WORLD HABITAT DAY 2011
LAUNCH OF THE GREENER PASTURES PROJECT
World Habitat Day is an annual event hosted by the Human Settlements Division of the United Nations to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all, to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat. It was a most appropriate occasion for the official launch of our latest path-breaking project, Greener Pastures, which focuses on mitigating the impact of food insecurity and severe weather patterns on vulnerable communities.
His Worship the Mayor of uMgungundlovu District Municipality (UMDM), Councillor Yusuf Bhamjee, hosted the launch on 3rd October in the main Council Chamber. Not only did he preside over the gathering – he gave the longest speech before the Greener Pastures street theatre production lightened proceedings, and not a word was wasted. He spoke of the effect of the double whammy of climate change and HIV/AIDS on vulnerable households with depth and insight. Just two months earlier, UMDM had launched the District Environmental Management Forum, which is a model for multi-stakeholder participation in local government.
The street theatre is a user–friendly was of conveying complex concepts around climate change to audiences with low levels of formal education and literacy, and provides entertainment with a message. In the space of three short acts, it touches on a wide range of social and climate-related issues: Street children, the right to adequate shelter, food insecurity, the Premier’s One Home One Garden campaign, waste recycling, the power of knowledge, the global village and xenophobia.