Growth, however, has not had much positive impact for the majority of Zambian people who are still living below the poverty line, often surviving on less than U$ 1.25 per day. Additionally, growth industries such as mining and construction sectors have taken their toll on the environment (through land degradation, energy consumption and pollution).
Faced with unemployment – especially among women and youth, high levels of inequality and poverty, as well as a housing backlog and a number of environmental challenges, the government of Zambia has launched a Green Jobs Programme that promotes green technologies in the construction sector. As the world discusses actions to mitigate climate change at the COP 21 in Paris, beneficiaries and stakeholders of the Programme explained to ILO News the impact that green jobs can have on Zambia's future and its people.
Building green, boosting jobs, improving lives
By greening the economy, the issue of poverty can be sorted out."Dr. Albert Malama, Dean of the Built Environment School - Copperbelt University
The change makers
Focus on women: The renewable power of green skills
You may not appreciate the power of light until you are in darkness. For poor urban and rural households, having access to light is life changing – enabling children to study, helping enterprises to operate more business hours, combating crime and so forth."Tapera Muzira/ILO Chief Technical Advisor, Zambia Green Jobs Programme
A Greening momentumAs the knowledge on the benefits of green building technologies is spreading, society mindset towards sustainable development is changing too. Hear the voices of workers, students and employers explaining the benefits of a green path to development.
Among my friends and my family I've noticed there's a need and a change to go green."Yetambuyu Imasiku, 22 years old, Student in urban and regional planning - Copperbelt University
The Zambia Green Jobs Programme – a four-year partnership between the Zambian Government and a team of United Nations agencies led by the ILO, and funded by Finland – promotes the development of sustainable enterprises by boosting competitiveness and business growth thanks to green technologies. It works with local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and partners with multinational companies that are investing in Zambia.
It is beneficial. It's good for environment protection and it's affordable."Shemena Logan, SME Director SME
- promotes sustainable enterprises,
- creates more and better jobs,
- protects people
- preserves the quality of the environment
5000 green jobs by 2017
I upgraded my skills. It will be easier for me to find a job."Davies Bweupe, Construction Worker
More broadly, the Programme aims to:
- Increase the appreciation among the Zambian public in general, and among the construction industry stakeholders in particular, of green technologies.
- Refine the regulation that stimulates demand among private and public housing developers for environmentally friendly building materials, products and methods.
- Enhance the capacity of MSMEs to effectively participate in the construction of eco-friendly buildings by using and delivering green products and services.
We registered a company and we want to start making solar panels on a large scale. We are going to have jobs making solar panels. This will help us escape from poverty."Emmery Matongo, mother of seven, Construction and solar panel trainee
We have to transform this knowledge into other SMEs and other communities."Munjunka Shadrick, Construction Site Manager
Why go green ?