A lecturer at the Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Dr. Joseph Kurauka has advised African governments to integrate climate change concerns in all their national development plans, programmes and policies.
Speaking at the Nairobi Summer School on Climate Justice currently ongoing at the Kenyatta University, Kurauka said rapid population growth, weak enforcement of environmental laws and structural weakness in key institutions meant to enforce laws to safeguard environmental, social and climate change concerns were hampering national efforts to prepare the countries against climate impacts.
He said climate-related conflicts among populations living in arid and semi-arid areas, rising poverty level, and the general negative attitudes toward environmental matters were issues the government must deal with.
Kurauka urged governments to take heed of the advice from the latest climate science by the intergovernmental panel on climate change whose latest report once again proved that human activity was leading to rise in climate variability. Already, noted Kurauka, most of Africa’s coastal lines and the aquatic resources had been affected as a result of man’s activity.
Speaking on the international climate change negotiations, the programme coordinator with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Robert Muthami, said, “Africa continues to be worst hit by the climate crisis even exacerbating climate related-risks.”
Muthami said it was important that local national adaptation actions were provided with the required means of implementation such as climate finance, capacity building and appropriate technologies in line with the conditional aspects in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the principle of Common but Differentiated Capacities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC).”
He urged African governments to forge international solidarity and form strong alliances with the CSOs in the fight against the climate crisis as “no single movement will win this fight alone”
The executive director, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, Mithika Mwenda, challenged young people in Africa to rise up to the occasion and take the advocacy mantle to drive climate activism around Africa.
“The liberation wars of the 60s was about political freedom. Now the youth must wage war for ecological freedom, climate justice and economic freedom,” said Mithika, adding the youth could draw inspiration from freedom fighters like Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela and Julius Nyerere to ensure that Africa gets fair and just climate regimes.