The Change Starts With Us - Launching UNDP's Climate Champions

UNDP Zambia’s Luyando Munsaka is taking matters in her own hands and fighting back against climate change in her daily life

April 30, 2024
An image of Luyando Munsaka with a green gradient and text that reads "Greening Moonshot Champion" and the UNDP logo

Luyando Munsaka, an Administrative Assistant, an Engineer, and this month’s UNDP Zambia Greening Moonshot Champion

UNDP Zambia

On the 19th of March, the President of the Republic of Zambia, H.E. Hakainde Hichilema, shared the solemn news of Zambia ongoing drought with the international community. The world over, sombre images of dried fields, wilting crops and empty valleys panned across TV screens, signalling the effects of climate change and how deeply it has affected the Zambian agricultural sector. Many Zambians today are working ten times over to maintain their livelihoods as concerns of food and income insecurity loom over small-holder farmers and their communities. 

The impact of climate change has been unavoidable. 

UNDP Zambia continues to work with the Government and people of Zambia, alongside cooperating partners, and other UN agencies to respond to the drought and its lingering effects. Through projects and strategies such as the Strengthening Climate Resilience of Agricultural Livelihoods in Agro-Ecological Regions I and II in Zambia (SCRALA) project and the recently developed Multi-hazard Preparedness and Response Plan, the organisation plays as key role in offering technical and financial support to government, amid the ongoing drought. 

And on an individual level, staff members are also making the necessary lifestyle adjustments to mitigate the effects of climate change in Zambia. One such UNDP Zambia team member is Luyando Munsaka, an Administrative Assistant, an Engineer, and this month’s UNDP Zambia Greening Moonshot Champion!

Luyando joined the Country Office’s Greening Moonshot Taskforce in 2019 – during the committee’s formation. Over the years, she has been instrumental in the implementation of strategies and activities that set out to reduce the office’s carbon footprint. Her efforts led to the replacement of air conditioners with eco-friendly models that consume less energy while providing the same level of cooling comfort, the installation of solar panels for the UN Country Office and the purchase of an electric vehicle.

“Introducing an electric vehicle to the UNDP fleet and installing solar panels at the UN House demonstrates leadership by the UNCT in Zambia towards improving operational sustainability. My hope is that the UN's effort to mitigate the environmental impact of its operations in Zambia will encourage local organizations to adopt similar practices”, she shares.

In her personal life, Luyando remains dedicated to working towards a carbon neutral lifestyle, she regularly turns off lights and appliances when not in use while making use of natural lighting during the day, she uses water wisely by taking shorter showers or opting for baths and uses less paper where possible by opting for digital documents and email communications.

“Living a carbon-neutral lifestyle isn't just about big gestures, it's about the everyday choices we make"
Luyando notes.

Luyando demonstrates how a commitment to a Greener and more prosperous future for all Zambians can have a tangible impact on the environment and in our communities. Due to the activities she continues to support in her role as a member of the Greening Moonshot Taskforce, annually the Country Office is projected to save at least 13.76 tons of CO2, reduce its fuel consumption by 4%, and save up to 80048KWh of energy.

Other colleagues like Mwiya Nyambe, have recognised her commitment to embracing a cleaner, greener lifestyle in her work. Reflecting on how her efforts have contributed to bringing us closer to achieving SDG 13, Mwiya, UNDP’s ICT Manager, notes:

“She has been instrumental in galvanising action to keep the Country Office on course to achieve a net zero carbon footprint. As members of the taskforce come and go, she has remained with the invaluable institutional memory that has provide the office with a firm basis upon which to take action from their ideation stage to execution.”

Luyando proves to her colleagues, family, and community that it is possible to mitigate the effects of climate disasters such as the ongoing drought through collective AND individual actions, no matter how small. In a call she made to the public, Luyando invites Zambians to band together to protect the earth, the only place we all call home. 

“Together, let’s be the change and preserve our planet’s beauty and diversity for generations to come” – Luyando Munsaka

How will you take action in your daily life to fight the effects of climate change?