Livingstone, Zambia is a town not only on the edge of a natural wonder of the world, Victoria Falls, but also on the edge of an expanding desert… one which is expanding more rapidly due to human activities. Slash and burn agriculture, the illegal charcoal trade, and climate change are accelerating this tourist destination’s environmental demise, and deepening the struggle for resources being experienced by rural communities all over the region.
We partnered with Yes Rasta!, a Livingstone-based reggae group made up of nature lovers, cyclists, gardeners, and even a former charcoal burner who shares his new perspective in the song, to spread information about these worsening issues and what can be done to adapt to and reverse them at the grassroots level.
The song highlights solutions such as pruning stumps for forest regeneration, planting trees and using deadwood and branches rather than cutting whole trees, making fuel-efficient traditional cooking stoves, and more. Through these grassroots solutions, we hope that students, community members, policy makers, and everyone in between can do their part to ensure that in the future, the month of August returns to its old state, and no longer feels like October, the hottest month of the year.
October is also the month during which Zambia gained independence in 1964, a pinnacle moment of unity for a nation of over 70 native languages. We hope that this song can inspire such unity for climate and environmental action.
Imiti ikula empanga – the saplings will soon be the forest! Let us pass on to the young ones a world worth living in, and give them the knowledge they need to create it.
Special thanks to Uncleben Mibenge, the tree king of Livingstone, for his environmental wisdom!
Music. Earth. Humanity. #conservationmusic
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