The State of the Union (SOTU) programme in Malawi in collaboration with community leaders, local government officials, and students over the weekend petitioned President Peter Mutharika and his government to address issues of Climate change.
SOTU delivered the petition on conservation of natural resources; climate change; and disaster management and preparedness to Mutharika through the office of the Chikwawa District Commissioner, Bester Mandele, who promised to deliver the petition to central government.
Prior to the petition, the CSOs held Stakeholders Conference under the theme; “Fight Climate Change, avoid Natural Disasters, Safeguard the Future”.
During the conference, it was observed that environmental degradation is worsened due to poor land management policies, over population and lack of alternative energy sources.
Delegates noted that Malawi has been experiencing devastating natural calamities such as floods, storms and disturbing weather changes resulting in loss of lives, hunger and deepening poverty.
Sotu executive Director, Edward Chileka Banda said delegates recommended that government improves the policy and legal environment by ratifying the Revised African Union Convention on Conservation Nature and Natural Resources.
“Government should empower and involve communities in managing the environment; Lobby for support for Climate Change Justice at 2015 COP-21 to be held in Paris, France,” said Banda.
Banda said there is need also for government to create evacuation Centers in floods prone areas to avoid disrupting school classes during disasters.
In the petition, thet have also asked President Mutharika to depoliticize management and conservation of natural resources such as forest reserves.
During the conference, Paramount Chief Lundu commended the youths for the initiative of engaging people directly affected by floods in the Lower Shire.
Lundu said the community participation and empowerment would be key in addressing environmental challenges.
Eye for Development (EFD) organised the event under SOTU Platform which are championing the AU charter on nature and natural resources.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :