Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), an Advocacy group is sensitizing the youth on climate change through sports. Recently, PACJA organized a football tournament in Igembe South Sub-County with the aim of raising awareness.
Speaking during the end of the event that saw 57 teams come together, Director Mithika Mwendwa, noted the importance of young people engaging in climate change activities. Mr. Mwendwa, a climate change champion, said the football tournament having attracted a magnitude of spectators acted as a good platform to sensitize the community on the measures needed for dealing with harsh climatic conditions.
PACJA provided thousands of bamboo plants, sunflower and other plants capable of withstanding harsh weather. Mwendwa acknowledged sports as a powerful tool in bringing the youth closer to conservative activities, “Sports can be a powerful tool for mobilization of environmental consciousness. Imagine if we turn all these youths from 57 clubs into our agents of consciousness, our agents of transformation,” Mwenda said.
Mwendwa also added that the organization will train the youth on means of conservation and climate adaptation.
“I will seek partnerships from relevant government ministries and from the county and national governments to incorporate youth in sports to be our champions in building a movement for climate and environmental consciousness,” he stated.
“These youths can potentially join the surging climate justice movement from across the world to reclaim their future. This is a potent power which has laid untapped, we are tapping them from the ground in our locally-led climate action pursuit.
“Mazingira Tournament is a pilot initiative whose success and lessons will be replicated not only in Meru but across the country in a programme driven by PACJA to trickle down climate action and environmental conservation awareness to the grassroots level,” Mwenda added.
John Mutethia, a player and youth leader, said young people had suffered the effects of climate change.
“Our lands are not as productive as before because of unreliable rainfall. But PACJA has given us bamboo and sunflower as part of activities to enable us adapt. We want more youth to join the movement,” he said.