#BeatAirPollution was the theme for 5th June World Environment Day 2019, with communities and Conservation Clubs really getting behind the message

World Environment Day is aimed at being the biggest, and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action annually. To commemorate, we support “eco-action” events together with schools in the areas we operate in Zimbabwe, Botswana & Zambia, and the Conservation Clubs we support at each of them.

Celebrations start with speeches about conservation and the environment, followed by either tree-planting activities or a clean-up campaign across local community centres; clinics, police stations, commercial shopping areas and along national railways & road before the schools compete for prizes with presentations in three categories: Drama/Song, Banner and Poetry. This year the global theme for World Environment Day was #BeatAirPollution, we heard some inspiring words from the generation of tomorrow.

Students from Main Camp Primary School perform a poem for #BeatAirPollution on World Environment Day 2019

With these poignant words, here’s a roundup World Environment Day activities at of the communities we partner with in vulnerable wildlife areas in Zimbabwe, Botswana & Zambia.

Maunga Community, Zambia

Maunga Primary School saw cultural dances, poems forming part of the day with a prize giving for those who joined in. An invite was extended to the headmen for the area since they are the custodians of the law in the region. It was awesome and very educative for both the community and our Project Officer, Twaambo.

Many of the songs and dances revolved around cutting down trees for making charcoal
Insightful discussions were had with community elders and students alike

Most songs and drama focused on the reasons and effects of making charcoal from the nearby Dambwa Forest Reserve. Insightful discussions showed that the major cause is a lack of alternative sources of generating income. The only formally employment people in the village are teachers. With a high demand for charcoal in nearby cities, due to frequent power shortages, supplying charcoal from rural areas is a viable revenue source. The cost of production is very low as materials are readily available. It is difficult to contend this with this thinking, without offering alternative income sources. It was a constructive discussion for all involved and works towards the goal of raising environmental awareness within Maunga.

Hwange Communities, Zimbabwe

It was a big day in Dete, with 5 primary schools taking part in all the action; Mambanje Primary, Sir Roy Primary, Chezhou Primary, St Francis Primary and Hwange Main Camp Primary. We were happy to be joined by organisations like The Hide Safari Camp and Painted Dog Conservation to support and adjudicate on the day. It all started with a cleaning campaign for 2 hours in the morning, before competitions kicked off in the fields of choir singing, drama, poetry and speeches all around the topic of air pollution. The first prizes for poetry went to St Francis Primary followed by Main Camp Primary and then Sir Roy Primary School. Sir Francis School also took first place for drama and choir. The day ended with the Chairperson of School Development Committee at Sir Francis Primary School encouraging everyone to digest the knowledge shared on the day and to everyday action measure to stop pollution in their communities.

The day started with a high energy 2 hour clean
A student from St Francis Primary School receiving a prize for Best Actor

School Conservation Clubs have become a part of environmental education in the area, which we are happy to see. These clubs are a key part of our strategy to promote greater environmental awareness in the vulnerable wildlife areas these communities are located within. We aim to continue supporting these Conservation Clubs so these sorts of days grow from just being a 5th June activity to something which is being done every day both at school and at home.

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