BY STEVE EPHRAEM
YOUTH-LED community organisation, Refugee Coalition for Climate Action (RCCA) which operates from Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge, Zimbabwe has revealed that it has embarked on sustainable projects in climate justice.
RCCA revealed this during a presentation that it gave during a Taking the Lead Network community call which was held virtually on 17 October 2023.
Taking the Lead Network is a global group of Refugee Leaders and Refugee Led Organisations that champions refugee rights, self-reliance and inclusion.
RCCA’s Child Focal Person, Divine Mulaya and RCCA’s Communication Director, Elie Nsala represented the Tongogara based organisation.
During her presentation, Divine indicated that their organisation is there to nurture young people to be pro-active in climate justice and environment action.
“Our mission is to make young displaced people to become effective champions in climate advocacy, mitigation, adaption and environmental conservation.
“The harsh reality is that climate change is not just an environmental issue, but a humanitarian one. It is a crisis that worsens the existing vulnerabilities and inequalities, particularly for displaced communities. Tongogara Refugee Camp which I am from is facing increasing negative effects of climate change.
“The frequent extreme weather conditions have affected our lives and livelihoods, for example, crop production and livestock rearing, our environment as sources of energy, and housing. These negative impacts are affecting displaced vulnerable people than ever before.
“For instance, in 2019, when Tropical Cyclone Idai hit Tongogara Refugee Camp, about 1,060 shelters and 618 latrines were destroyed, and such overwhelming damage affected 5,300 refugees and asylum seekers. Moreover, the persistent drought and extreme heat waves have further compounded the challenges we face,” she said.
Elie Nsala indicated that RCCA is focusing a sustainable action.
“We have been able to plant over 1,500 trees, at household-to-household and community centres, we have reached over 2,000 people in our climate literacy and environmental awareness and we have raised about 30 young climate and environmental activists.
“The capacity building opportunity we have from the Taking the Lead Network and technical advice from the R-SEAT has improved RCCA resource mobilisation and networking strategy hence, enhancing our climate advocacy effectively.
As a sustainable measure, we have established a tree seedling nursery. With the support of the Pollination Project mini-grant, we are collaborating with the Camp Administration and the Terres des Hommes in constructing our tree nursery.
“We aspire to raise our own seedlings and plant more trees on a large scale, in orchards, community centres, household level and Community Parks.
“Our long term goal is to expand our climate interest program by bringing more women and children into leadership blocs in climate action and further our food and nutrition goals by increasing fruit tree planting in the ecological way of farming,” he said.