In the latest post in our #CoolerPlanet series, Kenneth and Felix from Kenya tell a story about the dramatic impact of the changing environment in their country. It inspired them set up action/2015:Nairobi – a social movement for young people that works on the Global Goals.
Climate change is a global issue that has posed many serious threats to different regions. While Climate change affects us all, it does not affect us all equally.
One of the biggest impacts is on poor farmers, who have done the least to contribute to the problem and are the most vulnerable as they lack the resources to adapt. Those farmers are struggling to grow enough crops because the weather is hotter and more unpredictable. Urgent policy action and adequate resources are needed to make food systems resilient and to ensure that a high quality diet is affordable and accessible to everyone.
Whilst participating in a VSO/ICS program last year, we started an initiative called the ‘Tree Per Child’ project.This was to ensure regions highly affected by wind erosion remained beautifully green and covered by forest.
Most of the areas that are experiencing the tragic loss of the most fertile topsoil do so due to the lack of trees that can either reduce strength of whirlwinds or that can enhance soil texture against wind-breaks. Having this knowledge meant a sense of responsibility grew in us. We had to stand up for the environmental consciousness of the communities within our reach.
Nairobi is prone to heavy down-pour and extreme weather is now a daily routine in Kenya. In fact this November we experienced some of the most adverse and unpredictable rainfall in a while. Most of the slum dwelling areas suffer the greatest because the channels for the drainage system get blocked, with the stagnant water becoming a breeding ground for malaria and cholera pandemics. The Kibera slum was hit by cholera due to the poor hygiene within the area and many lives have been claimed.
Kenya’s government has been trying its best to recruit young people to help rid the place of its filthy condition by unblocking the sewerages and so, a bit of positive change glitters. But it comes at a time when shanty houses are being swept away with heavy water in motion, which brings with it another tragedy of homelessness.
Recently we lost ten children on their way to school when they were swept away by a disastrous and overflowing river whilst crossing a bridge. Their lightweight and lack of swimming skills in the roaring water meaning they all surrendered their lives helplessly taking gulps of water.
It is because of environmental tragedies like this, that we came up with an idea of forming action/2015 Nairobi. This is a social movement that focuses on young people, within and outside Nairobi city, to take worthy action on ensuring the Global Goals are well implemented. This includes tackling climate change, as one of the most important issues in the Global Goals. Our movement has been active online and been seeking funding to support efforts on the ground. Our enthusiasm is great and we hope to be taking more action soon.