Climate Change Warriors Summit
Climate Change Warriors Project (CCWP) was established when Future Leaders of Change NPO realized the importance of maintaining a consistent knowledge hub within schools and communities. The CCWP’s main objective is to bring awareness to the effects of climate change and adaptation methods to climate change. The CCWP is about training climate warriors on the methods of how to adapt the adverse effects of climate change and this project is aligned with two adaptation programs which are under it, CCWP works as an umbrella body.
These programs are:
• Khazimula (meaning shine) Greening and Waste Management Program
- This program deals with the removal of alien invasive plants and the planting of indigenous trees.
- The preservation of all indigenous forests.
- The maintenance and management of wetlands.
- Cleaning of the coastline.
- Clean-up campaigns
- The eradication of illegal dump sites.
• QedaIndlala (meaning stop the hunger) Small-scale Farming Programs.
As FLC, our objective is to create climate change awareness and educate the youth in schools and communities on how to adapt to climate change. Our long-term vision is to implement the Climate Change Warriors Project (CCWP) throughout Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) and maybe even the entire South Africa.
Empower the youth with skills to combat the adverse effects of climate change.
Mitigating the emission of greenhouse gases.
Providing knowledge and methodologies on how to adapt to climate from the grassroots level.
HOW THE OBJECTIVES WERE ACHIEVED
For FLC to be able to execute the Climate Change Warriors Project (CCWP) efficiently in the wards of EThekwini Municipality, we had to launch the project with the summit to serve as the gateway and an introduction of the project. We launched the project on the 3rd of September 2015 at the Durban Exhibition Centre, with the theme ‘Youth Taking a Stand Against Climate Change’
The exhibition was an absolute success with majority of the wards within the EThekwini municipality represented by their delegates and about 30 high schools joined us as well, even though the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had a program on the same day the turnout was fair.
We had Dr T Fashuen, the Director from the KZN Department of Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs as our key note speaker; amongst other speakers were Mr. Brian Mpono, a director from the 1 Source Renewable Energy Group and Mrs. Emelda Duma from Durban Solid Waste.
Rain water harvesting still remains one of our most easy yet crucial ways of conserving water and we encourage people to use this method.
We also encourage communities to make use of renewable sources of energy. Why should we pay for energy while mother earth provides us with free energy through wind and the sun?
Organic farming is the agricultural method we use. It uses less water and preserves the soil's nutrients and provides healthy products.
About 5% of water is wasted by alien invasive plants, hence we also have a program that manages the alien invasive plants.
Since the project started, FLC has offered various assistance to approximately six small scale farmers in various wards across EThekwini successfully.
Furthermore, due to the high rate of illegal dump sites, FLC hosted five clean-up education and awareness campaigns in total since the project started, which includes inland & coastal clean-ups, about 45 illegal dump sites have been removed and maintained since the project has started.
Amongst a few, we have offered various assistance to small scale organic farmers that fall under eThekwini Municipality wards such as:
o Syaphambili ward 98
o VundaMhlabathi ward 40
o Esizibeni High School Ward 98
o Nyembe farming group ward 40
o Sakha Intsha farming group 93
One may note that most of the small scale organic farmers are currently facing similar challenges and as future leaders of change we did surveys/ baseline studies on some of the wards in order to gather information on what the communities need at grassroots level.
Drought remains one of biggest challenges thus far. We find it hard to maintain the indigenous trees as they dry out because of a lack of water and the agricultural side is affected by this as well.
The other challenge is sustaining the illegal dump wastes that we have cleared, some people continues to litter in this dumps.
We have also uncounted challenges in as far being caught in the middle of political dilemmas in the wards.
The other challenge is bridging the gap between the communities and the local government departments. This is caused by a lack of trust as the officials are scared to get to the people, fearing for their personal safety.
It is always good to be patient when dealing with different communities.
The lesson we have learnt is that it is very important to acknowledge the traditional leaders when visiting their areas, as they are the key people when dealing with the people.
When dealing with the communities your motives should always be transparent to gain their trust.
Climate change still remains a mystery amongst the black communities.