Dozens of young people from the greater Horn of African region on Wednesday pledge to rally behind interventions that enhances the resilience of communities amid escalating climate crisis.
Speaking at a virtual forum in Nairobi convened by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the youthful campaigners said their involvement is key to revitalize climate response in the region.
Maura Ajak, a South Sudanese media practitioner said that youth led advocacy is key to boost action on climate related disasters like floods, droughts and vector borne diseases that have taken a toll on women, children and internally displaced persons.
“We should raise the voices of young people to help mobilize communities towards responding to climate change and conflicts that have disproportionately affected rural communities in the region,” said Ajak.
She said that success of climate change mitigation and adaptation programs in the Horn of African region hinges on greater involvement of youth who stand to gain more from low carbon development pathways.
Ghaamid Abdulbasat, Youth Program Regional coordinator, Earth Day Network, Sub-Saharan Africa said that youthful energy and ingenuity should be harnessed to revitalize green agenda in the region.
According to Abdulbasat, the Horn of African region is grappling with climate change linked biodiversity loss, recurrent droughts, hunger and water stress hence the need to involve the youth in resilience programs.
He said that besides grassroots advocacy, the youth can also participate in restoration of degraded landscapes, water conservation and renewable energy as part of their contribution to climate response.
Abdulbasat said that Horn of African youth have supported nature-based solution to the climate crisis that is cost-effective and is more beneficial to local communities.
Nirere Sadrach, a Ugandan green campaigner, said that governments in the region should enact policies that encourage youth led intervention to reverse social and ecological damage triggered by climate change.
He said that financial incentive from governments and industry is key to stimulate growth of youth-led start-ups that are promoting conservation, renewable energy and waste recycling. Enditem