Northern journalists deliberate on climate change adaptation

10 Jun 2018 14:40pm
OUTAPI, 10 JUN (NAMPA) – Mayor of Outapi, Selma Asino said Namibia has been heavily affected by climate change due to the country’s arid and semi-arid environment and its overdependence on rain-fed agriculture.
Asino said this whilst officiating at the climate change journalists/media practitioners’ workshop for the northern regions of Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena and Oshikoto at Outapi on Thursday.
She noted that climate change also led to declining water sources and food insecurity, requiring communities to adapt to climate change.
“I believe, as media practitioners in these regions, we have a bigger task and role to sensitise the community and indeed to disseminate the information that can help them to adapt to one of the biggest challenge facing humanity today,” Asino stated.
She went on to say the poor communities in the rural areas are most of the time left out on the world information, because of the absence of access to needed information.
The Outapi mayor also cited that poor rural communities are hardly affording access to proper or readily available information.
Asino expressed satisfaction that the media practitioners’ workshop was hosted in the crop growing northern regions that have seen erratic rainfall and recurring droughts, which resulted in reduced agricultural production.
The University of Namibia (UNAM), University of Cape Town (UCT) and Oxfam GB in collaboration with the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia are implementing a five-year (2014-2018) collaborative Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) programme, under which the workshop was conducted.
The workshop amongst others aimed at enlightening northern media practitioners from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Nampa, NBC, New Era, Namibian Sun, Informanté and Namibia Parliament Journal on what climate change is, how it impacts the northern regions and what the media can do in the fight against climate change.
“The media can be an important partner in the fight against climate change, as it can help people understand what adaptation and mitigation mean as well as define climate-related scientific jargon in the language they understand,” said workshop facilitator and freelance environment journalist, Absalom Shigwedha.
He said the media can also empower communities to make informed choices and decisions regarding climate change.
The workshop discussed climate change, how it impacted the northern regions, interventions in the Omusati Region and what Namibia has accomplished at national level to address climate change as well as the international legal framework on climate change.
The two-day workshop ended Friday with visits to the climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in the Omusati Region’s Etayi and Okalongo constituencies.