November 10, 2011

The African Youth Climate Justice Caravan- Winnie's Diary

Kick off Concert in Nairobi-7th August Memorial Park

Its early noon when the concert kicks off. The atmosphere is rife with anticipation.The concert goes far beyond expectation, there are so many people and close to 10,000 petitions have been collected by the time the concert come to an end.

The Botswanan trio just blew it away with their performance which was punctuated with wild screams, reminds one of the world renowed' The gos must be carzy'. Achieng' Abura is cheered wildly as she explains the relevance of the campaign and why it is everybody's responsibility to take action and address climate change issues. It starts with individual, she summarizes. Juliani the Youth Climate Ambassador brings down the curtains on the concert with his energetic moves and powerful lyrics. I dance away to the tune of his climate music, its simply irresistible! What a concert......I can’t wait for the Dar es Salaam Concert.

Day One-Nairobi to Arusha
Its early morning and we are all ready to board the buses and leave for Tanzania. We have been waiting for this and finally the day has come, we are here! We leave Nairobi quite late but our spirits are not at all dampened and we look forward to a really fantastic day on the road. We are all happy and expectant aboard our colourfully branded trucks ‘We Have Faith- Act Now for Climate Justice’. The caravan snakes its way along Mombasa Road, then we branch off to Kajiado heading to the Namanga border. At the border we are met by the Tanzania ‘We Have Faith’ Campaign Organizing Team.

We collect a good number of petitions at the border before we head out. It’s been a great start. Across the border we head to Snake Park, Arusha and we are pleasantly surprised to find dinner ready. A pleasant aroma fills the place as we head on to grab something for our stomachs. Later we go for a tour of the snake park taking in all the different varieties of snakes here, for a minute there I wonder what will happen when natural habitats for snakes are all gone due to climate change effects.

Day Two
Its 3am when the camp comes alive with people calling out for everyone to wake up. We are leaving camp at 5am in the morning. Outside there are heavy showers and we are all soaked up as we prepare to leave, breakfast, packed lunch then off we go. It’s a long day on the road with just brief stopovers. We get to camp at 11pm in the night, am on the chase car with the  last truck, we call it Nyota-Mt Gallopiggen.

The rest of the guys have already set up camp and had dinner, they have been to the beach as well, Kipepeo camp is next to the Indian Ocean.We are so tired that we hurriedly have our dinner and head off to sleep, its been one long and tiring day.....there should be better days ahead!

Day Three
Dar Concert: We wake up later today, that’s to say at 6am in the morning. Its the day we’ve been looking forward to since the Nairobi concert. We get into our trucks, go across the ferry and hurray...we are at the Don Bosco, Upanga grounds. There are many people gathered here for the occasion, the MC is really working up the crowd.In the background soft music plays on.

The Vice-President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr Mohammed Bilal who is the Chief Guest arrives in a short while and the event is underway. The Vice President lauds the youth and religious leaders for this great initiative and goes ahead to highlight the measures Tanzania has put in place to address climate change isssues.

Then there is the concert where Ten Sing, Juliani, Simki, the Botswana trio as well as Tanzania artistes.

So many petitions collected we head back to our camp then to the beach reflectimg upon the days success and praying that all will go well.....Malawi here we Come.... ‘Tuna Imani-Chukua hatua dhidi ya mabadiliko ya tabia nchi’
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Botswana troupe entertains the crowd in Nairobi

Dar es Salaam


1 comment :

  1. Great that you have a diary Winnie. I feel like am on the road with you all. We Have Faith.... hata in absebtia :)