July 20, 2010


In May 2009 a group of young people under the banner of the Nature Kenya Youth Committee set off for Mt Kenya to plant trees. Having received support from the KCB foundation the aim was to plant 8,000 seedlings and nurture them to growth. Enthusiastic that this would make a difference to the fast deteriorating mountain, young people planted trees with much vigour and vitality.

Together with community members the trees were planted one long cold May weekend when the mountain spewed forth frost. Camping out near the mountain at the Nature Kenya Mt Kenya offices, they braved the weather well knowing in their minds that this was a sacrifice worth making.

A year later the trees have grown, of course some have withered and died away but many others stand tall and strong with promise. The community group has scouts amongst themselves who look after the trees and make sure that they are not tampered with. Livestock used to graze on this stretch sometime back but that is not the case anymore.

It was a great moment to be back here a year later,to see the trees growing, to see the progress and know that I was a part of all these.It was like seeing your child stand up and walk,like watching a little bird fly away into the vast expansive skies,a nostalgia so overwhelming………

Olea Africana and Gravillea Robusta species in particular did very well and have the highest survival rate.In the nook and crevice of these success stories are however dissappointments and failures,some trees have died due too too much water,and some have dried up because of the extremely cold weather conditions.

What shall we do about those which didn’t survive?We shall plant others intheir stead and make sure they too pick up.The community members are willing to continue with this, they well understand the importance of this resource and they will not let it waste away.Some talk of days gone by when Mt Kenya was Mt Kenya,whole and unadulterated, but that is no longer the case. No doubt that the Mt Kenya glaciers are fast melting away; it can only be because our climate is changing through natural factrors but mostly through our own actions,such as deforestation and all.We are all determined to go an extra mile,take the one single step and ensure Mt Kenya thrives.

Looking back, the ‘disastrous’ Climate talks in Copenhagen may not be anything to write home about but one lesson much too well learnt must be that something has to be done, not through the complicated negotiations and conference rooms of the UNFCCC but through our own small actions. We can find solutions right here. In the long run this may well be the vehicle through which solid decisions are taken on climate change issues.

Young people are making a difference; they are all the change the world will ever need,not climate change.
By Winnie Asiti
Climate Activist



  1. Hilarious!!!!
    Making a difference is the only way to change the society.

  2. Winnie, you are such an inspiration.
    Grace has just blogged your blog in her new blog: Healthy Blogs: http://gmwaura.blogspot.com/2010/07/kenyan-climate-youth-8000-trees-in-mt.html

  3. Fanastic, planting trees is a beautiful idea that will have an impact for generations. Great to hear that people are working in Kenyan communities to make a positive, tangible difference to the environment.

    Lewis, UKYCC

  4. AYICC Kenya - you're incredible, and inspiring to all of us in the youth climate movement.

    Winnie, your words speak the truth; while our role includes pushing negotiators at the highest level, we won't get anywhere unless we realise that we have the ability to make a difference on our own, in our own communities, through being agents of change. We must help individuals to understand why they should alter their behaviour to save our environment, and show them how to make this transition.

    Love and aroha,

    Rachel, NZYD

  5. @ Lewis, we are encouraged by your words. It would be fantasitc to have a guest blog from UKYCC on our blog, let me know if its possible.

  6. Thanks y'all.I am happy that this inspired someone and that gives me much joy.There are many youth out there who work hard each day to make a difference but there stories are never heard,I hope this inspires them to share all those success stories and do even more....

    Thanks for the encouragement.We at AYICC Kenya will strive to do our best to make a difference.....At the end of the day we are the change we desire and only us can make it happen.