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The Climate Justice Youth Concert took place on the 13th of November at the Civil Service Sports Club in Lilongwe the Capital City with indigenous artiste like Dan Lu and Lloyd Phiri performing. Forty Thousand petitions were signed and received by the Head of Petition Unit, Vincent Gichamba.
Malawi known as the Warm Heart of Africa expressed this quality by the reception they gave members of the caravan. It was observed that of the three concerts so far held in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi, Malawi was the only country that produced a program of event which was described by a member of the caravan as the Malawi Wedding Card. The Malawian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Honourable Goodall Gondwe said the country was glad to host the Climate Justice Youth Concert and urged the caravan participants to help in ensuring a fair and legal binding deal at the Climate Change Conference Coming up in Durban South Africa between the 28th of November till 9th December.

 

The Africa Climate Justice Caravan arrived in Malawi on the 11th of November and camped at Chitimba Beach Camp site, close to the Lake Malawi. On the 12th of November, the caravan departed Chitimba for a six-hour drive to Lilongwe but with a stop at Mzuzu town for a short awareness programme, with the people signing the WE HAVE FAITH: ACT NOW petition.
Malawi is an Eastern Africa nation with a population of about 14 million people, of whom Christians are about 70%, Muslims about 20% and about 10% belong to other religions. When coming into Malawi from Tanzania, you will first enter Karonga the border town, which is hilly and is also really hot. Near it is the famous LAKE MALAWI. The cash crops grown in Malawi include Tobacco, Coffee, Tea and Maize. Malawi also has large deposits of Uranium. The towns passed when driving into Malawi from Tanzania include: Karonga – Rumphi - Mzimba – Kasungu – Lilongwe; Lilongwe is the capital city.

In Mzuzu and other parts of Malawi, the most common means of transportation is a bicycle popularly called ‘kabaza’. This was introduced about two years ago and according to M’theto Lungu, the idea was to decongest some parts of Malawi’s towns and cities, which was becoming crowded with vehicles. The ’kabaza’ is usually decorated to make it look like a fancy bicycle. The population of Malawians that uses these ‘kabaza’ is about 40%, with the fare rate ranging from 50-150 Kwacha. The name for the common street bicycles is different in Karonga District, where it is known as ‘cargo’ and where it is once again a major means of transportation. The riders of the Kabaza who are mainly young men, said they make an average of 1500 Kwacha’s daily But most of them say that they would have loved to do other lucrative business, if the economy was stable.

A Malawian from the central part of the country, Clement Kaitano said that the price of oil has increased twice this year increasing the cost by about 40% without any increase in the income of the people. Kaitano lamented that fuel is much more easily available in Karonga the border town, because of its closeness to Tanzania.

One thing observed in Malawi from the environment perspective, is the use of Kabaza of KABAZA as a means of transportation. This helps reduce Carbon Emission as it does not use fossil fuel and no combustion which would release ‘Green House Gases’ (GHG). The use of kabaza in Malawians is a right step in the right direction in reducing GHG, but how far can this be sustained as it is perceived by the rich as a sign of poverty?

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