6th June 2012 was a proud day for Lilongwe Wildlife Centre (LLWC). Hundreds of spectators attended our opening ceremony for World Environment Week with VIPs including country ambassadors, company directors and government officials. Rousing speeches were accompanied by environment-themed dancing, drama and poetry from our community schools and the event signalled the start of a week of activities at LLWC involving over 900 children from 27 schools.
World Environment Day is the single biggest day in the year for positive environmental action as people across the world pledge an environmental activity, and we were honoured to be part of the national effort. As Malawi’s leading environmental education Centre (with over 12,000 school children visiting every year) this was an important event for us and all our supporting schools and we pulled out all the stops to make this year one to remember, aimed at inspiring the younger generation to take care of their environment.
The ceremony was officially opened by Dr. Yanila Ntupanyama, the Principal Secretary of Department of Environment and Climate Change Management, who kindly stepped in for the Minister at the last minute who had been called away on urgent business. Mlodza School dancers wowed the crowds and the poetry reading by one boy about the importance of not cutting down trees was particularly moving. TV crews and journalists attended too which meant that their messages were guaranteed to reach a national audience.
This year’s theme set by the UN was “Green Economy: does it include you?” aimed to highlight the economic benefits of sustainable living. To fit with this theme we invited a number of local businesses and NGOs to get involved. Demonstrations included fuel efficient stoves, recycling, biofuels, eco-tourism projects and our own fuel briquette and malambe juice projects, showcasing real life examples of what “Green Economy” means and how it can relate to our daily lives.
Throughout the rest of the week the Centre was teeming with school children who took part in our environmental workshops and debates, created posters and generally enjoyed being part of the celebrations. Many of the learners had prepared their own displays which were shared with other visiting groups, helping to build relationships between schools as well as ensuring their environmental declarations went public.
It was thanks to the support of many other local organisations that we were able to make the week’s events such a success. We would like to thank our sponsors as well as those government departments and NGOs whose hard work and support was crucial, including the Department of Environmental Affairs, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary Women’s Club, WESM, Hestian, BERL, Yankho Solar, Globestar, Wilderness Safaris, and Tigwirane Manja Club and a special mention for Derrick Sanyahumbi who went beyond the call of duty in his support of the team. We’re already looking forward to next year!
For more information, please contact Kate Moore, Marketing Manager, [email protected], or go to www.lilongwewildlife.org.