By M’thetho Lungu*
10th September 2015. Tlakweng, Botswana: Tony Kinosi is more than cool, environmentally suave, and a teacher living a green mission.
As the Botswana Climate Justice Ambassador, Bishop Champion Malongwa donates trees to Naledi Secondary School’s environment club through member Shallah Moleta, Kinosi peddles towards the small ceremony. His yellow bike moving forward slowly.
He says he is interested to learn more about the two cyclists we are with and what the trees were all about. I explain to him in simple phrases – we are on a We Have Faith – Act Now For Climate Justice campaign. We are moving through nine countries collecting 1 million petitions. Our goal is to demand for a fair and binding deal come Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris.
World leaders will be meeting and making a critical decision on climate change. About reducing emissions, and also to consider an equitable carbon financing regime. Cycling is the best mode of transport that we are using. It does not emit carbon like other fuel propelled machines.
“I am always interested in the environment and the things that you are explaining. You see, I am riding my bicycle now. I cycle everywhere I go, mostly leaving my car behind to avoid pollution caused by the vehicle. I cycle to work, I cycle to the market especially when I am not going to buy heavy things. And I cycle around the school when monitoring students,” he explains.
“I started cycling after an official from the Botswana City Council came and gave a talk on how best to care for the environment. He particularly talked about the benefits of cycling. I also hear a lot on the radio about protecting the environment. Now my cycling allows me to move from one class to another on record time, easing my work,” adds Kinosi, who looks in his fifties.
“This is my little contribution to saving the planet.”
He signs his petition and cycles towards another school block, calling on others to take his example a few minutes earlier in our conversation.
*M’thetho is travelling with the We Have Faith cycling caravan as the official media person