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If it is true that the climate is changing and we cannot change it, lets change with it

The COP of 2017 in Germany should deal with USA strategy to withdraw from the Negotiations:

It has taken international community decades to endorse scientific truth about climate change or global warming. High level international negotiations have come up with various recommendations and conclusions. One of the most successful negotiation is the Paris Conference of Parties held in France in 2015 that came up with Paris Agreement. This comes after many other global attempts to get governments and states on board with how best to deal with climate change and what response should be adopted.

Looking back to 1992, Rio De Jennairo (in Brazil), the so called Earth Summit on Sustainable Development, international community came to an agreement that something must be done about the environment. The same Summit endorsed the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) among other 2 concentions (Biodiversity and Sustainable Development). This was not the first time the world was getting more conscious about the climate change and its impacts on the environment, human development and humanity. Already in 1988, UNEP and WMO had come up with high level group of renown scientists to provide informed reports on climate change known as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

Kyoto Protocol of 1997 had to deal with the legal aspect of the Convention. The idea was to come up with compelling document which has legal obligations. This was based on the principle of polluter pays. However, the question of Green House Gases that cause climate change is more complicated than what the principle would look at. Highly industrialized countries such as the USA, European Union members, and China were highlighted as the nations that have jeopardized the climate system. However, in 2009, in Copenhagen Conference of Parties, industrialized countries sharply disagreed and USA walked out. China felt that it was accused of causing the damages and harms of climate change.

However, since 1995, in Berlin, the international community embraced annual COP (Conference of Parties) to negotiate and share intelligence on climate change. From that time till today, parties have been meeting, not only to get briefs from the IPCC but also to show case of their commitments to reduce carbon emissions. Mitigation is the essential and key component of the intervention that nations need to engage in. This includes the reduction in the use of fossil fuel energy, reducing carbon emissions, and shifting to clean energy or green energy.

Mitigation is a very expensive process which requires consensus from powerful nations. This has brought the question of developing countries. Even if developing countries make less than 3% of the contribution to the GHG gases, they suffer the risks of climate change more than any other part of the world. Climate change has brought more problems to poverty reduction and aspirations already raised by the UN Development Goals. The worst hit sectors include agriculture and food production. African countries are the most vulnerable realities that need the global attention. Already the continent has the most varied climate regimes that are very harsh. Climate change has only added more pain to an injury.

Adaptation is another strategy coupled with mitigation process. The rationale of all this process is that, if we cannot change the climate to what it ought to be, then we must change with it. Adaptation is all about re-adjusting many things that determine our survival. To adapt is to change to a new reality. This comes with cost. Both non human organs and humans must adjust to the hardships caused by climate disorder. Heat waves, long droughts, cooling temperatures, severe over-flooding, acute food shortage, high solar radiation, rise of sea level, desertification, soil infertility, and quick changes in our environment force nations to be more concerned with adaptation as well.

Climate resilience and new technology that shall ensure human survival have been supported by international negotiators. However, the political economy shows that such initiative shall need funding. Climate finance include the commitment of each country to deal with its problems. This has come up with carbon tax or pricing, carbon trade and so on. However, we must consider the justice aspect of this reality. Poor countries need financial support from the rich nations. Conference of Parties agreed on Climate Global Fund in tune of 100 billion dollars per year to support poor countries deal with impacts of climate change. This is an ambitious proposal that expected wealthy nations to come up with the fund.

However, this blog story is more interested in how much we should consider adaptation? If we cannot change the climate, we must change with it. The question that occupies the minds of many people is, how and when? Since climate change is happening in such a rapid rate, adaptation process must consider space and time. It is likely that so many humans shall perish before the adaptation process comes to their rescue. People must alter their behaviour and the way they produce consumer commodities. The same climate change is as well complicating the already weak health sector. Governments must spend huge amount of money to offer health care, develop food production, and water resources. The problem is serious and requires our commitment other than expecting other countries to donate grants.

Share your views…

About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

112 comments

  1. Taking care of environment is everybody’s responsibility. As a matter of fact, environment starts right from our homes. If we take care of environment and management our waste, environment will be safe too. It is worrying because the government does little to protect the environment especially our forests. Everything is usually treated from a political angle. Budget for environment is always the slimmest and ingrained in other programs. We are at a point of no return in regards to climate change but what is worrying is that we as people are always looking at our government yet we can something.

    • Jude I do agree with your sentiments. There is severe threat on our natural environment. Our leaders are more concerned with wealth accumulation other than social welfare and protection of the environment. There is a serious concern about climate change. What can we do as individuals about it according to you?

    • Irungu, I do support your opinion. There is an expression, everybody’s responsibility may mean nobody’s responsibility. How can we build communication system that would build more public awareness on the risks?

      • Lack of awareness creates a vacuum where we assume is the duty of the government to make our environment clean or conserve our ecosystems. This begs the question, why don’t we ask the government to clean our houses?.

        A strong communication narrative can be created along the argument that everyone can do something no matter how little it is to take care of the environment and lessen climate change.
        This can be anchored through media campaigns aimed at creating awareness on the need to conserve our environment. For along time, people in US believed climate change is a problem of developing countries (CNN.com). However, awareness creation has changed this belief as US has become a leader in developing policies related to mitigation of climate change effects .

        Environmentalists warn us that if we do nothing about climate, apocalypse awaits future generation. We all need to stand and count ourselves as part of the problem and collectively seek a remedy.

  2. The era of investment has fully set root in Kenya causing legal and illegal evictions by national and foreign elites and companies for development schemes severely affecting the local ecosystem.
    Natural resources are falling victim to these processes despite heightened awareness on the implications on the ecosystem. These unsustainable habits have led to environmental degradation which has ultimately lead to all the unpredictable weather patterns that we are witnessing to.
    As Kenyans we have a role and responsibility in mitigating the factors that affect the our environment as the late Wangari Maathai puts it,
    “We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can bequeath our children a sustainable world that benefits all.”

