Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) has said the media is pertinent in disseminating climate change information, hence the need to empower journalists on climate change concepts.
Luanar vice-chancellor Professor George Kanyama-Phiri said this on Friday when he closed a two-day gender and climate change training workshop for members of the Association of Environmental Journalists in Malawi (AEJ) at the university’s Bunda Campus in Lilongwe.
“Issues bordering on climate change are topical to the country because their impacts are well-known and the best way to disseminate this type of information, messages and early warnings is through the media. As such, the media fraternity needs to be empowered, capacitated to deliver the right messages on climate change,” he said.
He also said Luanar plans to engage AEJ through signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will articulate areas of cooperation where the two parties can work together to ensure the university promotes efficient and effective reporting on climate change issues.
AEJ president Mathews Malata said the knowledge gained through the training will enable the association’s members to rethink, reposition and package gender and climate change information in a new way.
“Gender issues are very complex in nature and climate change is hitting everyone, Africa and the entire world. But when telling a climate change story, you would realise that it is the woman who is at the centre of everything.
“When floods hit, it is the woman who tries to take care of children; when there is drought, it is the woman who goes hunting for food as well as walk long distances to fetch firewood and water. So, we want to see how best we can profile women in as far as climate change issues are concerned and how best we can reach out to them with relevant messages,” said Malata.
He also commended Luanar for the training, saying science journalism is a challenge in Malawi and for a while the media has been accused of misrepresentation of facts and communicating irrelevant issues to the people. n