The University of Makeni hosted Honorable Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella ahead of the United
Nations 26th Climate Change Conference to speak on the theme “The urgency of the global energy transition in a post-COVID -19 world order” at its Fatima Campus Auditorium.
In his opening statement, the Vice-Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Joseph Alimamy Turay, expressed thanks to the Honorable for having honoured the invite for him to serve as guest speaker. The Vice-Chancellor said the event was in fulfilment of the University’s quest to address issues around the global climate crisis. As a University, Professor Turay maintained that they had continued with frantic efforts to handle such a critical crisis.
Professor Joe further revealed that the University decided to begin the academic year with such a lecture to confirm the administration’s effort to realise UNIMAK’s third core mandate, “community engagement”.
In his statement, Honourable Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella thanked the University of Makeni’s administration for taking the issue of Climate Change seriously. Honourable Yumkella said UNIMAK is the first University to extend such an invite to him ahead of the United Nations 26th Climate change Conference.
During his presentation, Honorable Yumkella maintained that the climate of a place does not change drastically. It changes over a range of time. As a result, he opined that the people who had experienced the climate of a place for a long time could feel the change of climate, which could result from global warming.
Honourable Yumkella expressed that, Global warming is becoming a severe issue in the world. “It is coming in the way of every natural habitat. Global warming is gradually changing a region’s average temperature and rainfall,” he continued.
“Climate Change is affecting the natural vegetation and animals very much”, he continued. “Plants are dying due to improper amounts of sunlight and rainfall. The animals are suffering as they are not getting sufficient food supply,” he reiterated.
Honourable Kandeh Yumkella further revealed that the diverse impacts of Climate change had, over the years, severely affected the economy of Sierra Leone and changed many people’s lives and livelihoods.
He encouraged all and sundry nations across the world to take leadership on the issue of loss to biodiversity and damage to forests and soils to make the world a better place. Together with other least developed countries, Sierra Leone needs dedicated and sustainable financial support to help address the profound and far-reaching damage and the deep, irreplaceable losses.
Honourable Yumkella established that one way to urgently address issues of climate change beyond rhetoric “is to increase investments in clean energy technology, scale-up energy efficiency from 1% to 7%, mobilise political leadership in the context of clean energy, raise awareness and knowledge of Parliaments to mainstream renewable energy in policies and laws, mobilise stakeholders, civil society and youth to ensure understanding of costs and benefits analysis of not going green in energy, effectively create social safety nets, manage labour mobility, and introduce smart agriculture, among others.” The event was climaxed with a question and answer session.
BY PAUL KAMARA