A tired look flashes across his face as he tells me that he now has to irrigate his farm because the rains are failing. It is costing him more.
|Flanked by PACJA continental team, Permanent Secretary Eularia Mwale during the Meeting|
Women with children on their backs and others in their 70s ululated and sang spiritedly as the caravanites entered the event area and began to socialize with the attendees. The caravanites joined in and danced along whether they understood the words of the songs or not. It was all in the spirit of solidarity. These women had come from all over Chipata district.
The Caravan of Hope has been to 6 other countries since the 9th November 2011. Zambia is the 7th country on the list of 10 countries that are involved in the Caravan which is a huge awareness road trip that is headed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Durban, South Africa.
During the meeting, the Hon Mwale also appreciated the input that the government of Zambia has continued to receive from the civil society that has been aimed at effectively responding to the challenges imposed by climate change. I spoke to her after the meeting and she said that her government has given priority to women farmers. Adding that through their farmer support input program, women farmers have continued to receive inputs for farming through their clubs. This program, she said, is aimed at working towards contributing to total food security for Zambia.
This has also been happening across the gender divide. This must be good news to Marksesio Ngoma, who is a maize, beans, sunflower and sweet potato farmer. A tired look flashes across his face as he tells me that he now has to irrigate his farm because the rains are failing. It is costing him more. The hot seasons seem longer than ever. That is why this COP17 is important to farmers like Marksesio.
Robert Chimambo from Zambia Climate Change Network, ZCCN, who also attended the meeting said that the failure of the global leadership to set up firm collective actions by 2009 as agreed through the Bali Process was a disappointment. He urged as he reiterated the Permanent Secretary’s call that, ‘all parties to the UNFCCC need to act with renewed urgency and determination to ensure a fair and safe legally binding deal.’ This has been the clarion call as African leaders graced the Caravan of Hope events across Eastern and Southern Africa.
The participants who held their respective country flags also witnessed the planting of trees dedicated to all the countries that caravanites have gone through. What made it interesting was also a tree that was planted in honor of the late Prof Wangari Maathai.
By Maria Wanza
By Maria Wanza