Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Grants to School Environmental Clubs

September 9, 2017 | Author: Alison Black | Category: N/A
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Republic of Namibia Ministry of Environment & Tourism

Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Grants to School Environmental Clubs

Climate change adaptation activities at school level enhance the capacity of Namibian Youth to use creativity and innovation to address development challenges in their country. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism, through the Environmental Education Unit and the Africa Adaptation Project Namibia, the United Nations Development Programme and the Government of Japan, provided grants in 2011 of N$ 50,000 to ten environmental school clubs across the country to implement climate change adaptation activities.

School Environmental Clubs Profiles (2011/12)

Climate Change and Schools in Namibia Namibia strives to be a knowledge-based economy by 2030. But as there are substantial regional differences in educational attainment, a young person’s regional origin seems to affect future opportunities to obtain employment or to move out of subsistence oriented livelihoods. Some regions are more adversely impacted by the effects of climate change and disruption to the school programme as a result of flood is not uncommon in many regions. As educational attainment affects the general level of skills and knowledge in communities, the adaptive capacities to climate change of Namibian youth are immediately affected in the longer term in various parts of the country unless integrated approaches are taken to address these challenges. Climate change has gained prominence globally and in Namibia because of its impacts on livelihoods, food security, economic growth and development. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) ‘Support to School Environmental Clubs Initiative’ is aimed at reaching young people who are the thoughtful citizens of the future capable of sparking positive change within Namibian society. The youth, especially those on the younger end of the spectrum, are often the most vulnerable to the deterioration that climate change can bring. On 20 May 2011, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Honourable Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, launched the ‘Support to School Environmental Clubs Initiative’ with financial and technical support from its Environmental Education Unit and Africa Adaptation Project Namibia (AAP NAM) with a contribution of N$50,000 to each of the ten environmental clubs. This first round of grants supports climate change adaptation and mitigation activities. Honourbale Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah launched the programme saying, “Youth as a group and individuals need to consider themselves as part of the process to bring about the solution to the challenges of climate change. They should be given a sense of power. This empowerment, along with a passion for positive change and knowledge of their own social and environmental responsibility, translates into action.”

School 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Total students in enviro club

Grades active in enviro club

Approximate percentage of gender balance

Cornelius Goreseb High School (Kunene)



80 female/ 20 male

Ombombo Combined School (Kunene)



50 female /50 male

Elakalapwa Combined School (Ohangwena)



50 female /50 male

Gabriel Taapopi High School (Oshana)



50 female /50 male

Katji-Na-Katji Secondary School (Kavango)



50 female /50 male

Linus Shashipapo Secondary School (Kavango)



50 female /50 male

Mubiza Primary School (Caprivi)



50 female /50 male

Hochland High School (Khomas)



40 female /60 male

Academia High School (Khomas)



40 female /60 male

UNAM Environmental Society (Khomas)


1st - 3rd year

60 female /40 male

Experience has taught us that, for anything to be sustained, the mobilization of the youth, as future leaders and future implementers is necessary. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has developed and is implementing different programmes and activities to sensitise our young people on matters related to the environment in general and climate change in particular. Through this support, school environmental clubs are revived and school learners, teachers and students are assisted to better understand environmental concepts and issues through the various awareness and action-oriented environmental activities. These schools have set an example of how effective environmental clubs are in implementing curriculum-based environmental education activities and contribute towards dealing with environmental issues in their schools and communities. The launch of the school environmental club grants took place in Windhoek on 20 May 2011 with a hand-over of cheques to those schools with innovative proposals for climate change activities. These activities range from climate change awareness raising, starting school gardens, installing solar panels, planting trees and installing recycling stations.

A powerful force for change, the youth of Namibia as future leaders and innovators need practical engagement on the importance of environmental sustainability and climate change adaptation.

Children and young people are often most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.

Adapting to the long-term challenges posed by global phenomena such as climate change, all starts with the seeds of education.

