Organizations Stand As One and Visit Burundi joined forces to conduct an impactful environmental crisis education program with a specific focus on addressing the pressing issue of climate change in Burundi.
The program, which commenced on September 16, 2023, and will conclude on September 21, 2023, aims to engage and educate the youth residing in Bujumbura, the economic capital of Burundi.
During the program, Prosper Aobe, climate advocate, delivered a compelling presentation on the causes and effects of climate change. Aobe shed light on the detrimental consequences of improper waste disposal, emphasizing how it leads to the contamination of lakes and other water bodies. The audience also learned about the adverse effects of deforestation, which disrupts the delicate balance of nature in the mountains. Moreover, Aobe highlighted the significance of having suitable waterways to prevent potential issues in the plains.
The consequences of these destructive actions have already manifested in various ways, with flooding wreaking havoc in low-lying areas such as Gatumba. Devastated houses and displaced residents struggling to find suitable living conditions have become a common sight. Particularly concerning is the toll it takes on the health of vulnerable individuals, especially children and women, who are forced to reside in poorly planned sites.
The Importance of Youth Engagement
Aobe stressed the critical role that young people can play in safeguarding the environment, emphasizing that their future is directly impacted by the choices they make today. He urged the youth to be conscious of their actions and initiate positive changes to combat climate change.
Justin Espoir Masango, a representative of Stand As One, encouraged the youth to actively participate in tree planting initiatives and combat improper waste disposal. Masango firmly believes that changing the mindset of young people is one of the most effective ways to combat climate change and create a sustainable future.
The educational program received an overwhelming response from participants, who expressed their gratitude for the knowledge gained. They emphasized the importance of making climate change education accessible to all, ensuring that no one is left behind. Additionally, attendees shared innovative ideas to combat climate change and find value in its challenges. For example, they discussed the possibility of repurposing non-perishable bottles into useful items such as chairs and tiles. Participants also highlighted the importance of waste separation and utilizing non-perishable materials for composting in fields.