Led by a prison service band yesterday demonstrators sang and danced to a central Nairobi park where they made speeches urging action by delegates from some 189 nations meeting at a United Nations climate change conference on the outskirts of the city.
''Africa must rise up because our continent will be the most impacted by global warming,'' said Grace Akumu, wearing a white ''Our Climate, Our Survival'' T-shirt.
''We don't want spineless African environment ministers, as we have seen in the past. Let them seize this moment to demand from the West a special fund to help us adapt to this threat.'' One man carried a poster of U S President George W Bush reading: ''Wanted -- For Crimes Against the Planet''.
''It's tremendous to see so many children here,'' said one of the organisers, Andrew Pendleton of British charity Christian Aid. ''They are the ones who have to live with climate change, so it's right for them to get up and wag their fingers at us.'' Experts say Africa has contributed least to the emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change. But because of underdevelopment, it is also the least prepared to cope with the consequences -- and has the most to lose.
Finding ways to help the world's poorest continent adapt to global warming is high on the agenda of the November 6-17 talks.
REUTERS SP HT1030