Saving the Environment One Song At a Time Cornelius Goreseb High School, Khorixas, Kunene The late afternoon sun is only slightly tamed by the heavy grey clouds migrating across the sky above Khorixas. The classrooms are empty this afternoon, after school sports activities take priority at this time of year. Some boys languidly play with a soccer ball outside their hostel, their pace matching that of their spectators’; slowly circling eagles soaring above. Cornelius Goreseb High School in the Kunene Region focuses on respecting the natural environment, especially their immediate school grounds where they have on-going school clean-up campaigns. The Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation School Environmental Club Grant funded the school to conduct a series of environmental awareness events. And the learners of Cornelius Goreseb have done this in style! They organised a school choir competition for the seven local schools in the town. The pupils sang messages to address climate change and conserve Namibia’s and the world’s natural environment. The debating club also joined in the activities and discussed threats to the environment and what the government and young people can do about these challenges. The environmental club arranged for the town mayor to visit the school to further encourage learners during a clean-up campaign of the school grounds. This high school is indeed producing future Namibian leaders, one of whom recently travelled to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 17th Conference of Parties held in Durban South Africa in December 2011. Vanessa Gases is the chairperson of the 45-member strong Cornelius Goreseb Environmental Club and was selected to join the Namibia delegation as a youth delegate to participate in this international conference. At the conference she learnt many things but also shared about the importance of awareness raising saying “being active enthusiatic youth, we

come up with ways to make our ideas known to everybody in a peaceful way.”

Her teacher Mr. Garoseb says “for us as a school in a small town, we are so proud of her that she was selected to repre sent our country and school at this international platform.” The Environmental Club at Cornelius Goreseb in Khorixas embarked on school clean-up activities and lively awareness raising in the town to highlight the importance of environmental threats such as climate change.

Lighting up Ombombo: Renewable Energy Lets Students Shine Ombombo Combined School, Ombombo, Kunene Sixty kilometres south of Opuwo you will find the tidy settlement of Ombombo with its school of approximately 350 students. Ombombo Combined School has recently been lit up with hope when it improved by almost 10% in the 2010 National Grade 10 examinations. As a result, it took third place in the Kunene region with a 66.7% pass rate in 2011. Science teacher, Mr. David Kulunga, ascribes this to the opportunity for extended learning hours during exam preparation, he explains, “This is thanks to the newly installed solar energy systems at the school.” Mr. Kulunga smiles as he adds, “It is our only source of energy at the school at the moment and it came just in time for us to prepare our Grade 10’s for their exams last year.” The school, tucked away in the heart of Kunene region, was previously supplied only by a polluting diesel generator. Since receiving the environmental club grant from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, five blocks of classrooms, the hostels and teachers accommodation facilities all have electricity for lights, laptops and television. Furthermore, the children now have experience with renewable energy sources, better understand how to conserve energy and have discussions in class about the advantages and disadvantages of renewable and non-renewable energy.

Teachers make use of other forms of feul efficient energy at the school such as gas stoves. In the past, the school made use of a diesel generator for electricity but now have climate smart energy in place with solar panels from the grant.

These Grade 1’s at Ombombo Combined School in Kunene region have the potential to achieve better results like the older students who are now able to study in the evening because solar energy has brought lights to their school which is not on the national electricity grid yet.

Shade, Oxygen and Fruit at Katji na Katji

Seeing the Fruits of Hard Work

Katji na Katji Secondary School, Kavango Region

Gabriel Taapopi Secondary School, Ongwediva, Oshana Region

The sky reaching tree top of the Baster Mopane is at the heart of the Katji na Katji school grounds. Its calming shade cooling skins, its heavy branches keep the secrets of a thousand school-ground stories, its protective leaves watch over young minds as they take a rest from learning. Trees not only characterise our landscapes in Namibia but they are our carbon sinks, cleaning our air.

Nothing teaches commitment in quite the same way as starting a garden. From the fencing, to preparing the land, to sowing seeds and continuously caring for that seed until the small green blades of hope burst from the grains of soil to bring a new phase of nurturing. Mr. Johannes Kaholongo from Gabriel Taapopi Secondary School in Ongwediva smiles proudly as he talks about the change he has seen in his students since starting this school garden.

Katji na Katji has embarked on an awareness campaign for its students and surrounding schools to share lessons on keeping their school clean, starting an orchard and messages of protecting our environment. With the Climate Change Adaptation Grant, the school environment club has planted fruit trees on the school grounds and on 50 m² piece of land next to the classrooms. “The students will learn about growing date palms, guava, mangos, granadilla, lemon, paw paw and the indigenous Embe berries”, says Mr. Nyandu who is in charge of the club and coordinates activities.

