Professor Elvis Asare-Bediako, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), has suggested the need for the country to sensitize children on climate change issues, dangers and its impact on humanity.
He said climate change had become a phenomenon having several impacts on the environment, health and socio-economic lives of humankind.
Prof. Asare-Bediako made the suggestion in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after the inauguration of a climate change club at the UNER Basic School at Fiapre in the Sunyani West Municipality.
He said the University also had a role to play to support the government’s agenda of preventing climate change threat in the region and the nation in general.
As part of the inauguration, the club members were taken through causes of climate change, dangers and how it could be prevented.
Prof Asare-Bediako expressed the hope that the younger generation would understand the climate change message well and begin to take care of the environment to mitigate its effects.
He said the belief that habits acquired already would be difficult to change but the ones acquired early could become part of a person’s life.
Hence, as a matter of national policy, children must be taught issues of climate change and environmental degradation, their resultant negative effects and mitigation efforts from the scratch, so that it would become part of them for the benefit of their communities and nation, he said.
Earlier in an address, Prof. Asiedu Berchie, the head of the Centre for Climate Change and Gender Studies of the University said the institution had selected three Junior High Schools (JHSs) and three Senior High Schools (SHSs) for the formation of the clubs for as many children as possible to develop interest to contribute in preventing and mitigating climate change by their actions and inactions.
Prof. Berchie said among other reasons, the clubs were formed because a lot of children lacked in-depth knowledge about climate change, and therefore, needed to be abreast with it because prevention and mitigation of climate change was a shared responsibility.
He said some of the negative impacts of climate change were excessive natural occurrences such as heavy rainfall, flooding and drought resulting in disasters in some places.
Prof. Berchie, therefore, appealed to religious bodies, state institutions and organisations and the media to be part of the crusade to create awareness about the challenge of climate change and its related negative effects on the public.
Some of the Club members later in an interview with the GNA, assured all of their readiness to join in the effort to join in safeguarding the environment for their future survival.
They also advised the public to contribute to minimise bush burning so that the country’s forest cover might not turn to desert, affecting agricultural production and food shortages.