LUANAR students scouting youth in climate change

Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) students have asked the youth in the country to take lead in environmental conservation as a way of addressing climate change effects.

LUANAR Environmental Club conducted a fun truck event on Wednesday in Machinga aimed at raising awareness on climate change with support from the Scottish Government through SCIAF and Trocaire.

LUANAR Environmental Club Chairperson, Simplex Chingota, said the students came up with the initiative to sensitize the youth and communities to find effective ways of fighting climate change in the country.

“We are disseminating information on causes of climate change and its effects. We are also telling the youth and their communities what they must do to alleviate adverse effects of climate change in addition to planting trees during this planting season,” said Chingota.

He further said the effects of climate change are impacting negatively on the country’s livelihoods, hence the need to do more in conserving the environment.

Trocaire Coordinator for Climate Change Programme, Maggie Ngwira said the youth are part of the vulnerable population that is easily affected by climate change.

LUANAR students disseminating the climate change messages to the youths. Pic Martin Chiwanda (Mana)

However, she said they (youth) are creative enough to come up with solutions to climate change, hence their inclusion into the program.

“The students are complementing the advocacy arm of the program by raising awareness in their communities, university campuses, and in areas where we are implementing our program,” Ngwira said.

Ngwira also commended communities in Machinga, especially in Traditional Authority Liwonde for recognizing the power of women by ensuring that they are given roles in decision-making positions among the local structures.

She further appreciated communities in the district for taking their own initiatives to work on issues of climate change.

Mangamba Youth Club Secretary, Anjiru Mulenga, hailed the initiative, saying it has raised awareness among the youth and communities.

“The youth here in Machinga is ensuring that the effects of climate change do not hinder their well-being by conducting community sensitization and tree-planting exercises,” he said.

“The project has increased our knowledge on how to respond to effects of climate change, like practicing good methods of farming and constructing good houses that can withstand floods among others,” Mulenga said.

Apart from Machinga, Trocaire is also implementing a similar program in 17 traditional authorities in Balaka, Chikwawa, and Zomba.