ADVENTURES IN TANA RIVER COUNTY, KENYA.
In my time as a young person I found myself in the County of Tana River, Kenya where I was intrigued by how warm and welcoming the community was. What fascinated me was how the community had a jelled and blended experience of the colonial times and environmental effects some manifested in terms of climate change effects. It was not until I had an encounter with this community that I had a different outlook of climate change affairs different from the ones I had had at policy level engagement at COPs and other available platforms. I quickly recollected the words of one of my associates “Climate Change will not be solved at COPS”.
Pamba community highlighting their conflicts.
As a young person having been under the bossom of the capital’s finest climate change experts ranging from governments to civil society groups, I was thirsty to get the climate change perspectives from the community on the ground who are women and youth. It was at this moment that I encountered the community of lake shakababo who are holding on to the oxbow lake as a source of livelihood. An interesting history this oxbow lake has, one the community here did not hesitate to share with me over a plate of tilapia.
Youth of lake shakababo community.
You see some 10 years ago there was no lake shakababo. It was all dried up. The County Government of Tana River and the community stepped in an unblocked the flow of water allowing the lake to revive itself to its original form. To think that this was before June 5th 2021 when the UN launched the UN decade of restoration, a community and their local government set out to implement the concept of ecosystem restoration which today supports the livelihoods of young men in the community of shakababo. These are the success stories that need to be supported. Today the lake is not only a source of food through fish but it is home to crocodiles and hippos.
As I ventured deep into the county, I came across baomo and bondeni communities. These communities not only struggle with farming (need not to explain the rainfed agriculture concept and the ASAL county concept) but are at bigger threats of human wildlife conflict. You see the county is home to the kora national park and therefore home to a rich variety of wildlife. During times of drought and famine the animal tend to move to the human settlement causing disruption to the communities. In late 2021 the county was flagged as one of the drought stricken counties in Kenya. With the effects of climate change looming around I would like to know how that would turn out.
Community in bondeni/baomo area explaining their challenges in relation to climate change.
I could not complete my tour of the county without a visit to the delta community. As a trained environmentalist I had to be fascinated by the rich biodiversity within this community given the rich jell and blend of three different ecosystems that converge at the delta. Indeed the community did not hesitate to share with me how the mafuriko rains helped shape the landscape of the Tana Delta giving birth to the present day shirikisho. This was later reinforced by the El Nino rains.
Kalota community taking up initiative to address climate change.
I was shocked to realize that the coastal community in the Tana Delta now was under threat of food security among other challenges that are imposed by climate change. These challenges if not effectively addressed will continue to have impacts years from now. Young people need to be drivers of change within such communities.
I have never met such a driven community in my life who have decided to take lead on ecosystem restoration through climate action with young people at the center of it and the local government backing them up.
by. Dolphine Magero, Kenya.
NATURAL RESOURCE BASED CONFLICT IN ULANGA COMMUNITY DUE TO EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
I live in Southern part of Tanzania at a district known as Ulanga ,which
many previous years it comprise dominantly peasant farmers, the district is
highly fertile and boost semi equatorial climate.
My family is both farmers and myself after high school I returned back to
my village and decide to be goat and sheep header.
Just few years ago the climate and weather in our village start to
deteriorate including unpredictable rain, prolong droughts,rivers start to
dry and tropical diseases become rampant. Then we experience massive
migration of cattle headers from distant tribes who migrate to our
district in quest for pastures and water from our main river known as Zulu.
Suddenly the conflict between farmers and cattlemen became rampant since
cattle headers feed their livestock in farmers land and both fight for
river water which now became scare to share for both Farmer and livestock ,
due to conflict people lost their lives and also cattle died and rise of
intense hostility between Farmer and cattlemen.
Since I’m youth of 35 years old native of Ulanga district and eager for
SDG and Environment activist and with modern mind I decided to create youth
Good Relation committee which comprise youth including ladies from both
sides we created Action led Group to seek solutions to our problem and seek
Government interaction and later Elders endorsement to create favorable
bylaws and policies on Resources usage and management for both benefit and
I’m the Secretary of the group whereby we sit dawn jot dawn source of our
conflict, then Government local office offer clarification and
sensitization on district map,water laws,land laws and role of Government
on resources management, we youth we planned twice a month meeting to visit
various villages to make sensitization and invite each village influential
elders to review our plans and seek diplomatic way forward on grazing land,
agriculture land and water uses and resource management all in respect for
peace, co existence, sustainability and in respect of Government
Though climate change is still biting in our villages but peace now prevail
and we are working toward proper resources usage and long and short term
climate change management and awareness program as we believe we youth are
the Agent of change.
Erick Liyumba, Tanzania
HOW CARBON EMISSIONS IS AFFECTING THE GARDEN CITY OF NIGERIA.
Since 2016, black soot has been falling from the sky, scaring and angering residents of the oil hub who claim nothing is being done to protect their health.
Abuloma Covered with Black
“You hang your clothes and before you know it, they become black. You step on your floor, everywhere is black,” Belema Grace, a resident and environmentalist.
There is need for us to regularly monitor the quality of air in Port Harcourt and Burning tyres for scrap copper and illegal oil refineries have both been blamed for the residue. I will suggest to stop the source, also artisanal refineries contributes a lot to the problem.
Some tips on how to survive the soot.
1. Clean your room/house regularly.
2. Change your beddings more often if you leave your windows open. The same applies to your curtains.
3. Drink lots of water and take lots of vitamin C enriched foods/fruits. You might want to invest in vitamin C supplements too.
4. Ensure you raise your voice and demand action from the government, keep doing so until they find a lasting solution.
How human activities are affecting the environment.
The high humidity during early hours makes the air heavy with soot and it’s risky for you while engaging in any cardiovascular exercise.
“When I brush my teeth in the morning and try to clear my throat, I normally notice a dark phlegm and the same applies when I try to clear my nostrils,” Grace added. Burning tyres for scrap copper and illegal oil refineries have both been seen as part of the major causes of the soot. Oil revenue is central to Nigeria’s economy, accounting for some 70% of government earnings and 90 per cent of foreign exchange. lamented that for about 7 years, residents had been breathing soot.
I and my team Advocacy visit to the Rivers state House of Assembly committee chairman on environment. Honorable Dumle Maol. 20th January,2022.
by. Nwankwo Emeka Johnson, Nigeria
How We Operate
Coordinating the Green Youth Climate Fund institution
The institution coordinates through a five piece section as follows