“In this way, it is better to keep only the watering cans because the learners are more involved this way” he says as he describes progress to fence the garden and start planting the vegetables which include carrots, tomatoes, cabbages and maize. The school environmental club and agriculture students are engaged in the gardening activities but once the garden is extended, the small project will involve other school learners and benefit the broader community by selling fresh produce to people in the town, staff and parents. “In this way they learn about marketing and business as well” Mr. Kahalongo adds while outlining the plan to sustain the gardening activities after the external funding is exhausted.

“We also engage the learners on a creative level to think about the importance of food security and nature conservation through writing essays and poems” he explains. The school chose to focus on climate change mitigation by planting trees as a means to preserve their natural forest heritage.

Break time: Members of the school environmental club water the fruit trees they planted around the school to provide fruits and shade.

The school orchard is situated alongside the school grounds and students continue to embark on awareness campaigns to other schools in the area to share lessons on establishing and maintaining the orchard.

All grades from 8 to 12 are represented in the school environmental club with approximately 40 pupils, equal number of girls and boys, take care of the seedlings and older fruit trees on the school grounds.

The garden has been linked to agricultural science lessons where students learn about mixed cropping as an adaptation technique. The garden includes vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, maize, cabbbage and fruit trees.

Despite the rigorous school calendar, the environment club at Gabriel Taapopi SS has prepared seed beeds, put a watering schedule in place and is preparing a school nursery to sell plants to the Ongewdiva community.

The Garden Classroom: Life Principles in Life Science for Growing Responsible Lives Academia Secondary School, Windhoek, Khomas Region The Academia Secondary School imagines a school garden which they can show off with pride not only because of its beauty but because it enables a whole new set of learning experiences for students. The curriculum-based school garden serves as a living laboratory and outdoor classroom to go beyond the basic study of plants to include study of life cycles, ecosysetms, soil, weather and organisms. Ms. Nandjiwa, Life Science teacher at Academia, explains “students are also learning other science process skills such as measuring, charting, collecting data and reporting which are vital skills to observe and adapt to the type of changes we see in our environment brought on by climate change.” The environmental school club of 30 students, has fenced off the garden area, prepared the soil and planted tomatoes, spinach and onions. They also have a watering and weeding schedule executed during break-times and after school. Ms. Nandjiwa continues, “Once there are vegetables, we plan to use this garden for further educational opportunities by teaching the pupils about marketing and sales skills when we sell the veggies to parents and the school community.”

Gardening activities at Academia Secondary School have a structured approach to support scientific monitoring principles which teach learners about the importance of tracking changes in environmental conditions.

From the Roots: Gardening With Adaptive Techniques in Ohangwena Elakalapwa Combined Schoool, Ohangwena region Grey skies ripple in the mirror glass surface of the Oshanas. The north of Namibia in February. Lush green fills your vision as you move across the wide expanse of the flat plains of Northern Namibia. The Ohangwena region is well suited for agricultural activities, especially dry land cropping of mahangu (pearl millet) in western parts of the region and grazing of livestock extending into the eastern woodlands. The learners at Elakalapwa Combined School are being well-prepared for utilising these conditions to adapt to future climatic changes through gardening activities at their school. The school is using the Climate Change Adaptation Grant to grow fruits and vegetables to use in the school’s feeding scheme as well as teach learners business acumen to sell the surplus produce for sustaining the garden. Mr. Martin Namutenya adds, “We will also start a new nursery where we can illustrate to the school children the resilience of indigenous tree species compared to those of exotic trees.” An Environmental Educator and teacher at the school, Mr. Namutenya is planning to educate the environmental school club, all grades of the school and schools in the surrounding area on ways to conserve water through drip irrigation, an adaptive technique used to address climate change.

The members of the environmental school club get involved every step of the way with erecting fences, shade netting and preparing the soil.

Sweet tooth? The environmental school club is growing a variety of plant species, including sugar cane, to illustrate to learners and the community the resilience of different plants to changing environmental conditions.

Usinig micro-drip irrigation as a climate change adaptation measure has shown successes in other parts of the country. Micro-drip irrigation conserves water and fertilizer by directing water directly to the root zone.

