Trans African Caravan of Hope: A campaigning road trip in Africa for climate justice • 27.11.2011Durban

TransAfrican Climate Caravan of Hope, a two-week campaigning road trip, is taking African activists through 10 countries to the climate change negotiations in South Africa. Along the way it’s aiming to galvanise support for climate justice. The Caravan of Hope is a bus journey covering more than 7000 km, and it is also highlighting the impact climate change is already having in Africa. Trans African Caravan of Hope reached Durban this week. Opening Ceremony was hold in Kwa Zulu Natal University in South Africa on Saturday 26.11.2011.

Ms. Rebecca Muna (Coordinating Team member-ForumCC) hosting the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Gharib Bilal during the reception of the Caravan of Hope in Dar es Salaam.

Trans African Caravan of Hope reached Durban:Opening Ceremony in Kwa Zulu Natal University in South Africa

I am writing this piece from Kwa Zulu Natal University where we are meeting with all the caravanites who have travelled over 7000 kilometers to be here.I am sitted right at the back observing the whole room. It is electric with ululating women accompanied by chanting crowds.

Just outside a while ago, the caravanites chanted…Climate Justice Now,Kyoto Must Not Die. A leader spoke urging the group to reject Carbon Markets. ’We don’t want Carbon Markets.We don’t want Offsets.’ The cause of climate change, he said, is global warming by fossil fuels. He led the crowd chanting, ’Leave the Oil in the Soil and the Gold in the Hole.’ He urged President Zuma and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, must listen to the voice of the people.

Now back to the hall where we are meeting. TBoy from Zambia is singing his heart out against the impacts of climate change. The crowd is on its feet. Others clapping, waves from flags of representative coutnries with voices so loud. Just before that we had a couple of off the cuff speeches.

Prof Patrick Bond, Director at Kwa Zulu Natal said, ’You have taken the sacrifice and really worked on this. COP17 they are on the 4degrees target. They have have to bring it down to 1degrees. By December 9th if it is a conference of polluters. It means no carbon trading no REDD.We must leave the oil in the soil and the gold in the hole. We must leave Durban in a way we have never seen. We are going to come and educate. This is the right place to educate because it is a university.’

The once Bolivia Chief Negotiator said, ’what is going to be discussed here is that debt shall be increased more than 40%. If this happens Africa will suffer more than 8% Celsius increase,’ he passionately said. He added, ’We want to stop the ecocide. Over 350,000 people die because of causes of Climate Change. Imagine a world that increases with 4% Celsius and an Africa that increases with 8% Celsius. They are burning and selling Africa.’ He said that if Africa doesn’t fight here in Durban the rest of the continent will be wondering what happened to us.

So far, the Trans African Caravan of Hope activists have collected over 2million signatures across the continent.

Joe of Action Aid International said, ’Our governments will not do what they need to do. The people need to tell the people that this is not going to be allowed to happen.’ She said that she felt hopeful when she saw crowds of people who came chanting up the road with a lot of energy.That is what the caravanites have displayed inspite of lack of sleep for the last 36 hours.

Mohamed Lamin from Oxfam Senegal assured the caravanites that West Africa had been following the Caravan of Hope. ’We will change the way negotiators take over,’ he said while adding that, ’If you want to succeed in life bring people together. Your direction is the right direction.’

Mithika Mwenda, continental coordinator of PACJA thanked partners who were working the alliance to ensure that this event was a success. He had a message for President Obama, ’US should not think that they are giving us charity. We know Obama is coming.Let us stay alert so that we can baptize him with fire.We are going to baptize our leaders with fire too if they joke.’

Teksti on julkaistu alunperin 26.11.2011 The Trans African Climate Caravan of Hope -tapahtuman blogissa www.transafricancaravanofhope.blogspot.com.

The Trans African Climate Caravan of Hope is a road show that will seek to galvanize the cross country stakeholder voices, with an ultimate aim of telling the African story while making known the demand of Africa among its inhabitants and the rest of the world. The Caravan is a huge mobilization and awareness creation opportunity for African civil society to highlight the challenges climate change poses to African’s efforts to extricate herself from poverty and attainment of Millennium Development Goals.

Lue lisää:

Guardian 16.11.2011. A campaigning road trip in Africa for climate justice

Kepan Durban-blogi 23.11.2011. Toivon karavaani ajaa kohti Durbania