'Don't have Planet B': Asia, Africa join climate strike

Crowds in Kenya urge government to scrap plan of constructing coal plant

Andrew Wasike, Aamir Latif   | 20.09.2019
'Don't have Planet B': Asia, Africa join climate strike

NAIROBI, Kenya/ KARACHI, Pakistan 

Activists across Africa and Asia, the most populous continents on the globe, took to the streets on Friday to raise their voice against the imminent threat of climate change.  

The global climate strike, billed as the biggest climate mobilization ever, is being held ahead of a climate change summit in the UN next week.

Thousands of young activists and students brought traffic to standstill in the bustling Kenyan capital of Nairobi to draw attention to the dire climate crisis.

In Kenya, the crowds called for an end to a government plan to construct a $2 billion 1050 Megawatts coal plant on the island of Lamu just off the coast of Mombasa, a UN world heritage site.

The protesters who marched on to the Energy Ministry building urged the government to support renewable energy and immediately stop the construction of coal mines in Eastern Kenya, where millions of tons of coal were recently discovered.

Anarita Mwongeli, a poet and a student of literature at the protest, told Anadolu Agency: "We don't have a Planet B, after we destroy A [...] Our government should not go the coal way, coal is not cool.”

Irungu Houghton, executive director of Amnesty International in Kenya, said: “In Kenya water scarcity, drought, food insecurity is essentially a consequence of the climate. Kenya doesn’t need coal."

Kenya generates 85% of its electricity from clean energy resources such as wind and solar power. 

South Asia joins protests

Thousands marched across Pakistan on Friday to protest against rising global warming.

In the port city of Karachi, students and women gathered outside the Victorian era Frere Hall building to support Fridays for Future, a global youth movement which now strikes every Friday for climate change.

Demonstrations were also held in the major cities of Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad and Peshawar.

In the southeastern remote district of Ghotki, hundreds of schoolchildren carrying placards with slogans, most notably "Stand for what you stand on", formed a human chain to raise awareness about climate change, television footage showed.

Protests were also held in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka.

Students gathered outside the National Press Club carrying a plastic effigy, which they termed a "monster" eating away the earth. 

*Najmus Sakib contributed to this report from Dhaka

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