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.
Tharaka Nithi County, also known as TNC has two ecological zones:The highlands (upper zone) comprise of Maara and Chuka which receive adequate rainfall for agriculture.
The semi-arid (lower zone) covers Tharaka and receives less rainfall suitable for livestock production, This zone is characterized by poor methods of farming and soil conservation, charcoal burning and overgrazing that have left the earth bare and rocky. The sloping areas have experienced uncontrolled soil erosion, which has resulted in deep gullies across the landscape especially in Igamba Ngombe and Tharaka areas.
The drainage pattern consists of rivers and streams that have been rendered dry by human activity around the riverine areas. Excess sand harvesting in the lower regions and continuous tree cutting along river banks for charcoal and other activities have left most of the rivers and streams exposed and ultimately dry up due to overuse and misuse of the riverine resources.
PACJA with support from Trocaire under the UKAM project has worked with three Counties of Kitui, Embu and Tharaka Nithi governments to scale up their response to climate change through responsive legislation and policy. This is in addition to the practical demonstration of ways in which to practice sustainable agriculture and boost food security while conserving the environment and at the same time contributing to mitigating climate change.
At Igamba Ngombe Demonstration Farm, members of the project and local farmers are supported to learn modern and innovative ways on land use and the production of food through methods that conserve and promote the regeneration of resources for instance agro-ecology.
In Tharaka Nithi County, the legislative process has made some strides, at times the process has stalled due to various challenges but the push from PACJA has sustained the momentum and build up is heading towards the adoption and passing of the necessary legislation for the purposing of enhancing the Climate change response within the County.
This monitoring and evaluation visit revealed the progress made and some of the achievements that the project has recorded, in addition t the various challenges inherent in the project.
In the last few months, Youths from around the world have been in involved in various activities to demand for climate justice and climate action. The growing movement is now in Africa, with young people taking to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to place pressure on their governments to increase ambition on climate change.
The youth are the back bone of the nation and can change the future of the society with their well-being and courageous behaviour, as they constitute the majority of the population in many countries, and have an increasingly strong social and environmental awareness, that has the power to transform our societies towards a low-carbon and climate resilient future.
Young people aren’t just the leaders of tomorrow, they’re making huge changes to the world around them, right now. Whether it’s through social media or ‘hashtag’ activism, writing online about a cause, or taking part in a protest, there are many ways that young people can ‘be the change’ and make a difference to the world.
This article highlights 6 strategic ways youths across the world can help protect their home – the world.
- Use online platforms to reach others.
There’s never been a greater time in history for reaching out to millions of people around the world. You’ve probably seen how a single Twitter hashtag can create massive social awareness. What hashtags can you contribute to, or even create? You can use your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts to spread awareness about climate change and to discuss how you’re helping solve the problem.
- Talk about it
Talk more about climate change even if you don’t have all the answers. That’s where creativity and solutions come from. And that’s what will help our leaders to realize that climate change is an important issue for current and future voters, and be bound to do something about it.
- Collaborate with others.
Young people must continue to take part in intergovernmental climate change processes across the globe, for quick global effects. More collaborative efforts are crucial to tackling climate change by spreading its awareness among the people and working closely with governments to ensure policy implementations.
- Partner with government.
Elected leaders want to hear from their constituents and what they’re interested in. However, they can’t tackle poverty or climate change singlehandedly, what they really want is to know what they can personally do about it. Write to them, or even ask for a meeting with them, and show them what you think they should be focusing on.
- Buy less stuff.
Buying less not only cuts down on plastic packaging that is clogging our oceans, it also reduces your carbon footprint and puts fewer greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere. If you’re a regular user of plastic water bottles, invest in a reusable bottle. If you’re a frequent consumer of straws, opt against them (reusable straws are an option!).
As a Youth Volunteer, you will help advance peace and sustainable development either in your own country or in another country around the globe. You will help people to lead healthier and safer lives and communities to be able to better address present and future challenges. To start with, focus on how you can help your local area or a cause within your country.
The Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria (CSDevNet), a coalition of NGOs, says access to portable water is a human right and therefore nobody should be denied of the right.
Dr Ibrahim Choji, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of CSDevNet, who made this known in Abuja, cautioned that no one should be left behind.
Choji, while speaking on the backdrop of the World Water Day, which was celebrated March 22, said attention should be focused on the importance of water.
“Sustainable Development Goal 6 remains unequivocally clear that water should be `for all by 2030.
“This implies leaving no Nigerian behind in the race for water.
“Water is vital for survival and, alongside sanitation helps protect public and environmental health. Our bodies, our cities and our industries, our agriculture and our ecosystems all depend on it.”
He called on all stakeholders including civil society and faith-based organisations to work together and adhere to key behaviours that strengthen Nigeria’s capabilities to deliver permanent and accountable access to water.
“This year’s theme -`Leaving no one behind’ – adapts the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.
“Beyond the November 2018 emergency declaration on water by the Nigerian government, CSDevNet believes that the water crisis in Nigeria constitutes an invitation for newer and innovative ways of ensuring water security for all Nigerians.
“The equitable and sustainable management of all the country’s water resources remains a credible key to achieving a prosperous Nigeria as there is no doubt that we are blessed with a blue economy.”
Choji said that CSDevNet was advocating for the implementation of new and innovative financing mechanisms by governments, the private sector and development organisations to meet the SDG 6 targets.
He said that for innovative financing of water and sanitation in Nigeria: CSDevNet was proposing the establishment of Water Banks based on domestic resource mobilisation like pension funds, insurance companies using repayable finance to bridge the financing gap.
“A National Water Financing Facility, which will serve as a mechanism for domestic resource mobilisation for the Water, Sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector with characteristics of pooled investment projects.
“This requires a good governance framework and opportunity for blending private capital with public funding to promote pro-poor policies, blended funding, commercial financing, private equity; and special taxes such as water tax.”
Choji said that achieving universal access to water in Nigeria called for intensive capacity building.
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