We are Alliance for Positive Environmental Impacts and Reforestation(APEARE)
Idi Obi Ologuneru, Ibadan 200129

Sometimes last week, I eavesdropped on a conversation between a woman and her three children. The youngest must have been seven years old while the eldest looked to me like a twelve-year-old. The first was telling the youngest child that he was easily pone to malaria because his genotype was AA, and she was rarely sick because her genotype was AS.

The seven-year-old boy retorted and told his sister that he had quite an advantage with his genotype because he could marry anyone. I was smiling as I thought they were smart for their ages to understand the implications of their genotype. Their mum, who had been quiet all through the children’s talk asked where they got to know so much about the implications of their genotype.

The all echoed “School.” I asked if they knew about “Climate change.” They nodded in the negative except for the eldest who said she could define climate. Their mother interrupted and said “Aunty, don’t you think they are quite too young to understand the concept of “Climate change? I told her I did not think so. They have a good understanding of their genotype and the implications, why will they not be able to understand climate change. I told their mum to begin to teach them about climate change and what they can do to make a difference.  

If the earth remains in fifty years’ time, the major occupants of the earth by then will be the children today. Children should be encouraged to join solve the problem of climate change so they can live a happy life and they too can raise children on the earth too.

The problem of climate change cannot go unsolved. If we do nothing about it, there would be unbearable natural disasters like Nigeria and some other nations of the world are already experiencing. You can start by instructing the children in your care to dispose of waste properly. Materials that can be recycled like their can of soft drinks should not be disposed alongside the peel of yam that would rotten.

You should also instruct the children in your care to reduce electricity usage. Electricity production is a large producer of greenhouse gases. Children should learn to switch off lights and gadgets that are not in use.  

Furthermore, you should also encourage your children and those around you to spread the word. I look forward to a time when we can have climate change challenges on TikTok and Instagram. They are perfect avenues to spread the word in this age.

Teachers and school owners can create platforms for children to meet and discuss climate change. Allow them to create and implement ideas like planting trees, gathering items that can be recycled in the neighborhood and even clearing water ways.  

Quoting the Cree Indian prophecy only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, and the last stream poisoned would we realize that we cannot eat money. As we strive to save the earth, let us instruct the children alongside. They have the capacity to understand. The earth is their inheritance, and they are not too young to save the earth. 

Written by: Vicky Okiyi

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