Thursday, 27 October 2011

Zambia - A Beehive of Activity as Caravan Flag Off Nears

The Zambia Climate Change Network, ZCCN, has been a beehive of activity as the Caravan nears its flag off in Bujumbura, Burundi in the next fortnight.  The activities have mostly dual expected outcomes; to create awareness about the caravan of Hope and secondly, to garner support through signatures of the Africa People’s Petition.  The following are just a few interesting activities they have been carrying out and others that are yet to happen. Read on...

Participation in the Regional Social Forum
The team participated in the regional social forum for Southern Africa which was held in Lusaka. During this forum, ZCCN, exhibited the concept and work of the caravan. They also launched  the signing of the peoples petition where  over 500 signatures were secured

Country Exchange among Caravan of Hope Participants
ZCCN representatives visited Malawi to share lessons and plans on the readiness of the Caravan activity. Chomba Machaya and Henry Malumo represented the ZCCN and Action Aid respectively and touched base with the status of caravan preparations in Malawi with a call for enhanced collaboration and unified approach.

Media Engagement
The team has also been doing interviews with a number of radio and television programs. The radio and TV stations include: Radio Phoenix, ZNBC, Radio 2, Christian voice and Radio 1. The interview’s key objective has been to increase country awareness of the Caravan activities. Resource persons from the caravan country committee have shared the aspirations and plans of the caravan.
The team has also held media workshops where they have not only highlighted the caravan and its objectives but also discussed climate justice.

Community Awareness Workshop
This workshop will be carried out in Chipata and Livingstone. These areas are critical since they will serve as entry and exit points for the Caravan in Zambia respectively. The date of the workshop is 31st October, 2011.
Country Negotiators Involved
The group, recognizing the importance of wider consultation and involvement, has shared the peoples message with the Zambian negotiators and country drafting teams. The drafting of the country position will be carried out from 26th to 29th October, 2011.

For More information Contact:

Noah Zimba @:
Tel: +260 211 257 115
Email -


PACJA to Participate in October 28 Durban Community Climate Change Summit
-Nairobi, October 22, 2011

PACJA’s Noah Zimba is scheduled to be part of a panel on climate change taking place on October 28, 2011 in Room L2, Memorial Tower Building, University of Kwa Zulu Natal in Durban , South Africa. The event takes place from 7 to 9 pm.
Other co-discussants on the panel include Patrick Bond from the Centre of Civil Society, UKZN and his colleagues Thando Manzi, Dudu Khumalo, Orlean Naidoo and Molefi Ndlovu.
This summit is part of the Harold Wolpe Memorial Lecture series.
The theme of the evening will be to link the broader climate change debate to the concrete and specific local issues like protecting people and beaches against e.coli floods, reconnecting electricity after devastating price hikes; creating “climate jobs”; demanding renewable energy, fending off South Durban fossil fuel attacks, confronting the carbon traders and contesting the so called “carbon debt”; halting Durban off shore oil drillers among other socio-economic concerns.

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance through Noah Zimba, will be talking about COP 17 and the relevance of the United Nations from an African continental perspective.
This Harold Wolpe lecture functions supported financially by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and the National Lottery is one of the lead up events leading up to the COP 17 Summit also taking place in Durban from 28 November to the 9th December 2011.

By Onyango Oloo



Pan African Climate Justice Alliance,PACJA, through the Trans African Caravan of Hope is partnering with the Moi University Student Organization and the City Council of Nairobi in activities that will be conducted on Saturday,  29th October from 9:30am to 2:00 pm within Nairobi Central Business District.

This coming Saturday has been earmarked by Moi University as their Environmental Day. The activities chosen will be in remembrance of Prof Wangari Maathai and the bid to keep her legacy alive. In attendance will be the university’s faculty who will be joined by the PACJA team, led by its continental coordinator, Mithika Mwenda among others. The activities will include:

·         Tree planting around Nairobi  Jeevanjee gardens and other areas;
·         Cleaning of Nairobi markets like the City Market and others;
·         Engage in a massive petition signing that will be tabled in Durban, South Africa to demand for our climate rights during the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change on the 15th December 2011.

For more information contact PACJA at

Pomp and Color to Mark Kenya's Gala Night Caravan Flag Off

In the build up to the CoP 17 meeting in Durban, different countries are involved in in-country activities to welcome and flag off the Trans African caravan of Hope. The caravanites will be coming to Kenya on the 13th -14th November, 2011. They arrive in Nairobi in the wee hours of the 13Th  November, 2011  morning and leave on 14Th November, 2011 morning.
To this effect, the Kenya Climate Change Working Group, the Kenyan host of the caravan has activities lined up to ensure that the caravanites have a memorable event here in Nairobi. There will be various activities before the caravan gets to Kenya which will be culminated with a Gala night to flag off the caravan.


