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Momentum for Change Initiative Launched
Source: BuaNews
Source Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Dec 14, 2011

There are two South African projects on the list – the Buffelsdraai Landfill Site Community Reforestation Project, where rural communities collect seed, grow trees and plant these in a degraded forest area; and the eMalahleni Reclamation Plant, which treats underground water for everyday usage.

 

The Momentum for Change initiative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and focuses on public-private partnerships, especially those in the developing world.

 

One of the most outstanding projects is the Solar Bottle Bulbs, where a 1 litre soda bottle is filled with a solution of purified water and bleach. The bottle is inserted halfway through a hole drilled in the metal roof and its sides are sealed. The bottle then looks like a bulb through a sunroof and provides a good amount of light by deflecting sunlight into gloomy interiors.

 

This is used in Manila, and it provides light to almost 10 000 people.

 

The projects, said Zuma, make it possible for individuals and communities to contribute in a very practical way to the process of reducing emissions, adapting to climate change and improving quality of life.

 

“These are projects that give people access to energy while at the same time, saving water. These are the projects that protect our ecosystems and … improve our food and water security. These are the projects that can be scaled up, replicated, enhanced and further innovated,” said Zuma.

 

Nkoana-Mashabane used her address to highlight the role of women in Africa when dealing with adaptation and mitigation for climate change.

 

She asked for projects to bring change and impact on the lives of women, who she said needed liberation. She said women should no longer have to walk long distances to fetch water or wood, which in turns causes harm to forests.

 

She jokingly added that when you want projects to be implemented, women should be asked to do it.

 

Ban, a self-confessed champion of gender equality, challenged African men to do more on the continent to help cope with climate change.

 

He said if sustainable development was to become a reality, issues around global health, water scarcity, food prices, poverty and gender inequality must be addressed.

 

He once again said leaders needed to look beyond their borders because climate change impacts did not respect borders and affected the rich and poor.
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