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DHPS students march to parliament

By: Kelvin Chiringa

Aggrieved by the uncertainty of the future of their generation due to the debilitating effects of climate change, a mob of students from DHPS burst into the streets last week, in a peaceful demo which ended at the footsteps of government demanding a regulation and ban on the use of plastic bags.

The students, who were in the company of teachers, held placards and chanted slogans demanding a change on environmental policy and management to better clamp down the effects of climate change.

“The climate is changing, why are we not?” one student remarked to this publication midst the demo which was accompanied by a police unit.

Presenting their various petitions to chairperson of the parliamentary committee on management of natural resources, Sophia Swartz, another retorted, “There is no point of going to school knowing that we don’t have a future.”

Namibia is in the line of harm as far as global warming is concerned and it remains a threat to the country’s development.

The students’ unanimous declaration to parliamentarians that they would die of old age and them of climate change, attests to a generation that has become more aware of this threat.

Swartz, buoyed by this show of student activism last Friday, said they would push for a law that will institutionalise a total ban on the use of non-bio-degradable plastics.

But this poses a threat to the country’s few giant manufacturing plants and throws into the gutter, many jobs.

However, an array of African countries have banned the use of plastic bags yet for Namibia, this may not happen that fast.

 Kenya’s total ban on the manufacture, sale or use of plastic bags, became law in August of 2017, while Rwanda, Mauritania and Morocco, all have a total ban.

Last year, the ministry said it had plans to implement a ban of the use of plastic inside the country’s national parks.

Towards the end of last year, the environment minister was calling for proposals on climate change projects aimed at empowering rural communities on adaptation of environmental changes.

Speaking to the media, Pohamba Shifeta said the call for climate change grants was in support of the ‘Empower to Adapt: Creating Climate Change Resilient Livelihoods through Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM)’ project.

In her thesis, Climate Change Effects in Namibia: A Case Study of Omusati Region, Martha Wilhelm posits, “As a country, Namibia needs to prepare itself to effectively use the threats and opportunities of climate change to lay solid foundation for a sustainable and prosperous Namibia.”

 She further submits that the impacts of climate change will increase the challenge of on-going poverty alleviation efforts in Namibia.

 It will hit hardest, those whose livelihoods are more intimately tied to local resource bases and therefore more climate-sensitive, she adds.

The paradox of the international proponents of the reality of climate change is that, the more they meet to call for more attention on this phenomenon and the need for the world to put heads together, the more they prefer to travel to such meetings with private jets.

Indications are that, just one return flight from London to New York produces a greater carbon footprint than a whole year’s personal allowance needed to keep the climate safe.

According to Vox, an American news and opinion website, the International Civil Aviation Organization anticipates that by 2020, global international aviation emissions are projected will be 70% greater than in 2005.

By the middle of the century, they are slated to increase by upward of 700%.

 Every round-trip trans-Atlantic flight emits enough carbon dioxide to melt 30 square feet of Arctic sea ice, the publication reports.

“But the planet needs to cut its emissions from today by more than half to get on a path to limiting global warming this century to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The world may only have until 2030 to reach that milestone,” says the publication.

Kelvin Chiringa

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