By Edwin Mbewe & Dorica Mtenje
LILONGWE -(MaraviPost)-African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games which have commenced in the Malawi Capital, Lilongwe have not only focussed on sports development but also on issues concerning climate change.
This has been witnessed on Friday 2nd December, 2022 as six sports ministers from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Carols Mendes from Mozambique who is the vice president of the Region 5 Youth games launched the tree planting season and unveiled a legacy plaque at Nalikule Teachers Training College.
Speaking to journalists after the exercise, Mendes said the initiative will play a great role in reducing the impact of the climate change as Malawi and Mozambique have recently been hardly hit by disasters attributed to climate change.
“I know our two countries have recently been hardly hit by storms hence regarding it necessary to plant trees during these Region 5 Games. This will help to bring back the degraded land”, Mendes said.
On his part Conserve with Benefit team leader, Collins Mittochi said, in line with goals of conserving the environment, they thought of donating 5,000 tree seedlings towards the exercise.
He has, therefore, pledged to monitor the planted trees so that their survival rate is high.
Stanley Mutoya, the Region 5 Youth Games Region Organizing Committee Chairman said,the plaque symbolizes a strong message from athletes and their coaches in the region on the importance of conserving the environment.
“We need to conserve and preserve our environment. This is part of our environment conservation sporting program where we are sending the message to all the athletes and all individuals in our countries that we need to conserve environment as part of climate change management strategy. So this plaque is a symbolism of our heritage preservation, so a message to everyone to plant trees.”
“We need not to wantonly cut down trees, we must avoid littering anyhow. The message here is that our environment needs us as its custodians hence we should ensure that our trees, our animals are taken care of hence in so doing we will have to do the sports with a human face”, Mutoya explained.