop at Mukonka Community School, which is about 75km east from Chongwe town.

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