Schools and Campus Petition Drive

In collaboration with the Green Africa Foundation(a KCCWG member and recently the 2011 MDG award winner in the category of Environmental conservation) , KCCWG will have a petition drive in schools that will seek to educate young people on issues of Climate Change, what the talks in Durban are critical for their survival, sensitize them on the caravan. There are also volunteers within PACJA that are carrying out petition drives within different campuses. They will create a social media event on face book in which campus students will sign the petition online.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A Rural CBO Tells the Story of the Caravan and Climate Justice

Accessing the Planting Area
They heard about it, got interested and got involved. Now, they are telling the Trans African Caravan of Hope story. That is the story of Ibuka a community based organization situated in Meru County, Igembe south district, Ndia location.

Ibuka and the Trans African Caravan of Hope
This CBO is creating awareness on the caravan of hope and in the process, helping its community to better understand climate change and climate justice. They are also garnering for 50, 000 signatures for the Africa People’s Petition by the end of the fortnight. The group’s chairman, Jediel Akula Miori, adds emphatically, “As group leaders we know our team can do this.” Probably it is because of the membership numbers that this group has.  Ibuka, which means arise, was registered in 2008 and is a CBO that has a membership of 13 constituency groups and pulls in slightly over 800 members who meet with executive on a weekly basis.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Petition Signing in A Rainy Kenya

Map of Kenya
On a rainy Monday in Nairobi, Kenya, some youth who are working with the Trans African Caravan of Hope task force are hitting the streets and bringing in petition signatures.

So far, there has been addition of slightly over 7,000 signatures, just in the last 7 days. In just a few days, the 30,000 mark will be reached.Shortly afterwards a new mark will be hit. The young people on this say they have worked with all kinds of teams to ensure that they bring in signatures. Mickey says he has been working with secondary schools and colleges. His strategy is first meeting with the principal and the head of the environmental or wildlife clubs. After which he leaves the petition with them and collects them a few days later. The primary schools he tells me, 'We have to wait for them to finish their exams especially for the public primary schools."Adding that they have had to go through the Nairobi City Council for official requests.

Shiro, who is a university student, has been recruiting her friends to help her rally the signatures.She says she has had to sell the idea to her friends for them to understand what it is they are asking people to sign against. It is also helping her friends explain what the petition is all about. Not bad for a team of youth who are spreading the word on climate justice.

The networks are now reaching most of Kenya which is encouraging seeing that some of these areas are Arid and Semi-Arid Lands. To all those participating, we say,Kudos, keep going.

By Maria Wanza

Thursday, 20 October 2011

A Tribute to Prof Wangari Maathai

The Trans African Caravan of Hope paid tribute to the late Prof Wangari Maathai through a poem that was shot entirely at the famous Freedom Corner in Uhuru Park. This the park, among others, that Prof Maathai had fought so hard to protect. In the late eighties the late Prof Maathai together with other environmentalists fought the government of the day as they protested against the building of a skyscraper at the park. After a lengthy fight, she and her team won.

In this poem, one sees the different faces that Prof Wangari Maathai presented to different people. Watch the poem,Celebrating a Legend, A Legend of Many Faces at Also find a tribute statement from the Mithika Mwenda, the Continental Coordinator of PACJA at

This video will also be run during an upcoming UNEP meeting.Go ahead, watch it.

By Maria Wanza

Wishing Archbishop Emeritus Tutu a Happy Birthday

On his 80th birthday, the Trans African Caravan of Hope team was one of the several entities from around the world that sent a birthday card to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

Major Visibility for Caravan of Hope in Zambia

Map of Zambia
On TV and Radio

It is a few weeks to the official flag off of the Trans African Caravan of Hope, and Zambia has a truck load of awareness creating activities they are carrying out. First it is their weekly 2 Features on Climate Change and the Caravan Of Hope. This has been going on for the last two weeks. Noah Zimba, who is the lead in Zambia’s Climate Network was on Radio Phoenix last Friday during prime time talking about the Caravan. He and Chomba, an active member of the climate change network in Zambia, were on TV during the popular Kwacha Good Morning show last Saturday on the 15th October 2011 discussing the Caravan.

Media Workshop and Youth Conference Involvement
This week, the Trans African Caravan of Hope participants participated at the regional youth conference being held at Mulungushi Convention Center.
Thursday 20th and Friday 21st,is witnessing a closed door workshop with about 15 journalists. This Friday morning, the journalists will be taken to a forest reserve within Lusaka for a state visit. This particular reserve is a land grab issue. More details on this will be shared.