  3. K50/87001/2016
    I believe that the only way is Kenyans uniting and marching in the streets demanding resignation of the corrupt official since justice cannot be done when the commander-in-chief has his own people involved in corruption. How is the president going to assist in the prosecution of members of his own family or politicians that are close to him and tied to his party. We have to come together like they did in Brazil, and maybe the unity will force action out of our already dysfunction justice system. There is no way the people administering justice can be separated from the judicial system, that is simply splitting hairs which will not amount into anything. The corruption problem is bigger than the environment and it needs to be solved first before we even have a slight chance of affecting change in case of climate change.
    K50/87001/2016

    • John Ngigi K50/88442/2016

      The demonstrations that were witnessed in the Arab countries up north ,how much damage did they cause nations such as Egypt . Thousands were killed in peaceful demonstrations and the environment destory by tank bombs . We don’t need to march in the streets of Nairobi to remove corrupt official al, we need is to stop voting in people into power because we like them or they are our tribesmen and women. It’s time we looked at what ideas and ideologies this individuals are going to bring in that will be of beneficial to us. Look at the foreign companies investing in our nation they are doing a lot to save our climate ,for instance Garden city uses solar power to light its security lights, Nakumatt holdings is sphere heading the Go green campaign .Does it mean that this individuals who head this campanies are special ? They are indivuals just like our corrupt officials only differnce is they have a determination to see a better Kenya

  4. Chebet Joyce K50/88601/2016

    I agree with you SAMWEL IRUNGU keeping our environment clean should start with the individuals but, the problem with us Kenyan’s is that we tend to take the short-cuts for example, when in comes to dumping of polythene bags someone just throws anywhere and ignoring the dustbin. Now the question to Kenyans is what was that dustbin meant for? and who is designed to use it if not you?
    In addition we all know that clearing of forests is definitely going to cause problems and by the year 2100 about a third of the animals and plants would become extinct and the temperature will rise by 5 percent. So how will we survive because even the water levels will fall?

    • John Ngigi K50/88442/2016

      Chebet we are living in a man eat man society no one cares about their neigbour more . The problem with capitalistic nations like ours is that we think of what is to benefit the individual “I” forgetting that what we do will or may harm our neighbors . As a nation if we fully adopted the use of lebbled litter bins our nation would be among the cleanest in Africa . This would also make it for the recycling companies to collect raw materials . Paper is one of the most easy recycled material in the world but our nations still log trees for the production of the same pare that we burn every morning outside our house and end up polluting the environment with smoke .

      • Ngigi i agree with you. People should question themselves about what is being released to the atmosphere when the burn paper on daily basis. people think that when they release in small amounts they are not harming the environment. To my opinion, if we collected the paper for recycling the effects would be less than what we are now experiencing.
        people don’t even realize they now spend a lot in trying to pay for their actions, for example, we use a lot of money constructing green houses that can help fight food crisis yet the cause was deforestation among others that have let to little amount of rainfall through the year.

  5. Irene K. Nyakoiro K50/87708/2016

    Climate change is an actual problem but I believe it also has solutions. To address the effect of climate change on Kenya’s socioeconomic development, proper planning and implementation of actions are essential. The measures should include suitable adaptation to improve the country’s capacity to manage the effects of climate change and build resilience, as well as development choices that minimize carbon emission.
    Environmental sustainability is a progressively important issue in development. Therefore, the government needs to educate the public on the causes of climate change, its effects and how the environments can be preserved.

    • Prof. Wangari Maathai won the world recognition but not the Kenyan recognition, a thing that I consider to be shameful and in bad taste. Kenyans are not good at appreciating their prophets let alone the celebrities. Remember Lupito Nyong’o, a child of the Kenyan soil being recognized by the Hollywood for her talent as an actor. Kenya has never even offered her a successful card… are we really encouraging and promoting talents? There are many other Kenyans that are known, respected and loved outside Kenya…a part from Obama Senior, we have had great brains and talents, Dr. Robert J. Ouko, Prof. Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Prof. Ali Mazrui. Kenya is a land of many great personalities or the so called unsung heroes and heroines. What is really wrong with us as a nation. We never appreciating our own.

  6. John Ngigi K50/88442/2016

    Sometimes back the late Prof.Wangari Mathai said that nature is very unforgiving and if you destroy nature will destory you in return. I take her words as truth with the current drought been experienced in the country due to high level of deforestation by our fellow country me. May be the money set aside to counter global warming effect will be stole as has become the norm in our society we never know about this .
    The work of the government is to create conducive environment for us to work in . Money can be set aside for tree planting but how many of us are willing to leave the comfort of there houses and go plant trees somewhere in laikipia county? What we do know is that laws have been put in place to make our country green again. How many of us plant two trees when we cut one? How many have planted even a single green this year alone ? This are questions that seek to

    • John Ngigi K50/88442/2016

      Sometimes back the late Prof.Wangari Mathai said that nature is very unforgiving and if you destroy nature will destory you in return. I take her words as truth with the current drought been experienced in the country due to high level of deforestation by our fellow country me. May be the money set aside to counter global warming effect will be stole as has become the norm in our society we never know about this .
      The work of the government is to create conducive environment for us to work in . Money can be set aside for tree planting but how many of us are willing to leave the comfort of there houses and go plant trees somewhere in laikipia county? What we do know is that laws have been put in place to make our country green again. How many of us plant two trees when we cut one? How many have planted even a single tree this year alone ?
      It is our number one duty to make our immediate environment as clean and beautiful as we can before we start to point at others .

