Hello Clarence, nice to meet you. Please tell us a bit more about you and your life. And what are your interests?
My name is Clarence Mwangala, I’m 21years old, the first born in a family of two. I am a Zambian by nationality. I am a people person, I love to interact and socialize with people, especially being around people with the right energy that challenge how I look at things. I love to hear other people’s views and opinions on different issues to get our different perspectives and I respect that. It is one a way of learning from others on my part. Reading, writing, singing and listening to music are some of the things that I do in my free time.
Why is this environmental issue important to you?
The environmental issues are something that has become of great importance to me, such that I always watch what I do and its impact on the environment. This is because, before I learnt about how human actives contribute negatively or positively to the environment, I never cared much about it, so getting to learn of that, has made me want to cover up and do as much as I can to make sure that I deliberately impact the environment positively. In addition to that, just the realization that we only have one earth which other generations after us also have to come enjoy and see the beauty of it just as much as we have enjoyed it. Probably even better without any environmental crises, is such a drive to take environmental issues very seriously and personal.
What are the most important issues for children related to the environment and climate change in your community/country/region?
Having a one of the biggest mines located in Solwezi, some environmental issues that give children and the community worry is the land degradation, land pollution and water pollution. chemicals that go into water bodies which are near the mines effect the nearby communities that depend entirely on these water bodies for survive and children are not excluded in these communities. Furthermore, the demand for charcoal has lead to the extreme cutting down of trees which play an important role in the ecosystem. And clearing land for agriculture are contributors to climate change. Hence children can not fully enjoy their right to a clean, safe and healthy environment.
What are you doing to protect the environment?
There are a number of activities that are on going in which I participate in to ensure that the environment is protected. Such as, taking part in dialogue meetings with different stakeholders on extractives and other environmental issues to find solutions to some environmental challenges we are facing. Participating in a number of sensitizations programs on radio (physical meetings) and tree planting have been conducted with communities, schools/ school going children and youths and have continued to be done at any given chance. Lastly participating monthly keep zambia clean campaign, clean ups which is conducted every month aimed at ensuring citizens take part and full responsibility of staying or working in a safe, clean, green and healthy environment.
Can you share with us a good children and youth activity happening in your community or country to help or protect the environment?
The youths and the children work together towards seeing the best of their environment, as they are the ones that are more affected. Activities such as school environmental talks bring the youths and children together to discuss and share information on the environment and how best it can be protected. Environmental (Eco) clubs have been established in ten (10) schools that environment Africa is working with , and usually the youth network members visit these schools to have interactions with the children. Children also participate in debate competition on events such as world environment day. Youth day, Day of an african child, world water day and world childrens day.
You are working quite hard to protect your environment! Do you also have a personal dream?
Away from working towards protecting the environment, I have other personal dreams of which one of them is still to make sure that there is a safe planet to live in. I plan on going to school, hopefully next year to pursue a degree in social work. I love writing and I do plan on being an author and write one or two books, but it can be more.