Kayonza — Residents of Kayonza District joined the rest of the world to mark the Global Week of Action for Climate Justice (November 12-18) at the weekend.
The event was organised by Rwanda Rural Rehabilitation Initiative (RWARRI), Christian Aid and Rwanda climate change network (RCCN).
Addressing residents at Amizero Technical School, John Bideri, the director of RWARRI, stressed the need to create climate change awareness among the population.
He said that it was high time rural populations understood the effects of climate change which are already evident and directly affecting lives.
"We are living in a world where the needs, interests, rights and aspirations of ordinary people have priority over the profits of corporations and the excesses of the elite," he said.
He added that climate change is adding more suffering to the human race, which is already burdened with global injustices of hunger, dispossession and violation of human rights.
"It is a crisis that also threatens to wipe out vast populations and profoundly change life on Earth. We must act with clarity, cohesion and courage if we are to stabilise Earth's climate system and secure a just and sustainable world," he said.
A documentary on effects of global warming was screened.
John Kanyendekwe, a local farmer, said that few people in rural communities were aware of the effects of climate change. He however noted that the unpredictability of climate was a big worry for most communities.
"I am surprised that our daily activities greatly affect critical watersheds. Livestock are some of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to redeem the situation," he said.
Scientists predict that about 625,000 people globally will die each year between now and 2020 due to causes driven by climate change.