TIME TO LISTEN TO THOSE ON THE GROUND
“Sisi ndio tunaishi hapa Korogocho, tuulizwe shida za hapa”;
a woman from Korogocho said in a baseline survey meeting on climate adaptation plan which was held in Bega kwa bega, Baba dogo Nairobi. The meeting included government officials (local and national) and climate change expert residents of Korogocho men, women and youths. The activity drew realities that the community is more than ready to participate in any activities in the area that would affect their lives.
Kenya has a National Climate Change Adaptation plan that require all the 47 counties to have their own based on the needs of their people. This will help reduce climate change vulnerability in the country. Korogocho is an informal settlement in Nairobi characterized by very simple lifestyle and high poverty levels that make the community less resilient to climate changes. Future Yetu by Hope Raisers Initiative is a project based in Korogocho and its aim is to create a link between these communities and Nairobi County to enable them to come up with an adaptation plan as required.
During the survey meeting, the residents gave their views, pointed out issues and concerns on climate change. Images to derived climate changes and adaptations were given to them and from their personal experiences as well. Although they seemed to know climate change is happening and affecting their lives now they had no clear understanding on the concept and importance of climate adaptation.
The survey meeting had mixed views due to differences in age, religion and professions of the residents. Interestingly the residents seemed not to agree even in common problem such as waste management as to whether the dumping site should be move to Ruai where it is supposed to be or should be remain. The fact that some members present work in the site where they earn their daily bread while on the other hand women especially wanted the dumping site to be moved as it is risky to the health and well-being for all. The common ground for them was children and their future, that is all they live for and all they want is a better tomorrow. They are willing to compromise anything as long as their children will live better and decent lives.
Among the other issues they pointed out could help them reduce climate change vulnerability were; leadership, poverty, water, food, child-defilement, housing air pollution waste management, security, employment and diseases.
The residents seemed to have lost hope in the government to ever bring developments in the area, however the youths are ready to take action on climate change adaptation, as they want their voices to be heard and their views taken into consideration, since they are energetic and have brilliant innovative ideas and solutions that can help solve the crisis.
Reflexions by Elisabeth Njoroge Wambui, artist and environmental enthusiast.
Assistant project lead Future Yetu, Hope Raisers Initiative