African youth reach Kilimanjaro’s summit to highlight climate change – UN

6 March 2009

A team of disadvantaged African youth has scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania as part of a United Nations-backed campaign seeking to draw attention to the negative effects of climate change.

The 10 youth – from Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana – reached the summit of Africa’s highest peak yesterday as part of the fourth annual ascent organized by Kilimanjaro Initiative, a Nairobi-based non-governmental organization, in partnership with the UN.

Upon reaching the peak under the banner of the “UNite to Combat Climate Change” campaign, they called Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who himself flew over the mountain last weekend and saw first-hand how there is less water in the streams and less snow on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

When the climbers reach the bottom, they reported on their findings to Janos Pasztor, the Director of the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned that rising temperatures, increased rainfall and extreme weather conditions will dramatically change where and how people live in cities.

Changing climates does untold damage to economic and public infrastructure and stretches the ability of urban centres to accommodate displaced populations, leading to unemployment, deteriorating educational facilities, inadequate health care systems and a possible rise in crime in urban centres, according to the agency.

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