African Climate activists rise

By: Maureen Damen

Twitter: @damenmaureen15

Maureen is a 16 year old climate activist from Dakar, Senegal. She is the co-founder of Fridays For Future Senegal and founder of Rise Up Senegal. Her favorite color is green and she loves the environment and everything that is related to nature. She strikes daily to #SaveCongoRainforest.

Africa is a continent with a lot of resources, but they’re overexploited, and it is sad. Our continent and each African needs to know that. They have to know the climate crisis is literally destroying us, every day, and we can’t and we won’t continue like that. Enough is Enough!

I’m a climate activist from Dakar, Senegal and you know what interests a lot of people?  The fact that I’m a climate activist from Africa. It may sound surprising, but people are really intrigued to see Africans demanding climate justice. But you have to know something; we all care about our environment, whether you live in Europe, Asia, America, Australia, the Antarctic, or Africa. It’s all the same.

When I became a climate activist in September 2019, I was inspired by Greta Thunberg (as are so many other activists); but a few weeks later, I heard about Vanessa Nakate, an activist from Uganda. Honestly, I was inspired, not because of her activism but because of her unheard voice for Africa. It is the same thing for all the African activists. Nobody seems to hear us.

And sincerely, it is a shame!

This sounds selfish, but Africa is really vulnerable to the climate crisis. Countries are facing a lot of environmental issues every day and yet there are no actions from our leaders. Africa matters as do all the continents in the world, but why’d it be other people who are fighting? When it comes to Europe, you can see plenty of activists in different countries, and this is so awesome. But it’s a shame for Africa to see that there’s not enough Africans to fight against climate change. This should be everyone’s fight.

“Africa wake up!!”

Africans know about climate change; they know that nowadays it’s abnormally hot or cold, they know that climate change is robbing people and animals of their homes, but no one is acting (same goes for most people in the world).

What I want, right now, is to see every African stand up because our continent is suffering, because our continent is beautiful and worth it. We have a lot of resources which are overexploited and unprotected (e.g., The Congo Rainforest, which could be gone by 2100). We must stand together, now, and push for change to protect our continent.

I believe that many of us know about climate change, but we’re careless because of the lack of action from our leaders. This lack of action is what made me such a passionate climate activist. This lack of action is killing plenty of people in the world. This lack of action must change now!

Leaders have created deniers and skeptics all over the world.

This is unacceptable. To have a leader who is not eco-friendly, the consequence of this shows perfectly the situation we are living right now.

It is high time for Africans to rebel against this crisis and fight for climate justice.

Environmental issues are international issues, but they’re also transmitted across generations. 

We have to treat this crisis as an emergency. We must act right now.

We have power, and it is our voices. Each voice matters. Africa matters!

Since I’m a climate activist, I know much more about the environmental issues thanks to scientists, and I want to contribute to this global climate justice.

I don’t want to force anyone to be an activist, but I think everyone can help in their own way in this climate crisis.

If climate change scares you, do one thing each day to help the environment.

Together, we can change the world.


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