KNOWLEDGE sharing is fundamental, especially when it is sustainable, for the radical transformation of Africa and its communities considered backward.
By Peter Makwanya
Climate knowledge or information hubs are repositories for storing cross-cutting climate data and information as climate data banks that stakeholders would harness for climate change adaptation activities.
Climate change information hubs would have an assortment of useful knowledge stored as ICTs in multimedia channels, books, libraries, pamphlets, newspaper articles and oramedia facilitators.
Climate-hub platforms are designed along participatory methodologies, online dialogical, interactive as well as collaborative, both in scope, content and complexion.
Climate-hubs are designed to provide sustainable materials, tools for adaptation and facilities that would be accessed in all strategic centres and locations, dotted throughout the country, in rural, peri-urban and urban centres.
Schools, colleges and universities would act as climate banks points of reference, staffed by knowledgeable and seasoned climate change knowledge brokers and experts.
Their prime purpose would be to provide quality data that will go a long way in reducing societies’ vulnerabilities and improve resilience.
But this can also influence appropriate adaptation programmes that would lead to managing hunger, achieving food security, and improved nutrition through the promotion of sustainable agriculture.
A closer look at climate-related developments in developing countries would expose a number of gaps and lack of inclusive approaches towards rural communities.
They are just being talked about nothing concrete is being done, concrete in light of improving the rural infrastructure, agriculture research and extension services, plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural production.
Vulnerability is not only a buzz word, as some would want to suggest, it is a social curse, development cancer as well as a climate sin lacking the ingredients of adaptation solutions, and actions for achieving resilience.
The climate-hub platforms may be unique or independent in their own right, but serious networking and collaboration would make them situationally relevant and result-oriented.
Yes, collaborative in terms of research, especially funded patent research, sharing ideas through online dialoguing interactive platforms which would connect hubs between climate service providers and a wide cross-section of their users.
Climate impacts and consequences are no longer a secret, as they are glaring eye-sores, hence they require collective and integrative efforts to tackle them head on, with the enthusiasm and energy that can be harnessed.
As such, collaboration is key and societies need not to look for climate masters or climate knowledge number ones, where the adaptation butt stops with them and no one else.
We want to make use of the climate information and knowledge at our disposal in open unrestricted and recognised platforms supported by authorities concerned.
Climate-hub platforms need to be synchronised and connected in order to feed into the hierarchical whole that is from the rural communities, which have been neglected, sidelined and looked down upon, to the national, regional and global platforms.
The common mantra, such as knowledge is power, should augment well with the idea of climate hubs as finite resources for community development and poverty eradication.
Poverty eradication is not only a climate-based action or solution, but a human right too.
Furthermore, the climate discourse need not to be disintegrated and sporadic, hence it should be strategic, people-centred, locally appealing and relevant, as well as informative and educative.
This would assist in filling in of climate-related knowledge and procedural gaps, compounded by carbon footprints littering the path of resilience.
The online climate usage gap is not being constructively utilised in many countries, yet it constitute a large cross-section of users who include the youths.
Climate information hubs, as destinations of choice and community convergence, where visitors and great minds do not only meet, collaborate, debate and mingle as various members of distinguished different discourse communities, affiliated to climate change communities of practice.
Climate-hub platforms are not only destinations for knowledge repositories and banks but they are also reliable basis of information sharing, where people have faith and trust in them, and they always believe.
Platform groups and members would be expected interrogate available climate data and come up with decisions on climate protection goals and activities.
To the majority of Zimbabwean stakeholders, climate change is still an ambiguous and seemingly confusing tough subject that can only be told by masters of information packaging and distributions, where the local stakeholders are always over simplified and left as onlookers.
What we have at the moment are selective doses of information that is difficult to put into practice, simply because this information is not hatched from within but from elsewhere.
We need robust and viable communication and information dissemination centres as strategic climate hubs to complete and strengthen the participatory processes we need.
Finally, climate hubs platforms should contribute to life-long learning, new knowledge economy, empowerment centres and cultural hubs as well as a healthy and dynamic agricultural sector.