    • I agree with you John Ngigi we are being punished now for our actions. The heating in our bodies that we experience is becoming too much to bear with it. Most parts of the country that used to receive heavy rainfall like Kericho is now experiencing partial drought to an extend that people no longer rely on rain water but, spring water.
      what we need to remember is that the people are not ignorant of the methods to conserve our environment for example, in Kericho county the tea buying companies like James Finlay sent their clerks to the field to educate people on the measures to conserve the environment but people think that too much is being demanded from them.
      When will be ever take anything important like conserving the environment positively?

      • Elizabeth Njuguna k50/87543/2016

        Chebet I some how disagree with you.Many people are not aware of some of the fundamental ways of conserving the environment.The government should start programs that sensitize the citizens on the need to preserve the environment.

        • Like which programs @elizabeth

        • John Ngigi K50/88442/2016

          Elizabeth I agree with Joyce.. It is not up to the government to do civil education on matters of environmental change. For instance in Rwanda it is not the government that is making the small country green. What they did is they created an enabling environment for investor who in turn endorsed the city plan of Kigali hence every one is keen on keeping there nation green.

    • Doris, I do agree with your story. Could you specify which media houses are concerned with climate change in Kenya? List some of them that you know. Another question is whether journalists work closer with scientist community and weather forecasts to get more accurate information. Share more on this debate.

      • Peter, I know of Royal Media services which house most of the local dialect Radio stations. This particular show is aired on Citizen Radio at 9:30pm every week day ,on television during the weekend. The show is also popular in both the countries of Uganda and Tanzania.

        ishamba, a text messaging service developed by media company that leverages sms to reach the farmers with information on weather alerts,market price information and special offers in the market.The service is supported by a call center where agronomy experts can answer questions from the users.

      • Combining traditional methods of weather prediction with metro logical forecasting has proved to be the best way of forecasting. Reports from both sides are best brought together then released to the media for reporting which is then translated to the local language and reported through community radio after every hour.

  7. Weather patterns are changing and becoming harder to predict. This is because of climate change. The farmers are hard hit.The media has contribute to address climate change by advising farmers on new farming practices better suitable for variable climate.
    Since Radio has the highest reach in Kenya reaching nearly 9 Million people each week,Citizen Radio has introduced a programme -SHAMBA SHAPE UP (SSU) where it advice’s farmers on climate and smart Agricultural farming techniques that they can implement. Shamba shape up has helped farmers improve agricultural production while explaining climate change and how they can adapt to it.
    An example of Makueni as a region that experiences dry climate ,from the research done; SSU has helped farmers in the area by advising them on how to prepare for the dry season by weather forecasting,using drought resistant crops and the right seeds for the amount of rainfall expected. They help the farmers build terraces and harvest water on the farm.

    • @Doris,shamba shape up in Citizen is a commendable job where it guides farmers on climate change how they should face the challenges and adopt it,the media is the most important that inform people on the effects of climate change any information relating to climate change and effect.Journalists should give realistic impression of what is established in science and what are the current topics.

  8. Environmental issues should be issues of great concern to every person. We find that in our today’s life, we encounter environmental challenges around the world. Different countries have had very tough repercussions due to poor management and the greed that has engulfed people regardless of their social classes. For example the deforestation activities in our country Kenya Which has resulted to negative effects on both human and animals.
    The environmental journalism which is aimed at creating awareness on environmental issues has not been embraced in most countries. Journalists lack finances and support from the people concerned. An environmental story is hardly given prominence and if does, its killed very fast. This is because the people behind this stories are mostly prominent people who have personal interest _ to make more money at the expense of the poor people around these places.
    One is therefore left wondering…..Is sustainable development well understood in our today’s society?

    • JOYCE CHEBET K50/88601/2016

      I strongly agree wit you JANE WAMATHU. Just to add unto your point the Government has put measures to ensure that these forests are not cleared. For instance in Mau forest they have installed the surveillance cameras but the problem with the guards is that they have collaborated with the civilians and they are bribed by these civilians so that they can be allowed to clear the forest.They have even gone a step further by coming up with signs that they use to communicate with them such that once they see that there is an intruder to the forest they move towards that direction and on there way they find those signs then take a different direction instead of following the intruders.
      What we can say therefore is that they are serving there own self interest

    • Vivianne, I like this comment so much. We must find some innovative mechanisms to deal with environmental protection, climate change and extreme weather events. Kenyans love money more than the environment… I do agree that one should propose afforestation by offering some cash to those who plant trees. If you plant a tree then you win a prize, then many Kenyans will see more sense in that. But appealing to human conscience thinking that a miracle will happen, … I share your doubts! Thanks and continue with this.

      • This story alludes that there is no public awareness about the problem. Can’t the government do something that would make the public more aware of the environment? What is the role of the media? Are the practicing journalists doing enough to disseminate information on climate change in Kenya? Discuss this.

        • The media has dwelled much in politics other than other social activities or topics of concern whereby environmental lies.Environment challenges affect everyone in the world,the public should be aware of what it is and what do do to counter the challenges.Journalists should now consider informing by doing more research on this topic.

    • K50/89045/2016
      Yeah, Jane I totally agree with your sentiments. The media should take a keen interest when it comes to airing environmental stories and documentaries. This a matter of great concern and so should not be put in the news baskets but prioritized. Media houses are supposed to invest in these stories. By availing resources for the environmental journalists to be able to collect and disseminate relevant, in depth and prominent stories.

