“Many African governments believe that they should copy the infrastructure and technology from wealthier western countries but the development of Sub-Sahara has proven the opposite of using solar power for electricity and energy. Rain water harvesting, using water absorbing plants to provide shade to buildings and using vertical gardens in cities “This are words said by Professor Mosha on the 13th November 2020 in his opening remarks at the 2nd research conference for the Faculty of Built Environment, Arts and Sciences. The theme for the conference was Sustainable Human Settlements in Botswana. In his explanation for the theme, he said that human settlements should be capable of living in harmony of green spaces.
The keynote speaker for the conference Professor E.N Toteng (University of Botswana, Department of Environmental Science) presented on: Lessons from Global Urbanization and Human Displacement in Africa. He highlighted that there is only one earth with limited carrying capacity but it is occupied with population growth which result in environmental change therefore there is a need for sustainable development to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. He further said that governments should implement urban policies for sustainable development of cities, urban planning and design. Some of the solutions for environmental change he said funding should be provided by governments for the development of green cities that attract investment, research ,innovation of green spaces and also using science and technology to create human settlements that are healthy, livable and have a low carbon footprint.
Presenting on Pluralistic Urban Farming: The means to achieve food security for urbanities in Botswana-Gaborone, Dr N Chicho , mentioned that some countries in Africa such as Uganda and Kenya have resorted to urban agriculture to address urban poverty, unemployment and availing food supplies at a close proximity She further said local programmes such as ISPPAD document less of urban farming as a livelihood strategy, and therefore the narrative needs to change to accommodate urban farming. Although with limited spaces in urban areas farmers have been able to utilize limited spaces to grow common vegetables and sell such as using sacks, towers and buckers to plant and this had proved effective. In her closing she recommended use of technology based farming, use of hydroponics which requires less water and space to achieve high yields of produce.