October 25, 2014
Greetings to all my Zambian friends.
Zambia has now turned a corner in its life as a nation; starting its way to 100 years. Will it make it? Perhaps but not the way it is going. Your minerals will be all gone, just holes in the ground. Support from generous donors will have long gone. And the resource you should have cared for has all but disappeared. Your forests will have been long raped until nothing is left; sand dunes will drift across vast areas of once was a green nation. Water will become the new treasure and fought over like bones to hungry dogs. Nations of greed will have entrenched themselves in Zambia using the scarce water to produce food crops for their own people and perhaps colonization. Your children will have become disenchanted and turn to any means they can to survive. Please stop this rush towards destruction and annihilation and turn toward your natural resources. Look after them. Manage them sustainably. You have not got a closer friend then a tree so why do you treat them with such disrespect? You are not the only creatures on this planet that relies on the bounty that was provided to us all. Why do you treat it like it is a thing to be used and destroyed?
A concerned world citizen
Today in Mongu I had a great meeting with the founding members of Western Province Community Forests. They represent many organizations that will help form communities into community forests across Western Province to raise awareness of environmental concerns, reforestation and social issues of communities living within the forests of Zambia.
Although it has many uses, the most important use for Neem products is to fight against crop pests and diseases. Worldwide approximately one third of crops in the field and in storage are lost to pests each year. The worst affected are maize and rice in Africa and Asia. And mosquitos hate anything to do with a Neem tree. I have sat under a Neem tree in the evening and was never bitten. The leaves boiled as tea and drank has the same effect on mosquitos.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY?
Perhaps this is not a nice sugar coated question that some people would ask anyone, and definitely not one for our youth to try to answer. But it is time they are told the truth. The planet is in trouble. This is a confessional answer from me, of the older generation. How are we going to make things right? We must start to try to answer this question quickly because it will take generations of hard work to make this world right again. That is if it is not already too late. But the future of our children’s children is at stake. It is our old way of waste and greed that has got us here so it is now up to the youth to take up the challenge and bring the world past our mistakes, using past mistakes as reference and navigating into the future.
Our generation must work with the youth of the world on basic issues like sufficient clean drinking water, nutritional agriculture and sustainable forestry. Providing them with the information, which is our past and the technology and the tools to shape a new sustainable world, which will be their future. Using a holistic approach is the key to the future, not only for the survival of mankind but the existence of the planet.
The term Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) launches this idea and the network of Climate Smart Agriculture for Youth and the Disabled (CSAYN) takes its first baby steps toward this new approach. The challenge will be how the youth of Africa will respond to this dismal news? And will they react in a forward positive motion. My answer is yes! Providing we give them the tools to proceed and acknowledgement as they succeed. Their everyday life is part of the learning experience and everyone strives to accomplish things; it is human nature. It is our responsibility to teach our children right from wrong and to always extend a hand behind them and pull someone less fortunate forward. Leave no one behind.
Africa is a land of opportunity for Climate Smart Agriculture. To show the world that Africa’s youth can and will meet the challenge that we are all facing and race to restoring harmony with nature. And getting back to my question to the youth of Africa. What are you going to do when the well runs dry? I hope their answer will be. We will conserve what we have left and work towards finding ways to keep the well full.
African Community Project
These are some of African Community Project’s more than 150 volunteers working across Zimba District. They teach communities about changing climates, planting trees and setting up Community Forests. Great work team!