    • @Jane, issues of graft indeed play a big role in key environment and management strategies. A revolution may be necessary to reclaim our good environment

  9. K50/89045/2016
    Kenyans over the years have experienced deterioration the of climate. The extreme weather conditions that affect us. We are good at pointing out problems that we have solutions to. Yet we do nothing. We all know talk is cheap and we ought to walk the talk. We can educate our masses. The Bible is very clear, ‘my people suffer due to lack of knowledge.’ People who need this information are in the remote areas passionately cutting down trees. They do not have access to information about how deforestation is a bad. It is important that we educate the masses about conserving our environment and the effects of deforestation. By supporting and encouraging NGOs, organizations and groups that work towards conserving our environment is key. Tree planting activities should be made fun and interesting as possible. We human beings are known fro being egoists. We want to get involve in something that will benefit us directly in one way or another. Instead of ‘Cheza lotto, shinda lotto,’ maybe it should be ‘Panda mti shinda lotto.’ This way we will be encouraged to plant trees. But again, why wait for the incentives for you to plant trees that will benefit you? Why sit down and blame the government and our corrupt leaders who we elect overwhelmingly. 40 million plus Kenyans can bring the change we want to see. Thumbs up to Wangari Mathai who walked the talk with a lot of courage, resilience and tenacity.

    • Environmental campaign in Kenya is still a long way to go. There must be more advocacy from media fraternity. We cannot afford to waste time anymore.

      • Peter I do agree with your account. My question is about the fidelity conception of the constitution. Do we really believe in our laws, constitution and human rights? There is an irony in which our leaders and law makers tend to violate the laws they ought to protect. Who are we to perform miracles when the elite and rich Kenyans violate the environmental law? It is a long struggle to achieve our goals in climate justice. We always blame the industrialized and rich countries because we need their money but not their ideas. We must walk the talk…

  10. we are the environment and the environment is us :we are what we are because of the environment that we make. look around you, what surrounds you? can you see a dumpsite full of all manner of dirt from plastic bags to bottles and of course rotten food? how did they end up there? of course, it was taken there some one, bit by bit we emptied the little dusty bin in our kitchen and that’s what we have eventually. what about the beautiful flowers and trees that line most of the great mansions that make the backgrounds in our computers, laptops, phones and even the the walls of our houses? they are not drawn, they are photographed, they are planted and cared for by some one?….. that’s our environment!

  11. Green houses are a culprits in the ozone layer mess created by gas emissions,its the high time policies were put in place to a either eliminate them totally or find a way to harvest the bad emissions and recycle them in an environmentally safe mode.We should also Increase the forest cover and abolish the polythene and go back to sisal and such bio degradable materials.

    • Thanks Ngige. I do agree that coal can replace charcoal… can the coal be cost effective and made cheaper to meet the needs of poor users? I doubt this idea. Another point of contention, is about carbon emission and air pollution. If we are truly serious about clean energy, will we still support coal mining in Kenya? Already we agree that Green House Gas must be reduced to the required level in order to tame the rising temperatures, but if we still argue that people should stop burning charcoal and save forests, while we allow them to burn coal and pollute air and increase the per capita emissions of the CO2, then we are just contradicting ourselves. Challenges are still there and valid. Lets think of Clean Development Mechanisms and forget about charcoal and coal.

  12. In my view, matters relating to environment are very critical and wasting time in salvaging the situation will only put us at a higher risk. This issue can be tackled from the grass root by starting with children in primary schools. Imagine a scenario whereby all primary school children or at least 60% of them planting trees and taking care of them until they finish primary school. This would really improve the national forest cover. Policy makers have played their role in putting up the right policies to guide the authorities but the implementation is something close to a joke. Illegal logging is increasing rampantly yet very little is done to curb this. My take on this is still based on educating the young one on the importance of planting and protecting trees at a tender age and once we inculcate this in them there would be some hope for the future.

    • Jeff, I truly agree with you. It is needless and meaningless waiting for the government to do something. We should all act and do something. Our unmaking is piling all on the shoulders of the government then we wait to see and criticize. Each person must feel part and parcel of the environment. It is our human environment and it would be unfortunate to allow others to degrade it at will. Share more on this issue. It is very interesting.

      • I think as communication scholars we can also play a critical role by coming up with strategic communication campaigns aimed at sensitizing people on the importance of forest cover in our planet for instance. Today the KWS has issued an advance warning that due to the current drought situation being experienced, there are chances that human – wildlife conflicts are likely to be on an increase and people should prepare themselves since wild animals may venture ought of the habitat in search of pasture and water thus endangering both their lives and those of humans. If we take care of our eco-system then chances are there would be less of this occurrences. It’s up to us as communication scholars therefore to take up the challenge and also find ways of impacting the masses into action.

    • John Ngigi K50/88442/2016

      The logging of trees from our forests may soon be a thing of the past if measures are put into place . This will be achieved by the use of clean energy and use of eco friendly technology in the industrial parks.
      Recently the ministry of mining made discoveries of coal mines in kwale and Kitui counties . Coal is a source of enegry that can be used to replace firewood in our jikos and is more effective. The mining of coal can greatly reduce the cutting down of trees for charcoal and firewood. Kenya power is setting standards right by the use of congret made poles which have replaced the wooden ones . This are great advance in our society to curbing tree cutting and avoiding climate change effects.

      • Alternative source of energy is on high gear in the developed world. As more African countries continue to discover more fossil fuel in their respective regions, the western world is slowly moving away from that into renewable clean energy. Africa should also be embracing this. few years ago the use of kerosine gas in house holds as the main source of energy was high but this has greatly reduced as more people turned to LPG. The same can be the case on certain fuels that are known to damage the ozone layer leaving the human race under threat. The wars on fuel are almost coming to an end and the wars on water and food may be here soon.

    • I remembered a certain quote I read, that we are struggling to leave a better planet for our children but failing to leave better children for our planet. Think about it if the young ones are not educated against what they see now they will continue with the same trend maybe worse of failing to take care of the environment. Deep thought here!

