Village students act to restore food security

Solomon Yeo, left and Rodrick Rolland with British High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.
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Students and surrounding communities at Kolokoda primary school in Isabel province are taking action to restore food security now under threat due to climate change.

As part of the action, they are currently constructing a permanent nursery that will provide an opportunity to bring together young students, youths and the community to enhance their knowledge and understanding of climate change and food security.

The project is implemented by two members of the Pacific Islands Students Fighting for Climate change Solomon Yeo and Rodrick Rollands supported by Pacific Islands Forum.

In an interview with this paper prior to implementing the project, Mr Rollands said climate change remains to be one of the single greatest threats to people’s livelihood, security, wellbeing and still, are growing crises that requires urgent commitment and action.

He said the project stems out from the challenges experienced by the people of this community and of course throughout the Solomon Islands.

He said the existing environmental challenges experienced by the community have gradually increased and at present is already an imminent threat to food security for women, children, men and most importantly to the older women and men and the disable ones.

He said currently the situation of the people living at Kolokoda school and the surrounding communities, has been growing, to be very difficult to access better yields and root crops for consumption daily.

“These people rely heavily on the land, plants and streams for their livelihoods, but with the burden of climate change, especially the irregular weather patterns and the human influences and activities to the environment it has been a major contributing factor to the current difficulties experienced by the people especially with food security,” he said.

He said this is where the construction of permanent nursery to provide high yield root crops for the community is important.

He said through such project it will provide an opportunity to bring together young students, youths and the community to enhance their knowledge and understanding on climate change and food security, and how important it is to adapt to this environmental crisis and the changing environment.

He said the important of the project built at the Kolokoda Primary School is to allow the young students to start engaging in promoting food security and enhancing their capacity to grasp the knowledge, understanding and the value that food can be grown around their homes with proper techniques and methods.

“More importantly that these young students and children, starts to develop their attitude of ownership over their environment and see the value and important to take care of their own environment, which in the future they too can experience a better environment and access to food availability than the one we are experiencing now, in a more sustainable way.     

“With the outcome of this project, we expect to achieve or see, a resilient community of students with people having access to availability to different varieties of food crops that can be easily planted in the nursery and as well as around their homes.

“Furthermore, young students are well informed on the changing environment, its causes and ways to adapt in terms of the food security, and more importantly for students and children, to have the knowledge and capacity to provide for their own livelihood in a much sustainable way.

“We ought to carry out education and awareness to the young students at Kolokoda Primary school and at the same time provide a physical and tangible alternative to the school,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Yeo the campaign director recently represented the youth-lead organization at the COP26 in Glasgow.