Mandela month round-up: MUT Women in Climate Change impress young minds

Dr Thobeka Makhathini telling the learners about changes in the climate

There was a time in the history of this country when each opportunity was used to talk about HIV/AIDS, and that had an impact on behaviour change. Those conversations still need to continue. To add on conversations that need to captivate the youth, MUT’s Women in Climate Change mitigation, have taken it upon themselves to raise awareness on food and climate change. MUT senior lecturers Dr Xolile Mkhize and Dr Thobeka Makhathini from the departments of Community Extension and Chemical Engineering discussed the economic, social, and physical impacts of climate change on food, and what everyone should do to lessen the effects of the change in climate. “Climate Change is linked to food security, or lack of food security. Climate change is having a negative impact on what we can bring to the table, and it is threatening the ability of farmers to survive and to feed the world”, said Mkhize. Dr Makhathini also drove the point home on the impact of climate change on food. She also explained the meaning of climate change in simpler terms, “One of the climate change drivers is air pollution. Air pollutants like CO2, NOx, and CH4 gases are emitted from activities like burning fossil fuels like coal, natural gases, crude oil, wood etc. These pollutants are called greenhouse gases.  So, if you think of a cold night winter day, where you use a blanket to keep your body warm, not that the blanket gives off any energy but rather your body emits heat, then the blanket traps the heat to keep you warm”.

Both Mkhize and Makhathini had rigorous discussions with learners after their presentation with one learner requesting them to come visit his dad’s farm which has been ravaged by the impact of climate change.