By Christian Benard

Climate change has affected the livelihoods of many young people across Africa due to weather variations. This has caused challenges in activities carried out by the youths such as agriculture, business and also affecting their mental health.

“I have been affected by climate change, as a poultry farmer my business has been affected a lot because I incurred losses due to climate-related impacts. Cold weathers and very high temperatures is not conducive,” said Peace Mbezza, a poultry farmer and youth researcher in Uganda during a side event hosted by the Restless Development at COP 26.

“When weathers are so cold, my birds are prone to very many diseases eg. Influenza.”

According to Mbezza, youths as a result need urgent action to adapt and build resilient futures.

“Young people need external support in terms of financial support and incentives to help them engage in climate mitigation strategies,” he said.

Floods for instance have affected agriculture in many regions across the African continent lowering production of food.

Restless Development youth researcher from Uganda, Felix Olindi noted the need to provide knowledge on climate change to the youth.

“We recommend that education be prioritized because information is power. Knowledge about climate change for young people will enable them to adapt and protect the environment,” Olindi said.

He noted that the effects of climate change on the health of young people are outrageous  noting that some are undergoing mental health issues as a result. Olindi thus called for the need of a remedy to address this.

“We cannot put food on the table or think about the next meal unless we think about the environment we live in,” said Nanandla Malendi.

The event was marked with calls for youth to effectively adapt and ultimately build resilience.

“If we are going to fight climate crisis and get solutions especially at a large-scale, this need to be youth-led solutions. So we just need to have all of these ideas and get an opportunity to be funded. We would like to see more stakeholders support for such young people,” said Donya Nasser, a senior global company coordinator.

Andrew Tangang, a member of the youth power panel said ,”We need to just go beyond talking but emphasize more on investing in young people and in local communities.”