By Peter Makwanya
Year in and year out, people around the world, particularly in developing countries, have had to deal with the spectre of floods, cyclones, forest fires and famine.
These natural disasters have become part and parcel of people’s lived experiences.
The only way to mitigate these disasters is to be assertive and proactive in the way we approach issues to do with how people live and their livelihoods.
As such, planting more sustainable and practical ideas becomes the only way to enhance climate growth, protection and climate sustainable solutions.
This calls for local communities to invest in practical and more action-oriented ideas like green-building initiatives using locally available and relevant materials instead of importing materials that are not suitable to local environments and which also emit greenhouse gases.
There is no need to look for expensive material, as locally available materials can also be good enough.
To be able to cope with floods, developing nations should have foresight, as this will make them better prepared, as they can calculate climate related risks.
This will lead to infrastructure such as roads and bridges, vital for communication networks, would not incur significant damages.
Surely, having experienced floods, cyclones, hunger and famine before, communities should be prepared for such eventualities.
What is important is that developing countries take the initiative and not wait for solutions from foreign capitals.
Instead, you find these nations only being interested in workshops and summits like the Conference of the Parties (COP), which might not be the solution.
When they return from such summits, with borrowed intelligence and know-how, which they would use to bombard their citizens.
Then it will end there, with just rhetoric and no implementation.
Lack of initiative is also accelerating climate ignorance, which then affects people’s livelihoods, causing untold suffering and damage to infrastructure and the environment.
Climate change adaptation is the panacea to these climate manifestations, hence, it needs local ideas and should be community-driven.
If we continue to wait for climate hand-outs and stipends from major polluting nations, then developing countries should expect more problems, as locals should take the initiative and ownership of their own solutions.
Although climate change is a global problem, it requires local attention and climate initiatives backed by current and strong scientific approaches.
What makes the climate phenomena complex is that those responsible for disbursing climate finances, a majority of them, have never experienced suffering and the experiences of those that are affected are far removed from them.
Although COP negotiations are paramount, they lack the closeness and the local appeal and touch they ought to have.
Above all, negotiating teams from developing countries thrive on pretence, rather than their own proper world-views and as a result they continue to be otherwise.