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Youth Tackle Environmental Challenges
Detail: As a developing country, Zambia is among countries expected to suffer the worst effects of climate change, according to recent scientific findings by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Despite the country being endowed with abundant natural resources, unsustainable utilization such as over-exploitation has led to environmental problems that have directly affected the livelihood of the people.

The United Nations has already warned that global warming will inflict the most harm in the parts of the world that are the poorest, the least prepared - and the least responsible for causing it. And for sure, the past few months in Zambia have clearly attested to this fact. It is now crucial for Zambia to address the issue of climate change by involving the citizenry fully through environmental sensitization programs.

Chilanga Youth Awake (CYA) has partnered with the Zambian Government to embark on programs aimed at raising public awareness on environmental issues. CYA program coordinator Sandra Chibebe observes that despite Chilanga being close to one of Zambia's biggest water bodies- the Kafue River- the majority of the youth are faced with numerous environmental problems such as poor access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation.

Ms Chibebe explained that the indiscriminate cutting of trees for burners has been another huge challenge as this activity is an income generator among youth. She pointed out the need for sensitization and alternative livelihood training

CYA obtains financial support from the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources through the district environmental committee program, a poverty reduction project of the ministry. "The project we have dubbed 'Youth and Environment Community Project' aims at empowering the youth and the community through enhanced information-sharing on the environment, skills-building and promoting income-generating activities for sustainable livelihoods," Ms Chibebe explained.
Source: Africa News, April 28, 2008
Date: April 29 2009