African young people need more help in institutional and systematic assistance to effectively anticipate drought.
The speaker of the Fifth Namibian Junior Parliament and the representative member of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Norman Ndeuyeeka, said during the high-level session of the African Drought Conference at the Country Club last Thursday. Ndeuyeeka said the policies are good and many make mention on youth involvement but they rarely give substantial direction on how, when and where young people can get involved. “It is on this premise that I call on lawmakers to seriously look into how they can include young people,” said Ndeuyeeka.
He added that drought not only affects the natural environment but also the economy and social aspect, and when it impacts the largest populated continent in the world it is the most vulnerable of society that feel it the most, especially the youth. “Many young people are involved in businesses that directly depend on the environment, how can we protect them in times of drought when they have no clear understanding of the value chain and drought impacts thereof,” asked Ndeuyeeka.
The effects of drought will have repercussions on youth entrepreneurship because the input products will increase in price making it in turn difficult to operate their businesses successfully. “Policies should be drafted geared towards supporting and tightening these fragments and loose ends where young people fall through the cracks. In times of state of emergency and when drought periods have stamps and subsidizing essential household products such as nutritious food to the families from areas most affected by drought.” added Ndeuyeeka.
He said laws should not only be made but implemented, people should be aware and contribute in the fight against drought. “The youth is able to spread climate change information and mobilise and train other young people through advocacy programs, which can lead to timely drought warning information. The good holistic policies are sustainable and everyone should be included in the decision making,” emphasised Ndeuyeeka.