Not only in Rwanda or in the region, climate change issues consist of a global issue that deserves much attention as a number of people are facing effects of disasters resulted from the issue. Civil societies say the issue should be addressed through joint efforts and improved policies and citizen’s mobilization about the climate change, its cause and mitigation strategies to avoid its side effects on human beings, environment and livestock.
In March 2018, disasters include floods left a number of damaged crops and infrastructures such as roads and bridges as well as the loss of lives of people and livestock. All of them are the effects of climate change occurred so far. Hunger crisis is also one of the effects of climate change as many African countries including Rwanda are now facing crop diseases and prolonged drought during the sun season.
During a three-day-training of trainers for Rwandan’s Civil Societies in Kayonza from 26-29th June 2018, about 50 NGOs’ representatives were trained to train their members on climate change issues to better serve the community diligently.
Vuningoma Faustin RCCDN Coordinator
Faustin Vuningoma, Coordinator of Rwanda Climate Change and Development Network (RCCDN), a local network consisting of Civil Society Organisations operating in climate change sector which has organized capacity building workshop for member organizations said that there is a hope that climate change issues will be gradually addressed.
“Our hope is that as a global concern, we are pushing for adaptation mechanisms because we do not have a lot of emissions that Rwanda emits to the space and we did not talk much about mitigation at our level. We focus on what can be adaptation measures that can make our people be able to adapt to the climate change effects. So, we are engaging not only national level but also we try to engage continental level as we are members of Pan African climate change alliance,” said Vuningoma
Lilian Umukunzi, one of the trainees from Rwanda Association of Ecologists said she learnt a lot to share with her community members in mitigating climate change effects.
“We have learnt a lot including how we can help the community in mitigating such issues, and I, personally have learnt how I will train my community members and other colleagues and make them aware of climate change effects and adaptation strategies,” Umukunzi noted.
Civil society organization representatives during the training
Dr John Musemakweri, a consultant in climate change issues said it is better for civil societies advocating for climate change issues to know related terminologies, policies and be involved in environmental impact assessment after being aware of what climate change is, its causes so that they take mitigation measures to help the government reduce its effects.
“All activities of NGOs should be in line with climate change advocacy. For example, in agriculture, NGOs should be closer the community to help identify the crops that resist to climate change. The efforts are there and what is needed is coordination” said Musemakweri.