  13. Elizabeth Njuguna k50/87543/2016

    Environment preservation is a personal responsibility.Every Kenyan has the mandate of making sure that the environment is protected.Much we blame the government for having not put up effective mitigation measures in environment conservation, every Kenyan should be at the forefront of protecting it thus creating a sense of partnership between the Kenyan government and the Kenyans themselves.

    • Wendy you are exactly right by saying that we should not always believe that the government should work on the environmental issues. It is all about us just as a scholar once supposedly affirmed, education gives us intelligence but does not make us good citizens. To be good citizens we must consider some social and moral norms that are necessary to persuade us about the common good and the environment.

    • I agree with you that we all have a stake in environmental conservation. We owe it to future generations to bequeath them a safe environment

    • I agree with you that we all have a stake in environmental conservation. We owe it to future generations to bequeath them a safe environment. Do you think kenyans care about the future generations?

    • Its true that we all have a stake in environmental conservation. We owe it to future generations to bequeath them a safe environment. Do you think Kenyans care about the future generations?

  14. Wendy Nashipae Kantai

    Well, This has been an issue since I remember. It’s sad it requires instant response and effective practical solutions. In my opinion since we cannot go around beating everyone who is involved in environment degradation we can atleast whip the arrogance out of them using awareness. It start with us not the government. Enlightening people will be an effective solution. We are enough on our own as citizens to bring an end to this problem and in this case environment education is our main sponsor. If we create a conscious in people through the awareness we will be steps ahead.

  15. The role of citizens unfortunately is becoming greater and greater by day in terms of environmental degradation. Slums in Nairobi specifically have challenges in dumping and dump sites. the rate at which urban dwellers generate garbage is faster than the rate at which this garbage is processed or disposed off at designated places. How then do we expect our environment to be habitable? How would aquatic animals survive in polluted waters because of human activities in our urban areas? These are the hard questions.

    • i agree with you Khalwale. Slums like Kibra have poor sanitation whereby we find they use the flying toilets to dispose their wastes.

      • @Jane, you said it all. Slum upgrade programs are unfortunately faced by resistance and looting meaning that we will continue consuming polluted air. I bet this must be connected to the untimely dry whether in Nairobi.

    • I agree with you. Organizations such as NEMA need to be proactive. They have the mandate to ensure the environment is protected. The problem is that most of the people who sit in that office are appointed by politicians and they are therefore blackmailed. Private developers building on riparian areas and getting away with it is just an example.

      • @Jeff, do you think Nema still has the teeth? Personally I feel it’s toothless especially because it’s roles overlap with those of county governments. Perhaps it’s time we thought of going national on universally important issues such as the environment.

    • They are hard questions that have answers. Come to think of countries that are more developed than Kenya, have larger populations yet their cities or dwellings are clean free of garbage. I think what is needed is adoption of proper waste management by looking at consumables. Look at the case of Rwanda a country that disallows polythene papers. It is such a baby step that made a whole difference. The country is cleaner and rarely do their sewage lines clog like they do in this city.

  16. Though the government acknowledges the issue of Climate Change, it has been reluctant to explore a number of technologies that could shield farmers from losses related to the adverse effects of climate change like biotechnology and the use GMO technology locally. Despite being the first country in the world to ratify the Cartegena protocol which later saw formulation of different legislation that gave birth to the National Bio safety Authority (NBA), an agency which governs safe application and use of biotechnology in the country, Kenya, finds it self lagging behind in adoption of biotechnology. GMO technology which has been planted and consumed in Africa (South Africa), for the last 20 years as food, as help serve farmers from losses associated with pest and diseases. It would be in order for government to offer consumers and farmers choices, in the bid of finding a mix of solution that can be used to save lives and ensure farmers realize their potential yield. We have many hungry mouths to feed, the politics around GMO is not helping, Let’s adopt safe and proven technologies that have been tried and test and save ourselves from effects of climate change. In any case Sp to 80% of maize consumed in South Africa is GM maize, the same maize technology which Kenya is sluggishly adopting.

    • Dear Evelyn, the most effective posts are those that are short and readable. Try to make your long stories short and likeable to bloggers. The secret is that people do not have a lot of time and the faster they get your message the better!

    • Its unfortunate to see how sluggish battle on environmental degradation is. The bodies, which currently appear weak or ineffective, should, in collaboration with other stakeholders, ensure that the existing laws are implemented and a culture of environmental sustainability is impressed on the general population.

  17. The depletion of the ozone layer is alarming. Every day there are new industries emerging and less measures to deal with pollution caused by the waste products from these industries. While industrialization has come in handy in job creation, it has contributed much on pollution. The gases emitted for example from these industries react with the air and forms the ozone layer and this results into acidic rain as well as preventing ultraviolet radiations reaching the earth. it is therefore the role of the National Environmental bodies to ensure that industries take measures to curb pollution.

    • I agree with you JANE WAMATHU that industries have brought about both the negatives and the positives . On its negative effect its not only on air pollution but it has also brought about water and soil pollution because these industries release their wastes to water bodies hence endangering both man and animals. This has been the main cause of cancer in our country. It has also caused decrease of aquatic animals and led to luxurious growth of aquatic plants hence, creating a difficulty in navigating our water ways.

      • True Joyce. A very good example is the case in Mombasa where a company was disposing waste products that contained sulfur and it affected many people. The paint we use in our houses too has sulfur and other carcinogenic gasses.

        • very true Joyce. There is too much pollution on carcinogenic gases. example the use of sulfur fuel in paints which causes cancer

    • Elizabeth Njuguna k50/87543/2016

      Jane you are right that the National environment bodies should come up with policies that will help in curbing pollution,however, according to my view, the ministry of education should consider introducing subjects in schools that covers on how ozone layer can be preserved.

    • Its unfortunate to see how sluggish battle on environmental degradation is. The bodies, which currently appear weak or ineffective, should, in collaboration with other stakeholders, ensure that the existing laws are implemented and a culture of environmental sustainability is impressed on the general population.

