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Wednesday 10 May 2017 (Amy Wickham)

In a climate change and children study (2004), Sihle Motseti (not her real name), a 14 year old girl from Hwange remarked,” when there is no food at home you cannot even talk to parents easily. Sometimes you cannot even tell them that you have been sent away from school for non – payment of school fees because of fear of making them angry.” It is now widely agreed that; “unaddressed, climate change will harm the poorest and most vulnerable children first, hardest and longest.” Major adverse impact of climate change include: declining water resources, causing water shortages, reduced agricultural productivity, contributing to hunger, spread of diseases and turbulent weather and climate disaster recent estimation by UNICEF indicate that over half a billion children worldwide live in extremely high flood occurrence zones and nearly 160 million live in high or extremely high drought severity zones. Regarding the child’s protection, for a child who has been displaced due to extreme weather events in his/her own community, this child is now at heightened risk of family separation, of being orphaned and in the absence of adult protection, of exploitation, abuse, violence and neglect and is subjected to the overlapping crises, the vicious circle perpetuated by climate change and child poverty.