Group photo during the Tharaka Nithi County Consultative Workshop.
“Climate change should no longer been seen as merely a challenge but as an opportunity” Mwenda Mithika, the Executive Director of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance has said.
Mithika Mwenda has emphasized the cross cutting nature of climate Change discourse and the opportunities that there are in this growing area of development. “Climate change is no longer an isolated scientific & environmental issue it has dimensions in all human development indicators” Mwenda has said in his opening remarks.
He went on to elaborate that “Climate change is a poverty issue, it has exacerbated poverty in the world and things in the developing are much worse. It is equally an Equity issue, climate change has disproportionately affected those poor countries and vulnerable sectors of the society and it also a justice issue, in the understanding that the problem was caused by rich people & the poor are mostly affected.”
Mithika Mwenda went on to point out that, “Climate change is equally a humanitarian issue with many catastrophes and disasters that have been caused by climate events; on the ground it is a food security issue, a water issue, forest issue. Economically climate change has stunted growth of some economies while big economies fear cutting emissions will affect them. It is for this reason it becomes a political issue as it is currently shaping international diplomatic and political interactions.”
Michael Thiauri representing Trocaire insisted on the need to fast track the formulation of the policies so as to anchor the partnerships with the County. He also encouraged the representatives present to look at the opportunity to formulate the laws and policies for the county as a responsibility to give back to the community they come from. He also challenged the leaders present to shun away from the culture of “killing” pests, weeds and the push to increase productivity at the expense of enriching the soil in order to boost production of food. He rooted to agro-ecological approach to farming and conservation of the environment.
Morris Mwiti 0f Caritas Meru, urged the representatives present to build necessary alliances to foster response to climate change.
Representatives of the Tharaka Nithi County Assembly; Hon Margaret Gitari and Hon. Njue Njagi expressed the commitment of the Assembly to work with partners for the service of the people of Tharaka Nithi. “We are prepared to deliver all that pertains to the enforcement of the correct laws and policies for our people.” He said.
“It’s the responsibility of government to make effective laws, and Tharaka Nithi will not be left behind, we shall become the model County in natural resource management that other counties will come to benchmark from.” Hon Margaret Gitari , the chair of environmental Committee at the County Assembly said in her welcoming remarks.
Mithika Mwenda, who was recently recognized as one of the 100 most influential persons in Climate Change Policy in the world, officially opened the consultative workshop and wished the participants fruitful deliberations.
By Mike O'maera.