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Chipinge youths play an active role in climate change mitigation

Story by Tamuka Charakupa

THE Chipinge community is taking a proactive approach in climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives after the trauma of the 2019 Cyclone Idai which left a trail of destruction in the Eastern parts of the country.

From extreme weather conditions like floods to displacement and hunger, climate change has emerged as the biggest threat facing humanity.

The traumatic experience which is still fresh in the minds of many people in Chipinge has seen youth organisations lead the way in raising awareness on mitigation and adaptation.

An advocacy and awareness march was held in Chipinge this Wednesday where youths called on communities to go green and adopt environmentally friendly practices.

“As the people of Chipinge, we are grateful that this event has been held here where there are brutal scars of Cyclone Idai. We are taking a bold stance that we need to change our habits and do our best to save our community. We need to teach each other to plant trees and know which plants to grow in our communities to be food secure in the wake of these recurring natural disasters,” said one of the youths.

“As the youths, we are pleased to participate in this awareness campaign march as we continue to educate each other on the dangers of climate change and exchange ideas on how we collectively save our planet,” added another youth.

The campaign was also an opportunity for climate change activists to lobby for justice ahead of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) to be held in the United Arab Emirates later this month.

Youth Volunteers for the Environment executive director, Ms Melissa Murwira said, “There have been damages happening due to climate change such as the Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Freddy that happened recently here in Zimbabwe so as the young people we want justice to the loss and damage finances.”

“This march has brought about an opportunity for young people to amplify their voices in the call for climate justice,” said African Youth Initiative on Climate Change Zimbabwe programmes officer, Mr Tashinga Chikomba.

World Wide Fund climate change and adaptation officer, Mr Mike January added, “We are here in Chipinge which is one of the affected communities to engage the youths and let their voice be heard on compensation of climate justice funds because as young people they are suffering the effects of climate change.”

Meanwhile, the government has rolled out several strategies to mitigate climate change including mandatory ethanol blending on petrol to scale down carbon emissions.

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