Improving Communication Techniques to Address Climate Change Linus Shashipapo Secondary School, Kavango Along the Kavango River, you will find the quiet and disciplined atmosphere of Linus Shashipapo Secondary School. But not too quiet! Learners have been raising their voices about climate change to improve awareness on this phenomenon among their communities. Through initiating a garden project, the school environment club is illustrating crop-rotation techniques for climate change adaptation. Furthermore, the sixty learners of the environment club went on an exposure visit to the Mahango Game Park, where they learnt about conservation efforts to safeguard biodiversity and the importance of protecting our ecosystems. With this knowledge, they are equipped for more intensive awareness-raising to other schools. Presently the school garden has maize because of the opportunity to plant at the end of the school year in November. The next crops will be of beans and ground nuts after the maize is harvested. The school uses a multi-point strategy to engage learners through the development of posters, organising talks and printing promotional material.

Chairperson of the Environmental Club Gabriel Mushahonga shows off the tshirt the club uses to draw attention to the environmental awareness activities at Linus Shashipapo SS, close to Divundu in Kavango region.

One Learner = One Future Climate Resilient Leader Mubiza Combined School, Katima Mulilo, Caprivi You might zoom right past it if you didn’t notice the grey-green buildings of a school. Mubiza Combined School has started to implement climate change adaptation activities through a school garden with special emphasis on the individual contribution each student has to make to the project. The members of the environment club each have bed which she/he prepares and takes care of for the duration of the growing season. Although this may not seem to lend itself to team work, look again: each student is motivated for excellence by being accountable for her or his vegetable bed and then become ambassadors of the knowledge for sharing with the wider community or while debating or competing in other activities. The school works closely with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Katima Mulilo and continues to implement their action plan which includes the use of an electric water pump to draw ground water for the community water tanks kept on the property of the school. The local area is in the Zambezi flood plain and surrounding villages are prone to annual flooding. During the dry months the water pump is essential to supply the school and surrounding communities with water.

The seedling boxes used for the germination of seedlings before transplanting into the beds. Mubiza Combined School will grow tomatoes, beans maize and pumpkin.

Awareness-raising for Environmentally-Smart Thinking on Campus

Raising Climate Awareness to New Heights Hochland High School, Windhoek, Khomas

University of Namibia, Windhoek, Khomas

The Hochland High school is known in Namibia for being actively engaged in environmental issues. But what is extraordinary about the schools environmental club is its approach to sharing knowledge with others. With the support from MET, the school has developed a handbook ‘My Carbon Footprint’ which enables learners, teachers and communities to understand what a carbon footprint is and work to reduce it. The booklet aligns to Ministry of Education standards and has been adapted to Namibia’s particular needs for resilience to climate change.

Most university students have little time for anything except classes and studying. But when you are competing in the job market, a little environmental consciousness can go a long way to understanding sustainable approaches to developing Namibia. The UNAM Natural Resource and Environmental Society used their grant for climate change activities for an awareness campaign and recycling activities on UNAM campuses across the country.

The school has also started a vegetable garden and planted fruit trees but also continues to share with the Windhoek community by donating trees for planting to another school, C.J. Brand Secondary in Havana in Katutura, Windhoek.

Fabio Chilamba, 2011 Chairperson of the Society said, “About fifty students from the Society departed for UNAM Ongongo, Oshakati and Ongwediva campuses in October 2011 to make presentations, discuss environmental issues through posters and pamphlets and interact with fellow students on climate change and sustainable use of natural resources.”

Grade 9 learner Esther Nuuyoma says “what’s special about these climate change activities is that they build me for the next stage of my education. I have to think about my future and how climate change will impact me, my school and family.”

Hochland High learners are actively involved in environment activities at their school. This year the environment school club has grown from 20 to 50 members who also engage in afternoon sessions once a week climate change and adaptation issues.

The group also embarked on waste management and recycling initiatives on the Main and Khomasdal campuses with recycling stations placed at key points on campus. This year the society will extend its awareness work to include greater sensitisation of the importance the recycling and how to use the recycling stations.

The UNAM main campus recycling station is positioned in close proximity to the library to be fully accessible to all students.

Republic of Namibia Ministry of Environment & Tourism

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS INITIATIVE PLEASE CONTACT: Environmental Education and Awareness Division, Department of Environmental Affairs Ministry of Environment and Tourism 5th Floor Captial Centre Building, Levinson Arcade, Windhoek Tel: (061) 284 2701/0

Fax: (061) 240 339 OR Africa Adaptation Project Namibia (AAP NAM), Deparment of Environmental Affairs Ministry of Environment and Tourism 5th Floor Captial Centre Building, Levinson Arcade, Windhoek Tel: (061) 229 793

Fax: (061) 240 339

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