Fashion Show Engagement

Africa People’s Petition Signature Drive Gains Momentum in Kenya

Map of Kenya
 When it comes to petition signing, quantity and quality matters. Quantity meaning the number of signatures collected. Quality meaning the different publics engaged in the activity. Something else is strategy, strategy, strategy. It is becoming clear that without strategy getting the signatures required is a tough sell. The Trans African Caravan of Hope has a target number of signatures for all participating countries.
Petition Drive in Kenya’s Slum Areas, Primary and Secondary Schools
The Africa People’s Petition Signature drive is at its peak right now as we near the UNFCCC meeting this coming November and December 2011. In Kenya, the drive for signatures started in earnest and has maintained momentum through different activities. It started with an idea shared with some youth in the slums of Nairobi. They wanted to make a contribution to climate justice and thought the signature drive would be a good place to kick off. Well, it was. It was a simple strategy; 10,000 signatures, 5 influential youth leaders in 5 slum areas in Nairobi. Each young person sitting at the table was asked to commit to bring 2,000 signatures and they could have their friends help in collecting them. It worked. There were challenges though. Events were taking place all over the city of Nairobi. These youth were committed to a number of them. This definitely caused a delay in the 5 day timeline. Not for long though. They only needed three extra days and when it was done, 13,000 plus signatures had been collected.
Petition Drive in Kenyan Universities
Shortly after that, university students picked up the drive and now six universities in Kenya are taking part in the petition signature drives. This university engagement is led by 4 students who are also recruiting others to help in the petition signature drives.
Petition Drive in Climate Change Expo
The university activity was followed closely by petition signing during a recently concluded Climate Change Expo that Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources had organized. Over 25 exhibiters were present at the Kenyatta International Conference Center, KICC. The human traffic was great as a result of two other exhibitions that were held at the same location. During that time, the visitors to the stand got to know more about PACJA and the Trans African Caravan of Hope. Another strategy was employed for this setting. The first ten exhibiters were given the petition forms and had had their visitors signing them. Close to a thousand signatures were collected.

Petition Drive in Kenyan Counties

Several counties are getting on board in the signature drive. The counties include Isiolo, Marasabit, Maralal, Lodwar and Mandera. These areas are the worst hit by the  negative effects of Climate Change since they are in Arid and Semi-Arid Land in Kenya. Other counties include Malindi, Mombasa, Lamu and Kwale and the numbers are increasing. PACJA and Kenya Climate Change Working Group - KCCWG, are using civil society networks to drive the petition signing.
More events that will create awareness and encourage petition signing are taking place while others are in the pipeline just before the caravan is flagged off in various countries.

By Maria Wanza

Sunday, 16 October 2011

An Electrifying Time

I was sitting in the room and l just couldn’t believe the energy. Three people brainstorming intensely on the Kenya chapter meeting activities. Now l sit back and smile. It was intense. In fact it was like the whole of the PACJA office was in the meeting because the meeting kept drawing people in who added thoughts on activities that should be done for the Kenya Chapter.  

Indeed, this is the time for Africa. I have never seen an activity excite members like this. Creativity at its best and adrenaline so high that you literally feel the rush and electricity when you get into the room. Yes, this was the setting yesterday afternoon as the Caravan of Hope, Kenya Chapter was being discussed. They want it African. They will tell their stories of adaptation and mitigation the African way. They will discuss Climate Justice the African way and they want to be heard. I also suspect, they will be heard indeed. You can’t ignore energy like this. Can you picture the energy once the caravan starts?

And so the countdown begins…4 weeks to go

By Maria Wanza

The Drums are Beating...It is Just Around the Corner

Hadithi Hadithi? Hadithi Njoo.Hadithi Hadithi….Translation, Story story? Tell me a story. Story story?... That is a call in the African continent usually by a grandma to her grandchildren to gather around the fireplace for a night time story. 

It is Coming to Africa
Yes, There is a wonderful thing about to happen in Africa. It is called the Trans African Caravan of Hope being planned by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, PACJA. This is basically a road trip that will see 9 countries participate as it heads to Durban, South Africa for the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change, Conference of Parties, UNFCCC –COP17 meeting end of this year. If you don’t know by now that is the meeting where all countries of the earth meet to discuss the critical issue of climate change and ways to adapt and mitigate the negative impacts arising from the same. 

Remembering the Building of the Kenyan Railway Line…
A little side step…I tell you l am so excited about this because it reminds me when the railway line was being built in Kenya. My grandma used to tell me that it sounded more like a snake that the residents were waiting for. You would hear…oh it is at such a place and all the villagers would eagerly listen wide eyed to the tales from those who had managed to walk to and from where the workers were hard at work. 

Just a Tip
Back to the this very exciting road trip … The Caravan of Hope will start in Burundi and go through countries like Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and end up in Durban, South Africa. Yes, countries are signing up. The importance of this road trip cannot be overemphasized. The main objective of this trip is to create awareness on issues of climate change and climate justice in the African continent and around the world. 

It is expected that members from other parts of Africa will join the Caravan seeing it is a multi-sectoral engagement. To be part of it all you have to do is contact your in country team members and the explore possibilities. 

The beauty of it is that as the Caravan of Hope will find itself in a lot of in country activities as it goes through the countries.  We have some creative members who are doing all sorts of activities that will be relayed later. The planning of this mega event is intricate as a lot of details are going into the event and a lot of countries are involved. 

Hadithi Hadithi…Gathering for the Story     
Yes, it is a thunder like that you hear just before it rains and mother hen quickly gathers her chicks under her strong wings. I would rather think about this even more like gathering around the fireplace to listen to grandma tell stories to some very excited children. So again, the drums are beating… Hadithi Hadithi? Hadithi Njoo…Look out, it is around the corner.

By Maria Wanza