‘Increase children involvement in environmental issues’

MINISTER of State in the Vice-President’s Office (Union and Environment) Dr Selemani Jafo has called for government institutions and environment stakeholders to increase involvement of children in environmental issues.

This, the minister said, will significantly help to build a generation which understands importance of protecting the environment especially at this time when the world is experiencing climate change effects.

Dr Jafo made the remarks in the speech presented on his behalf by the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) Director General Dr Samuel Gwamaka, at the launching of Save the Children’s environment campaign known as ‘Generation Hope’ at Mbezi Juu Primary School in Dar es Salaam at the end of the week.

He said in many parts of the world, children are the most affected group by the climate change effects. He mentioned food insecurity caused by insufficient rainfalls as one of those effects, which result into large number of children to get stunted both physically and mentally.

“I am calling for all environment stakeholders in the country to plan for projects which give opportunities for children and youths to air their voices on environmental issues. Participation of these two groups must be part of the processes of creating and implementing plans to deal with the climate change. This will make them champions of the issues and at the same time enabling them prepare for their future,” he noted.

He congratulated Save the Children for the step saying it supports government’s efforts to build children with awareness and knowledge on environmental issues.

The government is currently working on reviving Environment Clubs in all primary and secondary schools being part of these efforts, he added.

Giving details on the campaign, Save the Children Country Director Ms Angela Kauleni said that it is a fiveyear global campaign, which is a result of the research conducted by Save the Children in year 2022.

The research involved 54, 500 children in 41 countries in the world whereby the children were allowed to give their views on environmental issues. It is implemented in other 20 countries in the world.

“Climate change has serious effects to children than to any other group of people. This means that national budgets, plans and distribution of resources must always consider this fact. On the other hand, all sectors which deal with children issues including health, education, social welfare and agriculture must be given first priority to enable them help children cope with climate change effects,’ she explained.

One of the activities which will be implemented through the campaign is planting trees in at least 100 schools in a period of one year by using a system to be known as ‘Adopt a School’ by involving private sectors.

The event was attended by Development Director from British High Commission Ms Kemi Williams, representatives from the United Nations agencies, Tanzania Forest Services (TFS), CRDB Bank, Sharon Ringo Foundation, Children Council, various non-governmental organisations, environmental stakeholders as well as students from Mbezi Juu Primary and Secondary schools.

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