Africa, responsible for just 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions, faces a looming humanitarian crisis due to climate change's impact on food production systems. Immediate action is needed to prevent the exacerbation of this global food crisis, biodiversity loss, and shortened growing seasons. Freshwater scarcity, rising starvation, displacement, and conflicts are inevitable if we don't act.
Unfortunately, the poorest nations, least responsible for the problem and highly reliant on agriculture, bear the heaviest burden. Eight out of ten of the 35 most climate-vulnerable countries already face severe food shortages, putting over 117 million people at risk of starvation.
Amid this crisis, young climate activists like 22-year-old Tafadzwa Kurotwi are leading the charge, not just in Zimbabwe but across Africa. Tafadzwa serves as Zimbabwe's Climate Live Representative and Coordinators for Friday For Future Zimbabwe.
Tafadzwa Kurotwi: A Climate Activist with a Passion for Change
Tafadzwa's journey into climate activism began with the harsh reality of climate change in her community, Masvingo. There, she witnessed floods, droughts, and cyclones, which forced her parents to migrate from their home. Her small indigenous Shona community faced food insecurity and malnutrition.
She highlighted the changing weather patterns in Southern Africa, particularly Zimbabwe, where extreme events like droughts and floods have become more erratic and unpredictable. In 2019, Southern Africa experienced severe droughts, and floods claimed over 800 lives. These disasters have left many in desperate need of basic supplies like food and water.
Despite facing these challenges, Tafadzwa pursued a degree in business management and information technology in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital. She's become an advocate for climate justice, emphasizing the role of technology in addressing climate issues.
Taking Action for Climate Justice
Tafadzwa's story is not unique; similar challenges affect communities across Africa. She believes that the time for action is now. She emphasizes the need to reduce energy consumption, making homes more energy-efficient as a key solution to climate change.
Tafadzwa has already led numerous climate actions in Zimbabwe, including organizing the global climate strike in Harare in March 2022. Currently, she's working on a tree-planting project in her community, involving her college colleagues.
Despite her studies in Harare, Tafadzwa frequently returns to her hometown, Masvingo. She dreams of making a difference there, recognizing the untapped potential and the desire for a better life in her community.
Her vision extends beyond her current city. She plans to move to Mutare, Manicaland, another cyclone-prone area not far from her hometown. Tafadzwa envisions a life closer to nature on a farm, away from the emissions and infrastructure of the capital city.
Tafadzwa's message is clear: our actions can positively impact youth and the world at large. She calls for unity in the face of climate change, emphasizing that we're all in this together.
Follow Tafadzwa Kurotwi on Social Media:
- Twitter: @Tkurotwi
- Instagram: @taffie109
- LinkedIn: Tafadzwa Malaika Kurotwi
Tafadzwa's story reminds us that young activists are the driving force behind climate action. Their determination and passion inspire us all to work together for a better tomorrow.