Future droughts will be the youths to experience: Shekuza

16 Aug 2016 10:00am
WINDHOEK, 16 AUG (NAMPA) – The youth need to be involved in the battle against climate change and environmental degradation, a young Namibian environmental activist said during the opening of the African Drought conference here on Monday.
Deon Shekuza raised the concern that with the adverse impacts of drought, the land capacity will not be able to meet food security, water and nutrition demands of the future.
He said the involvement of the youth in mitigating the effects should thus be viewed as preparing them for the future.
“The prolonged dry spells of El Niño have seen several southern African countries facing food shortages and extreme droughts, such as Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Namibia.
“Once again, young people are at the centre of this epidemic and the best measure of preparedness is to capacitate the youth, because future droughts will be theirs to experience.”
He said there is also a need for more access to financing mechanisms towards young delegates’ attendance at regional and international summits, conferences and meetings on environmental issues to sharpen their knowledge on the matter and enable them to give input on national policies and help in the implementation of such policies at grassroots level.
Shekuza is also of the opinion that with good guidance, a person does not necessarily need a degree at a recognised tertiary institution to work on the land, conserve water, save energy or plant a tree.
“We thus recommend that in order to fast-track drought mitigation, adaptation and preparation, we urgently need more collaboration, coordination and partnerships of different youth organisations, coalitions and initiatives across Africa.
“Once we strengthen and integrate these networks, the youth will create synergies and exchange innovative ideas while sharing practices and resources.”
The conference under the theme ‘Enhancing resilience to drought events on the African continent’ brought together over 600 local and international delegates for the five-day event that ends Friday.
Shekuza is a environmental blogger and a former intern at the Southern African Science Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management.