  18. I think the average Kenyan isn’t patriotic. Patriotism doesn’t entail being at the battle front as a KDF soldier. Love of one’s country means to rise up and do something; Planting a single tree is one of them, and not littering Nairobi river is another. But we have become highly individualistic to the detriment of the greater good. When bad men combine, good people should associate (Edmund Burke). Let all good men arise and show love for their country.

    • James i agree with you. i wonder where the Wangari Mathai’s spirit disappeared to. The love for environment, has been compromised. for example, people cut trees but no longer replace them. No wonder we even experience shortage of water frequently

  19. Elizabeth Njuguna k50/87543/2016

    I firmly believe that environment preservation should be an individual responsibility.I think one of the mitigation measures the government should include is sensitizing all citizen on the importance of preserving our environment.I believe that so many people ,especially in the grassroots level lack the knowledge of how important our environment is.

    • Elizabeth I beg to differ with you that government has done its part. It had even introduced the tree plating days but the individuals fail to perform their roles. In fact it has included these measures in the school curriculum. For example, in secondary school it is almost contained in all the subjects especially the environment sciences e.g, geography and pure sciences e.g, chemistry, physics and biology

      • Elizabeth i love the way you have put your opinion. it is an individuals responsibility to ensure that the environment. After all it affects all of use. However the government has played its part. Remember when Nairobi river was so clean thanks to the Late Honorable Michuki, it only lasted for a few days. What do you think about the litter bins all over town but people hardly use them?

        • I mean the it is an individuals responsibility to ensure the environment well conserved. after all it affects all of us.

    • I cant agree more. If all of us, make it our individual responsibility to better our surroundings through planting trees , proper wastage disposal as well as adhering to proper agricultural practices that do not harm the environment, positive change will be rapid. Pollution is caused by individuals.

    • Individuals responsibility will only be successful of schools take lessons on environmental preservation seriously. This should start all the way down from preschool.

  20. The government of Kenya has tried in its efforts to increase the forest cover in various parts of the country. Two years ago, Mt Elgon in Bungoma county was among regions that benefited through a World Bank grant where farmers were funded to plant trees as well as raise tree nurseries. However, the same government counters its efforts through allowing illegal logging of indigenous trees and proposals such as construction of dams that will limit access to water in some parts of the country. This definitely has adverse outcomes as eventually such areas will slowly turn to deserts.

    • Anne i agree with you on the first point but disagree on the second that the construction of dams will limit the access of water in some parts of the country. The reason behind the construction of a dam in Meru was meant to increase the usefulness of water in other parts of the country e.g Nairobi. This means therefore that all the water will not be channeled to the dam and remember once the dam is full their will be an overflow hence, people in those regions around Meru and Yala can still access water

  21. Halo Sir,

    I am reporter with The East African newspaper- Nation Media Group and also your student of Media and Ethics at SoJ-UoN.
    I am doing a story on Science of Drought and seeing that you are an associate member of the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation, I wanted your view on the current drought that has hit the region i.e parts of Uganda, Kenya, Malawi etc.

    What has happened to the rains, and the water levels.

    What has shifted, to make this drought so severe.

    What needs to be done, maybe in terms of climate adaptation to avoid a repeat of what we are experiencing now.

    Thanks.

    Will appreciate your speedy feedback.

    • Maryanne, I felt that this question is very important for all our readers and I have decided to handle it on this platform. What has suddenly happened to our rains? Why are there long droughts somewhere and storms elsewhere? What has really changed? The carbon emission in terms of Greenhousegas such as CO2, Methane, and other GHG gases are the known cause of climate change so far, a part from natural causes. The more we emit more carbon and pollutants into the atmosphere, the more such gases form GHG that prevents some of the sun radiation from reflecting back into the space as before. As such, the heat from the sun accumulates on the earth surface heating it more and heating the air and water. Hot and dry air do not form clouds and there is no regular rainfall. If it does then the rain can come as a torrential downpour that will again destroy plants and carry away good soil. Such increase of temperature is what is known as global warming. Climatologists or Weather experts cannot predict the weather with precision as they used to do. Remember when they predicted El-Nino in Kenya in 2015? It did not happen not because they lied to us but the climate variability has made it difficult to predict the weather. Farmers are caught up in the uncertainty and tragedy. Farming is no longer business as usual…as advanced technology is required. Water tables are no longer the same. Forests are threatened and risks are so high…and some forests will be no more. The natural ecosystem is faced with threats coming from excessive temperatures. Such natural cycles that used to determine rain clouds are no longer reliable. Desertification is eminent in some parts of the world.
      It is ridiculous that the rich keep on emitting carbon and methane into the atmosphere. It beats the logic that our leaders have no clue as they have no clear policies to deal with climate change and adaptation strategies while they waste resources in other things such as buying vehicles, traveling with aero-planes, and purchasing industrial commodities. Still we are exited about the Turkana Oil field known as Tullow Oil Drilling…well it might add more to the revenue but…how about the mitigation policies? Are we really committed? Thinking of mitigation is a long-term strategy. What is now under debate is adaptation and climate resilient development strategies. Scientists tell us that for the coming 200 years there will be nothing much to do to reverse the climate. We must think also of how to fit in it if we cannot fix it. The harm has been caused by the very industries that manufacture the commodities that we use everyday. How can we now stop China from producing? How can we stop the smog tragedy in New Delhi in India? How can we convince the producers to adapt their economy to clean energy? Where do we start from here? Remember there shall be COP 22 in Marrakech in Morocco this year and this month. What will be brought to table is something again more interesting…who should pay for the damages and losses caused by climate change? It is now a question of justice other than mere rhetoric. There is more…

      • Scientists think that climate change is happening a head of schedule. Are they only alarmists? Do you observe some abnormalities in your environment?

