Editorial – Issue 07
In this edition, we have very interesting articles that go into detail on what the effects of climate change are on a local level and what can be done to counter them. In the first article Ms Prisca Daka from Speak Out For Animals (SOFA) talks about connecting the dots between wildlife, youths and climate change. She mentions that, youths in Zimbabwe are the first generation to feel the effects of climate change therefore they should be involved in the decision-making processes that affect their future.
Through working with SOFA, Prisca emphasises how human interests and activities are increasingly counter to the interests of wildlife. There is increasing habitat loss due to human activities and habitat change due to climate change. This leaves the animals to survive in isolated pockets that may never bred with each other, changing their behaviour and threatening to kill the species. In drought situations, animals can no longer migrate as they used to due to loss of their migratory routes to human encroachment. Animals are now being threatened with extinction due to increased droughts brought about by climate change.
If the youths want to see animals in their future they need to get involved in combating climate change to save wildlife. It is up to those in government and leadership positions to empower youths to participate in policy making. POVO Afrika did a survey in 2015 to find out what youths in tertiary institutions knew about climate change.
The feature article is by Tinashe Manyonga from Unique Innovations, he talks about creating opportunities from waste management through green partnerships. Tinashe calls for green partnerships to reduce the carbon footprints of organisations and individuals through green initiatives. Tinashe showcases unique innovations that focus on incorporating waste material into high value and useful products, enabling premium value for the respective waste material. In this instance, he showcases a ‘Temp bag’ for thermal retention which can be custom made to suit different individuals or organisations. Tinashe encourages all partnership between different entities; universities & colleges, multinationals companies, individual and communities etc. To add to this, the 3-bin system needs to be introduced at household level in Zimbabwe. This system has been very successfully implemented in European countries. Waste is separated from source making it easier to handle, 1 bin for recyclables, the other compost and the last for general waste. This is something the government should look to implement if Zimbabwe is going to utilise its waste properly. We must always remember the 3R’s; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Adaptive seeds are the future for Zimbabwe’s drought stricken areas. Tonderai Mukeredzi talks about adaptive seed being the missing link to fighting against drought. He discusses a seed fair in Mafeha Primary School, Matabeleland South that showcases and allows for; the sharing of seed, the exchange of knowledge and experience on the old and new climate adapted crops. As climate change is on the rise, so are the drought stricken regions in Zimbabwe. Tonderai’s solution is the stimulation in the production of small grains which are more drought resistant as compared to the staple maize, which requires more fertilisers and irrigation. There are other benefits to seed fairs, they allow for the stocking and preservation of seeds from indigenous species. These can ultimately be stored in seed banks that preserve genetic diversity for future use. Seed fair also allow for competition to occur among local farmers resulting in the best quality seeds being produced. The photograph clearly shows high quality seed present at the seed fair in Mafeha Primary school.
Nevson Mpofu who is a regular contributor to SustainZim and in this edition, he discusses energy investments and finance vital for the developing world energy story. According to Nevson, to monitor the reduction of absolute poverty in the world there needs a strong focus on energy financing to develop various energy projects, reduce poverty and achieve our SDG goals. 60% of Zimbabweans live in rural areas and their main source of energy is biofuels, resulting in mass deforestation which is contributing to climate change. By speeding up the rural electrification process and investing in energy solutions in rural areas, we reduce the biofuel consumption therefore saving a lot of trees in the process. The more trees there are, the more carbon dioxide causing climate change can be adsorbed from the atmosphere. The younger generation in rural areas are currently turning to solar for lighting purposes, listening to radio and charging their phones, but there is still a huge technological gap compared with their city counterparts. This gap affects the level of opportunities youths in rural areas have, affecting their livelihood, which is why more energy investments and finance are needed in rural areas.