KwaZulu-Natal is getting lessons on climate change ahead of the all-important United Nations conference on the pressing subject matter later this year.
KZN MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development, Lydia Johnson, took to the streets of Ntuzuma township in an awareness drive about climate change. The province has been affected by disasters such as drought, floods and lightning in the past few years.
Women-led environment co-operatives, Ntuzuma and Bhukula Mfazi, joined Johnson to educate locals about climate change and sound environmental management and the creation of environmental sustainable livelihoods.
“Our objective is not to speak just about the upcoming conference but rather what people can do right here in their communities in order to avoid hazardous climate disasters. Impacts of climate change are global phenomena, which can only be managed through concerted and structured efforts at local levels,” said Johnson.
She explained that communities can suffer from the effects of climate change, such as the impact it has on agricultural food production.
“We are here to seek your involvement in programmes and activities that do not only curb the effects of climate change, but enhance food security and environmental management.
“One good example of that is the food security campaign that we have in this province, the One Home One Garden, One Indigenous tree and One fruit tree campaign. What this campaign conveys to us is very practical, even for urban settlements like our townships.
“If all households here in Ntuzuma can have food gardens to fight hunger and malnutrition at a household level, have trees to serve as windbreakers, which can assist you as a community. Although it will not render you immune to disastrous weather patterns of climate change but it will assist you somewhat in minimising the effects,” said Johnson.
Environmental activists from the two co-operatives shared information on the importance of taking good care of the environment.
The co-operatives are involved in initiatives like removing alien plants and rehabilitating local streams.
They encouraged other women to follow suit and start playing a vital role in sound environmental management.
Johnson will be visiting other communities across the province as preparations for the UN conference gain momentum.