Raising our voices against a common enemy with no borders

Climate change is caused by too much carbon emission, and these carbons come from places such as China and the US, but Africa seems to be the most affected. This is fast, leading to flooding and droughts, which reduces food production and prices. This brought about the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which aimed to bring climate change awareness and address how much it affects Africa. Climate change might not seem like something serious, but it can lead to the beginning of global warming in Africa, which will cause drought as there will be less agriculture. The continent of Africa already has enough issues to bring this one into it.

Even with all these and the incoming heat, many are still not informed, and this is why Climate Change Activists like Ms Hilda Flavia Nakabuye are refusing to stop raising their voices. They are seen visiting many places like schools and conferences to ensure that people know what is coming if carbon emissions are not controlled.

Ms Hilda Flavia Nakabuye is a Climate Rights Activist from Uganda. She founded the Fridays for Future Movement, and she fights for the rights of women, Africans and the climate.

Digital Awareness about Climate Change

Initially, Ms Nakabuye, like a number of Africans, was ignorant of the topic of climate change, but after attending the Green Climate Campaign Africa (GCCA) at Kampala University, she was able to link it to what happened to her Grandmother’s farm back in the days. There was very heavy rain that destroyed the crops rather than helped them grow. It had changed a lot of things for her as she even had to miss school so her family could recover from the loss they experienced. This way, she decided to stand against climate change too by starting to volunteer for GCCA as a green campaigner.

With this aim in mind, she began the most significant youth movement in East Africa known as the Fridays for Future Movement, which collectively stood to fight against climate change. She took her time to demystify that the issue of climate change is only something discussed by the whites as Africa is the one most affected. Her passion earned her several features on BBC News, Vox and Time, and she has also had the opportunity to attend several conferences to voice her topic.

Her other aim is to get the leadership to take action about climate change as it killed people in Africa, rather than keep giving the excuse of endless negotiations. It angered her that though many people knew about the issue of climate change, they chose to remain silent about it and not give any form of help.

Though the pandemic struck and brought about limited movement and fewer travel opportunities, she still tried to reach the world through digital methods by creating the Climate Striker Diaries, an online platform promoting digital awareness about climate change.

Practical Awareness

She lends her voice through digital means, and she also goes to areas that are affected to teach them how to avoid adding to the cause of climate change. She has been previously seen going to Lake Victoria to pick up the trash around it and teach the people there that it pollutes the water and makes it hard to fish to breed.

In conferences, she warns people of the impending heat that would come and make life uncomfortable for people if climate change is not quickly contained.

The Fridays for Future Movement helps to share climate change information in school and now many youths are willing to help propagate the topic of climate change while also stopping it. Ms Nakabuye propagates the stop of climate change and advises on the importance of planting trees. There is also so much wrong information about climate change that she aims to correct with her awareness.

The issue with the awareness

Though Ms Nakabuye’s movement is fast-growing, she still seems to have issues getting people to believe in her message. Many people have never heard of climate change before, so they are not even interested whenever she goes out to campaign. She once recounted that they are often being ignored during their campaigns and many people even mistake them to be political campaigners; hence, they make sure to avoid her team.

The government’s inaction mostly brings about action from several activists, which led to the rise of people like Ms Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, who strongly wants to fight against climate change regardless of the lip-paying service observed by most of them. Her actions teach us that regardless of whether people subscribe to your ideas, keep pushing and make strong efforts to effect a change, and that change will come.

Written By: Joyce C. Nwezeh Obi-Akejelu (Writer, Social media manager and graphic designer with Africa4AfricaWomen/Assert/PAWES).

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