We Have Faith cycling caravan in Zimbabwe

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By M'thetho Lungu*

15th September 2015: Zimbabwe cyclists joined faith leaders and community and city officials in collecting signatures for the African People's Petition during an open ceremony at the Pick n' Pay mall.His Worship the Mayor of the City of Bulawayo Martin Moyo, was guest of honour and said the city was pursuing policies that were attuned to environmental protection. He also committed to supporting efforts of women in both the tourism and farming sectors.Responding to representatives of the Zimbabwe Women in Farming, and the Zimbabwe Women in Tourism groups, Moyo said his office would ensure water problems due to the emerging low water table, food security, and ending rising numbers of school dropouts were taken seriously."As we sign these petitions, which all of you must also ensure to sign, we are committing to action and to calling on all leaders at all levels to do all they can to change our world," he said.Meanwhile the Master of Ceremony and organising committee member, Rev. Majengwa of Methodist Church in Njube, said 'God created the world and saw that is was good. He therefore ordained man to take care of it. It is with this in mind that the faith community can no longer watch but revitalize its prophetic voice to be true stewards of God's creation'.

Mr. Decent Ndlovu, Provincial manager for the Environmental Management Agency of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, said there were adequate laws and policies to safeguard the environment and to embrace mitigation and adaptation efforts.

"We have these issues at hand. At a personal level, also know that when your car is producing unwanted carbon fumes, you are polluting. This should be a case for one to answer. Please ensure your cars are serviced. Cycling is also indeed a clean transportation mode that everyone must start to think about seriously," he said.

Zimbabwe Climate Change Organisation (ZICCO) director, Mr. Simon Steven, asked what was better between mitigating and adapting. He emphasized its important that Zimbabwe and Africa start to work on policies that were meaningful and inclusive.

"We need to do something that can change the situation and also transform peoples lives. Zimbabwe is therefore coming up with policy around climate change. A strategy is also already in place on how to challenge this phenomenon. We are also collectively, as government through the ministry of environment and civil society - working with communities to bring forth the Zimbabwe Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs)," he revealed.

He was also happy that the We Have Faith - Act Now for Climate Justice pan-African cycling campaign had decided to cycle as doing so was emitting zero carbon.

"In November this year we also commemorate our obligations through the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Week, where we have already started engaging schools as we also empower the child around earth gate-keeping."

PACJA Zimbabwe National Chapter's Focus Person, Mr. Nicholas Ndlovu said Zimbabwe experienced floods last year likt those in Japan.

"Comparatively, Japan is able to recover from its devastating floods unlike us in Africa, Zimbabwe in particular. We therefore as an African people also call for Loss and Damage to be made realistic," he said.

Zimbabwe cycles its second leg from Bulawayo to Gweru through Changani, adding 158 kilometres to the 100 kilometres of the first leg from Plumtree Border Control to Bulawayo.

*M'thetho is travelling with the cycling caravan as the official media co-ordinator