School pupils among three schools in Freetown, emerged as winners of the art competition and youth event on climate change. The event which was organized by the European Union started from the 24th September and ended on the 6th October 2019. The art competition was in honor of the European Union diplomacy week on the theme: the role of youth in building a sustainable society. The two weeks tutoring attracted a good number of schools across Freetown. The schools were charged with the responsibility to give their own contributions with regards the way forward to tackling climate change and air pollution. The three schools that won the art competition include: Prince of Wales Secondary School, Peninsular Senior Secondary School, and the Huntingdon Secondary School. Pupils of the Prince of Wales School developed an art which depicts air pollution which causes global warming, and its effect on society. James B. Samao, said, they are of the strongest conviction that the art work they did will help create awareness to people. “We did these drawings because most people cannot read, but picture explains the message more than words.” Samao said. The pupils of the Huntingdon Secondary School developed an art which demonstrates air pollution and its effects, whereas, pupils of the Peninsular Secondary School created an art work which demonstrate deforestation and its effect on the society. Representatives from the three schools were assembled at the European Union Embassy on Leicester Peak in Freetown, on Friday, 18th October 2019. The school representative and the EU representatives embarked on a few kilometers walk and chat from the Embassy to Leicester Village where they all converged, overlooking the Regent Community where the mudslide took place.
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During the few kilometers walk and talk, pupils from the three schools had a chat with the Head of Delegation, European Union, Ambassador Tom Vens. The chat and walk was focused on ways and means by which climate change issues could be addressed, and what they should do as youths to help tackle climate change and other environmental problems. Most of the school pupils were of the view that afforestation will be very crucial to addressing climate change and other environmental issues. Some were also of the opinion that the country needs stronger legislation to tackle environmental issues, and save lives, and also to provide the necessary equipment to plant trees. Head of Delegation, and Ambassador to the European Union Consulate, Tom Vens, said, the youths also have a role to play in terms of tackling environmental issues. Vens said, the youths should not underrate themselves, but should educate their families, and community members on the dangers of environmental issues, and according to Vens, most people do not understand what climate change and global warming is. He said, awareness raising is very key in terms of ensuring that the issue of climate change is put under control. One of the tutors during the two weeks EU diplomatic week, Daniel M. Kamara, said, people should be mindful of two factors responsible for climate change. These are: the natural factors and the artificial factors responsible for environmental problems. He said, people should refrain from stone and sand mining, deforestation and air pollution. He said people should also refrain from residing in disaster prone areas. He called on authorities concerned to embark on mass education on the issue of climate change and other environmental problems.
By Sulaiman Karim Sesay
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