WWF Hosts Earth Hour 2017 | WWF Zambia

WWF Hosts Earth Hour 2017

Posted on
04 April 2017
On Saturday, the 25th of March 2017, WWF Zambia joined the rest of the world in celebrating yet another record-breaking Earth Hour event that swept across 187 countries and territories across the world as millions of people came together to take a stand for climate action. Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative aimed at creating awareness of people taking responsibility towards a sustainable future. It was famously started as a lights-off event for one hour from 20:30hrs to 21:30hrs local time (hence ‘Earth Hour’) in Sydney, Australia in 2007.

In Zambia, this year’s event focused on raising awareness for alternative sources of energy given the impact climate change has had on our traditional sources of power. For this reason, we added the mantra “Switching To Renewable, Sustainable And Clean Energy” to this year’s theme “Shine A Light On Climate Action”.

Our Earth Hour campaign began in February 2017 when we engaged the first lady of Zambia, Mrs. Esther Lungu, on the impacts of climate change. Mrs. Lungu spoke passionately about the severe effects of climate change, particularly on women and girls. She lamented that mothers and girls are forced to spend a lot of time fetching firewood for cooking or exposed to dangerous fumes from charcoal due to the energy crisis. She called for unity in climate action, encouraging national focus on switching to alternative sources of energy as a compliment to hydroelectric power.

Against this background, we partnered with various stakeholders including the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), Muhanya Solar, Sunny Money, Energy Regulation Board, Zambia Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (ZPCC) and Vitalite among many others to organise a series of activities and media engagements all aimed at raising awareness on alternative sources of energy. Our activities reached an estimated 600, 000 people mainly through traditional media while our social media campaign achieved a combined total of 234, 870 impressions! Many Zambian celebrities and influencers shared our Earth Hour messages on social media to their followers, increasing our outreach. The Young Conservation Trailblazers (YCT) were also involved in a series of youth-focused activities, most notably the Earth Hour Flash Mob that took place at Lusaka's East Park Mall bringing the entire shopping mall to a standstill.

Our campaign culminated into a massive music concert featuring some of the country’s most prolific artists including Maureen Lilanda, Slapdee, Kantu, Wezi Amayenge and many more! The concert, designed as an ‘infotainment event’ (and completely powered by solar power courtesy of Muhanya Solar) combined great music, family fun activities with informative exhibitions from the Earth Hour partners. It was officiated by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Vice President, Mr. Steven Mwansa who iterated government’s commitment towards positive climate action. Mr. Mwansa reminded patrons, who showed up in their numbers, that as a ratified signatory to the Paris agreement on climate change, Zambia had renewed its resolve in taking positive climate action.
The event was a great success attended by people of all ages and aided by a host of big brand food and beverage stalls such as Gigi Bonta, Pizza Hut and Keg & Lion among others. It was a highly interactive event, dissolving into the traditional ‘lights off’ affair to commemorate Earth Hour from 20:30-21:30. This happened amidst soft music from the legendary Maureen Lilanda that serenaded the entire atmosphere.
Notable landmarks that switched off during Earth Hour: Intercontinental Hotel, Stanbic Bank head office, Olympic Youth Development Centre, ZESCO.  

On 12th March 2017, WWF Zambia's Young Conservation Trailblazers (YCT) executed a Flash Mob to raise awareness on Earth Hour. The Flash Mob happened at Lusaka's East Park Mall