        • Record highs are more than record lows. Global temperatures exceed what scientists had expected and the speed of the change is so high that ecosystems are forced either to adapt or get destroyed.
          There are observed variables such as storms, unreliable rainfalls, Arctic ice melting, Sea level increasing, long droughts, heat waves, chilly nights, and extremes.

  22. This topic leads me to thinking about the cross border pollution especially through wastes, the desert dust -cyclones what law has been put in place to deal with such issues? Again when we use bricks for construction don’t they have side effects ?

  23. Betty Too K50/88280/2016

    Climate change has affected most parts of country and especially farmers.In Mass media,weather stories are seem boring and not sellable.. However, considering huge following I believe that if Local media stations can run stories on effect of climate change or even features of affected persons and communities more often it can act as a wake up call. It will be top of our minds that we need to take good care of mother nature and she will take care of us in return

    • @Betty Too,i agree,media has concertrated much on political issues and entertainment than in other issues like environmental which is our topic of discussion.Media being the 4th estate should observe balancing of what it gives its audience.Climate change is very crical globally and much need to be told so that the public be aware of what to expect or do to avoid such experiences.Rivers have dried,plantation is not doing well due to lack of rains and strong sun rays are dorminating.Food is reducing each day due to lack of rains and unpredicted seasons.Through media,much advice and information can reach the audience

  24. There must be laws in place to protect the environment but most countries do not adhere to them. That is why you find developed countries allowing waste oil spillage into water bodies of developing countries without caring that they are intoxicating it. Another very common pollution is air where industrialized countries emit gases that not only affect them but also the non industrialized parts of the world. Laws are ignored.

    • Ann that is so true. As a country we seriously need to ensure that the bodies involved are active. Industrialization has both negative and positive impacts in that they provide employment but on the other hand there is a lot of pollution. I think NEMA should come in handy and reduce the rate of waste disposal in the country.

  25. Elizabeth Njuguna k50/87543/2016

    It is so evident that climate change has become a very great concern in our country.The president went to Morrocco two days ago to attend COP.The conference will focus on the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.I believe that Kenya being one of the signatories will help in combining efforts and help regulate the climate change.

  26. Many Kenyans prefer using vehicles to travel, no matter how short the distance is. The transport business is booming where a majority of Kenyans travel to work on these vehicles. . Furthermore, there are motorcycles in most parts of the country which offer transportation services. This in turn translates to the hectic traffic jams on the Kenyan roads especially getting into and out of town. The common factor in all the above is that they all require fuel to function. Burning this fuel gives catastrophic emissions that lead to climate change. These vehicles pollute the air massively. The gases emitted. The hours in which people spend on the traffic jam affects our climate change.

    • @Vivian, the plan to introduce a higher capacity buses or trams by Nairobi county government will address the issue of air pollution in the city. Nairobi and Thika are the leading towns in pollution, in Nairobi, it is caused by motor vehicles while in Thika it is mainly by industries. The new bus stations infrastructural plan will see a greater reduce of vehicles within the CBD. If these plans become successful then the problems you addressed will be solved.

  27. @Jane,bricks are made out of soil and sand.This is called soil pollution whereby good nutrients from the soil is spoiled.But again we need soil to make this bricks now that we want to have modern houses,if not bricks we need muddy houses to shelther.Some of this things cannot be avoided,i believe

  28. @Betty Too,i agree,media has concertrated much on political issues and entertainment than in other issues like environmental which is our topic of discussion.Media being the 4th estate should observe balancing of what it gives its audience.Climate change is very crical globally and much need to be told so that the public be aware of what to expect or do to avoid such experiences.Rivers have dried,plantation is not doing well due to lack of rains and strong sun rays are dorminating.Food is reducing each day due to lack of rains and unpredicted seasons.Through media,much advice and information can reach the audience

  29. The best example is here in Kenya.Nairobi river has been polluted through oil spillage and waste products into it.You cannot believe it is water but oil flowing.Now Anne,what can the media do to change this from happening?Or as a journalist,how can you help protect the country from such kind of pollution?

    • Write your comment here…Hesbon the media may not do much but I believe most media houses have CSRs, they can use the influence of media personalities to engage people in the cleaning of Nairobi River. The media should also shame the industries and estates who channel their waste to the river. The power the media have is so immense, they have the strongest voice in the country.

  30. ESTHER MUTHONI NJUGUNA

    K50/88712/2016

    It is the high time that the Meteorological Department of Kenya engages the public to create an awareness on climate change. additionally this will ensure that the public is involved in conservation which has a trickle down effect on the climate change. It is important to note that some non governmental organisation such as bees abroad which is passionate about beekeeping practices, has promoted sustainable environments through conservation of forests through this activities. furthermore the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2015, under goal number 15 emphasizes on the need of having a sustainable environment through managing forests. the government should therefore provide incentives to ensure that farmers promote this SDG.

    • Esther but the problem with this department is that they are now failing and they no longer give the right predictions of weather.

  31. The climate is certainly changing and it might be too late to do something about it or about our survival
    I don’t think it is too late. I agree that the findings by scientists is alarming but if we say that’s too late then it’s agreeing that we have failed and we should only wait for worst to happen in the next few decades. I believe that a bit of tree planting will change a lot, it will stop a lot of pollution, it will purify the air, it will stop soil erosion, it will bring rain. our future depends so much on the trees. It’s high the the governments be serious on afforestation.

  32. Marrakech COP 22 has ended with no concrete decision on pledges already made in the past about $ 100 Billion Green Climate Fund. The Meeting ended with fear about Donald Trump winning and his promise to veto the Paris Agreement. His threat not to collaborate with the rest of the world in combating climate change has created animosity in the COP 22. What is your take on this?

