The idea started when I read a book by Wangari Maathai from Kenya who won a Noble Peace Prize for planting trees in Kenya. She lived her whole life planting trees and educating people on climate change and environmental issues. I then decided to come up with this initiative in Namibia to plant 1 million trees in ten years across the entire country. Although Namibia is one of driest countries in Africa, there is a need for our country to be transformed into a green land. I believe that we can use our underground water to water those trees.

The other main reason to start this project is to educate and motivate people to conserve and sustain our environment through urban gardening. Being a part of the Tsumeb Young Achievers group has extremely uplifted and motivated me to pursue my interest in climate change. I want to encourage young people out there to contemplate sometime in their lives about starting a small garden at home, whereby they plant in containers. Hence, they will be able to save water and adapt more easily in harsh climate conditions across Africa. This method is very effective in areas of dry atmospheric conditions; whereas in areas of infertile soil, it’s very much advisable to simply just plant in containers filled with sand and fertilizer.

Our campaign for climate change has started already, but as an individual, I want to work hard to make sure that people have food to eat, and that we have enough oxygen in the atmosphere for breathing. As a young person, I solely believe that the time is now to start conserving our environment, thus to limit further damage to our environment. Human activities, such as the use of fossil fuels, deforestation and unsustainable agriculture contribute to climate change, which decreases the availability of nutritious food and clean water, and destroys ecosystems and secure living environments. This leads to malnutrition, ill-health and migration, rendering youth particularly vulnerable. At the same time, youth constitute the majority of the population in many countries and have an increasingly strong social and environmental awareness, which has the power to transform our societies towards a low-carbon and climate- resilient future. 

 

About the author: My Name is Ester, I am 27 years old; I live in Tsumeb, Namibia. I have so much love for plants and spend most of my time in the garden. My dream is to plant 1 million trees in 10 years. I am a member of the Young Achievers Youth Empowerment Project in Tsumeb.