Environment

Study faults duty-bearers inability to support address climate induced injustices

A study to assess communities’ levels of awareness on climate justice has revealed limited awareness on the concept and additional limited capacity to manage the impacts of climate change.

The study which isolated four unique cases distinct to each and every district of Zomba, Chikwawa, Phalombe and Machinga, further shows that climate injustices are a threat to human rights.

The stakeholder dialogue on human rights in relation to climate change which unpacked the findings was organized to have a dialogue with different players ranging from civil society, government, and academia among others.

Civil society network on climate change (CISONECC) National Coordinator Julius Ng’oma indicated that the study focused on knowledge, attitudes and practices that local communities and other players have on issues of climate change.

Ng’oma: These communities have not been able to access basic services

He stated that the Climate Just Communities (CJC) programme supported by Scottish government through DAI UK which CISONECC and other partners are part of, is in the process of documenting climate injustices and justice issues in the seven districts the programme is implementing different interventions.

The civil society network wants stakeholders to appreciate what sort of injustices prevail in the communities and some of the factors leading to Malawi experiencing these injustices and highlighting the actions to be taken across the board by local leaders, district councils and national stakeholders in addressing the issues.

He bemoaned the circumstances people are subjected to following disasters, which he noted compounded into different kinds of climate injustices in one way or the other while duty bearers have failed to address them.

The study is further recognizing that these climate related events experienced over the last decade, have resulted into one or two climate injustices to the communities.

Some of the participants to the stakeholder dialogue on human rights

“We’ve seen from the study for example looking at one Cyclone Freddy, Cyclone Gombe, Cyclone Ana and all these Cyclones and even the droughts that have happened, we’ve seen that communities have been in one way affected. For example, where droughts have been carrying over and over; communities have not been able to access water and even the government and other stakeholders who have the duty have failed in their duty to actually provide such kind of services to the communities.

“When you look at for example the Cyclones and others torrential rains that have happened over the last couple of years, they’ve resulted to displacement of people in their own communities and these communities have not been able to access basic services from government and even other stakeholders.

“We’re talking about people that are in the camps until now, people that have not been able to attain education because their schools and school blocks have been turned into camps. We’re also talking about people that have even experienced sexual exploitation and abuse because they’re not living in their own original communities or households”. he observed.

Ng’oma highlighted that the knowledge gaps across communities and at national level will enable them to form baseline information for interventions, campaigns alongside climate justice to form a basis for recommendations which government and other stakeholders can act on.

Gladys Nthenda

A journalist with over 10 years all round media experience in Television, print, radio, and online platforms with a particular interest in health and climate change reporting. I love writing stories on vulnerable and marginalized societies to bring about the necessary change in their lives. Loves travelling, reading news related articles and listening to all genres of music. emailg79@gmail.com

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