It is no longer news that climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century. It was therefore very pertinent to have held the Africa Environment WikiFocus in the Igbo community. WikiFocus is a project created and developed by Wiki In Africa (WIA) and Wikimedia Community User Group Côte d’Ivoire (WMUG IC) as an integral part of the African Knowledge Initiative (AKI) series of campaigns. The main focus of the initiative is to encourage Wikimedians and other communities to contribute content related to Africa’s climate on the Wikimedia projects.
In view of the above, an event funded by the Africa Environment WikiFocus project via her micro grant scheme was hosted in the Igbo community by some community members.
The Project Plan
The community members aimed at translating articles on African environment to Igbo language, sharing crucial environmental information and insights locally while bridging linguistic barriers. They also aimed at creating awareness on environmental issues, establishing a platform for exchanging ideas, fostering collaboration, spreading environmental knowledge to a wider audience; among others. See Meta page for more details. To achieve the above project objectives, the team members planned and organized two in-person events to sensitize and encourage contributions on Wikimedia projects. The event was hosted at a Federal University (Nnamdi Azikiwe University) in Anambra State.
The event was a success. Over one hundred climate and environment related articles were translated from English to Igbo Wikipedia and Wikidata items were edited. Highpoint of the event was a lecture delivered by Dr. Chikodili G. Anaukwu, an Environmental Microbiologist and lecturer in Applied Microbiology and Brewing at Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Unizik) during which she enlightened the participants on the effects of climate change on the environment. This was followed by a campaign within the university environment.
Key Takeaways from the Lecture
- Climate change is a change in the average climatic conditions over a long period of time.
- Human activities has been the major cause of climate change.
- Changes in weather pattern is as a result of rise in temperature which affects the environment.
- The heat waves is non-conducive for living things.
- Effects of climate change results in loss of lives, property and costly disruption to society.
- Human activities that release green house gases should be controlled.
- Likely effects of climate change should be anticipated in order to reduce it’s impacts on the environment by adaptation.
The event was a significant success, as shown by the statistics on the event dashboard as at the time of writing this report. The event featured two in-person events that were attended by 32 participants, and it created greater awareness of the impact of climate change and ways of mitigating these effects. Additionally, the event resulted in the creation of 549 articles on the Igbo Wikipedia and the editing of 1680 articles by a total of 44 editors. On Wikidata, 1150 revisions were made. These statistics demonstrate the event’s positive impact in raising awareness and creating new knowledge about environmental issues within the Igbo community.
Feedbacks from Participants
Participants were indeed excited and some were happy to share what they learnt from the event viz:
Dr. Chikodili Anaukwu (Environmental Microbiologist) ended her teaching with environmental counsel. She said:
“As man strives to provide solution to human wants, the resources are depleted thereby endangering the ecosystem”. She further added that “Concerted efforts are required from individuals, government of countries and the world leaders in order to save the world for the future generation”.
The team members and the entire Igbo community expresses immense gratitude to the organizers of Africa Environment Wikifocus and to Wikimedia Foundation.
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