Sand Pouching A Stumbling Block for Environmental Conservation
Youths in Hopely, who are earning a living through sand pouching and selling firewood have urged the government to assist them with income-generating projects as these practices are contributing to climate change problems.
Persons with disabilities, women and the youth who attended the “Climate Change” meeting organised by Community Radio Harare (CORAH) with the support from WAN-IFRA African Media Grants told the publication that the state of the economy is forcing jobless people to carry out human practices that further damage the environment.
“The government should at least help us with income-generating projects so that we earn a decent living because we are relying on those unsafe environmental practices. We can not stop sand pouching and cutting down of trees as long as there is no alternative source of living”, said a youth representative in Hopely.
One of the women in attendance added that they are facing so many problems including scarcity of space for cultivation due to sand pouching as their farmlands are destroyed. She went on to echo what the youths had said about being helped with income generation projects so they stop abusing the environment.
“It’s not like all of these youngsters are not educated enough to know the results of their practices, they need jobs. I am not justifying. We no longer have space for farming because of sand pouching in every corner, our children are suffering from water-borne diseases and some are even dying as they are being trapped by water in those deep ditches when they are filled with rainwater”.
Signs of Hope Trust Zimbabwe, director Samantha Sibanda shared her experience and research concerning the vulnerability of persons with disabilities (PWDs) when it comes to how the effects of climate change have worsened their lives.
Sibanda urges those in authority to always include PWDs in the climate change discourse and not be left behind in the process of development to fight climate change effects as they are the most vulnerable group.
Addressing the meeting Advocates4Earth director Lenin Chisaira commended the attendees to find ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change effects. He also encouraged them to earn money through recycling plastic products whilst reducing land pollution.
The participants have pledged to raise “Climate Change Awareness” by applying the knowledge shared during the meeting. These efforts include the word of mouth awareness, regular tree planting days, clean-up campaign days, conservation of wetlands and vegetation.
Meanwhile, a survey carried out by CORAH yielded that sand pouching and tree cutting have been worsened by economic hardships as 70 percent of the youth across the country are jobless.
The Women and People with Disabilities for Climate Change Justice is Supported by WAN-IFRA African Media Grants.