  33. Still some people live in denial and they are duped with delusion about climate change. This is a psychological problem. Such people are mentally incorrect. Even some scientists are living in this condition of being skeptical of the reality in the climate. On the opposite, there are others, the liberals, that blow it out of proportion and guess the apocalyptic end of humanity on earth. Global warming is a threat now and today. It exists and it is not a hoax! Any propaganda of denials that lead leaders to delusions is not very advisable.

    • Carbon emissions before, during and after industrialization are different. It is accurate that scientists have measured carbon concentrations in the atmosphere and it is true that during and after industrialization, more parts per million of carbon have been increased to unprecedented levels. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased through human activity and the survey is correct. Global warming exists and it is human induced.

  34. Climate change is perhaps the most considerable environment challenge of our time. It poses a great challenge to sustainable progress globally. It affects eco systems, water resources, food, health, coastal zones, industrial activities and human growth. Research says Kenya needs about US $500 million per year to address current and future climate change effects by 2016. It is predicted this figure will rise to US $1-2 billion per year by 2030. Unless effective mitigation and adaptation systems are immediately instituted, the combined effects of climate change impacts will hinder realisation of targeted goals in Vision 2030.

    • Nairobi weather is behaving in a very peculiar way these days. After a very long drought, so many parts of Nairobi are experiencing chilly weather. Drizzles, heat, cold, wind, clouds and other aspects that look unusual. It is important that we share our experiences on this platform. Also share what is happening with human health, animal health, plants health and others.

  35. Climate change is the most suitable word to use instead of global warming. Many lay people may not believe you if you say global warming yet the temperatures sometimes get too low. Climate change is about the climate variability and unpredictability in the weather forecast. We need to tell stories of what is happening in every corner of the planet and to do this, we must get the right communicative terms…old persons and children may not understand the scientific and technical terms, yet they are all aware that something is not correct with the climate…share.

    • What is climate change in Kiswahili? Who can tell…?

    • @Peter, what you are raising is important and a key aspect in communication- messaging. Identifying key messages and words to use across each section of the target audience is necessary in getting the message out and in the end create understanding. It can be as simple as what you are suggesting-which word communicates, is it global warming or climate change.

      • Dear Evelyn:
        How best can we build resilience among the local people? Communication is essential. The use of ICT mechanism to create more awareness and engage the people on extreme weather events. Avoid creating something new but rely on traditional systems of communication. Allow meaningful participation. Use icons known to the local people. Make software applications simple, understandable and easy for the local people to understand. Use symbolic language that are easy to send the message. Use art for easy communication and pay attention to the culture and beliefs of the people. Respect traditions of the local communities. Make sure that you are not creating new problems. Use the weather occurrences that people are familiar with. Use local community radio or groups or churches…or NGOs…that are credible and popular.

  36. Whoever thinks that climate change is only a concern for farmers is mistaken. It is about each one of us today, tomorrow and the the generation to come. In first place, it is about our economy, our health, our access to food, our property, environment and generations to come.

  37. Those who argue that Kenya is food secure are misrepresenting facts. In reality such people are short-sighted and should be properly informed. Already in Kilifi and Kitui there families staggering with access to food. It is not a question of the availability but accessibility of food that makes a country food secure. Kenya is food insecure due to climate change… look at price of food and other commodities out there!

    • It’s true that climate change is one of the reason Kenya is experiencing food shortage. However, our farming practices are still so inefficient, a factor that hugely affects productivity. Farmers should be encouraged to use improved seeds, and apply manure or fertilizer in their farms. This will be the first step to providing a solution and feeding the country.

      • I fully agree to this sentiment. Actually, this is not the season for long rains. Nairobi has been experiencing some rains, over-flooding, low temperatures after heat waves. Met experts say that such rains shall be short-lived. The projections are unpredictable and another drought may follow soon. Kenya is now one of the heavy food importers. Why is this so? Share more Evelyn.

  38. RWANDA STANLEY K50/81838/2015

    I was amazed at how climate has really changed. For close to 2 years now, a river in Tharaka Nithi County (Thingithu river) has been completely drying, something that has never happened since time immemorial. It is a worrying trend, seeing people dig wells in a permanent river just to access water. Seasons have changed too: characterized by delayed rains that a times are conspicuously short. In fact, Some farmers harvest nothing in some seasons. had Kenya been food secure, the prices of the food items would be relatively affordable to everyone. But because productions have gone low, prices must go high. This is the effect of climate change.

    • Stanley, this is a very important information you are sharing on this platform. Tell us what the county is doing about it? What do the local people say about the new reality? Is there attempt to build more resilience or not? Great data.

  39. How best can we build resilience among the local people? Communication is essential. The use of ICT mechanism to create more awareness and engage the people on extreme weather events. Avoid creating something new but rely on traditional systems of communication. Allow meaningful participation. Use icons known to the local people. Make software applications simple, understandable and easy for the local people to understand. Use symbolic language that are easy to send the message. Use art for easy communication and pay attention to the culture and beliefs of the people. Respect traditions of the local communities. Make sure that you are not creating new problems. Use the weather occurrences that people are familiar with. Use local community radio or groups or churches…or NGOs…that are credible and popular.

    • It is true that in Kenya local communities have lost trust in institutions including the existing means of communication. This is a serious threat to building more resilience, capacity and reducing vulnerability among populations. People have lost trust in their political leaders and there is no way politicians can lead effectively in disseminating climate change resilience policies. What is your opinion on this?

  40. Africa is the most vulnerable part of the world to climate change. I still believe that Africans live in a world of innocence in which the blame is the other one. We are not ready to admit the reality and acknowledge our capacity to do something about the climate change. Also we have low level of confidence in our systems, our brains, our leaders and institutions. We must change this negativity immediately.

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