February 17, 2012

AFRICAN YOUTH INITIATIVE ON CLIMATE CHANGE-KENYA ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR 2011




AFRICAN YOUTH INITIATIVE ON CLIMATE CHANGE-KENYA ANNUAL REPORT

FOR THE YEAR 2011

Table of Contents

Table of Contents. 2

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.. 3

Abbreviations. 4

1.0 About the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change-Kenya. 5

2.0 Activities Undertaken in 2011. 6

2.1 Reach out Programme. 6

2.2 Earth Day Celebrations; A Dream Comes True. 6

2.3 Report on the World Bank Dialogue with CSO's On the Africa Strategy. 7

2.4 Earth hour held on at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre Nairobi, Kenya. 7

2.5 Environment Day with Youth for Life - Kenya at Athi River. 8

2.6 Revisiting Back To Eden - Not Just a Mere Term but a Reality. 8

2.7 Media Strategy Training. 8

2.8 Tree Nursery Establishment at Kibera Girls Centre. 9

2.9 International Day of Youth. 9

2.10 All for a Worthy Cause: AYICC-K Day of Excellence. 10

2.11 The Launch of the ‘We Have Faith; Act Now for Climate Justice’. 11

2.12 The Passionate Walk- Moving the Planet!. 13

2.13 AYICC Press Statement at the Climate Change and Development in Africa-1. 14

2.14 The National Youth Conference on Climate Change (NYCCC). 14

2.16 Youth Climate Justice Caravan. 16

COUNCLUSION.. 19

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This report is dedicated to the members of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change-Kenya. It showcases the projects that were implemented in the year 2011. All the thanks go to the members for their tremendous effort in implementing the projects and activities in 2011. Moreover, kudos goes to the AYICC-K coordinators for their leadership roles in guiding the members and making sure that the network achieves its objectives for 2011.

In addition to that, the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change-Kenya fraternity wishes to sincerely thank the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) for allowing the AYICC-K team to use their facilities to enhance the effective running of the weekly meetings. Enormous gratitude goes to the individual youth groups, institutions of higher learning environmental clubs and youth initiatives who in their own capacity managed in one way or the other to implement projects however small or big that conserved our environment. The youth network also does not also forget the efforts pulled by the working groups including, the community development (reach out programme) working group, the environmental education working group, renewable energy enterprise network (REEN), environmental days working group and the newly formed Road to RIO+20 in broadening our activities to reach a lot of members in the society: they have indeed redefined what delegation of work really entails.

It is through those little activities that you managed to do on the ground that we managed to pull all the activities in 2011.

May God bless you all.

Abbreviations

AfDB African Development Bank

AUC African Union Commission

AYICC-K African Youth Initiative on Climate Change-Kenya

CCDA-1 1st Climate Change Development in Africa

ClimDev Africa Climate for Development in Africa

COP 17 17th Conference of Parties

CSOs Civil Society Organizations

KGC Kibera Girls Center

KYCN Kenya Youth Climate Network

MCF Mully Children Family

NCA Norwegian Church Aid

NETFUND National Environment Trust Fund

ROP Reach out Programme

UN United Nations

UNECA United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

UNEP United Nations Environment Programme

UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

UN-HABITAT United Nations Human Settlement Programme

YMCA Young Men Christian Association

1.0 About the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change-Kenya

The Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC[1]) is a network of African youth organizations and individuals working on climate change & sustainable development. Founded in 2006 at the COP 12 – UNFCCC in Nairobi, the movement’s goal is to ensure participation of African Youth in Climate Change debate, identify and seek support for youth driven Climate Change solutions and increase the youth awareness on Climate Change. It is in over 25 African countries, this being the Kenya Chapter.

2.0 Activities Undertaken in 2011

2.1 Reach out Programme

The Reach out Program is one of the initiatives of AYICC-K, which aims at helping the vulnerable children in the society. The Watoto Wema Childen Center was opted by AYICC-K to be one of the children’s home which the youth network would be partnering with for isssues of helping the needy children in the society. The Watoto Wema Children Centre is based in Saika, Kayole, one of the slums in Nairobi. Since its initiation in 2010, AYICC-K has managed to partner with the World Youth Alliance and the Kenyatta University Environmental Club towards the reach out programme. In this project, the youth network donates food, clothing and clean the children centre’s environs. AYICC-K made three visits to the centre in 2011; in March, April and June.

2.2 Earth Day Celebrations; A Dream Comes True


On the 22nd April 2011, both groups and individuals came together to mark the Earth Day[2]. In the quest to execute “billion acts of Green”, the Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change-Kenya decided to go graffiti way, an effective way to communicate to the elderly, young literates and the illiterates.

The image resulted by the artists clearly depicted the hopeful possibility towards addressing climate change. This was a dream come true due to its failure in the previous year during the global work party. Now as people pass near the image and take a moment, I know it is all for the love of mother EARTH. Our work of communicating to people information on climate change will for as long as the image remains on the wall be automatic. With the same confidence and more expectations, I know that we will be able to do many activities that we have always wanted to do. “We are all going but slow”. So no matter how long it takes to execute our activities, we will certainly do them one day, as long as the passion, love and zeal in us remain high and strong.

2.3 Report on the World Bank Dialogue with CSO's On the Africa Strategy

The World Bank dialogue with CSO's on the Africa Strategy for the period 2011-2016 took place on 8th April, 2011 at the World Bank Nairobi offices. This strategy was different from previous ones due to their first incorporation of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the whole process. This was thus hailed as an all-inclusive document expected to have a more profound impact on the African region than its predecessors. In coming up with the regional strategy, the World Bank discussed two pillars;

i. Competitiveness and Employment; CSOs requested the World Bank to invest more in building youth capacity. Hence, youth were urged to make themselves trainable and also appealing for this to be enhanced. These were the prerequisites for being considered with favor by investors and employers alike.

ii. Vulnerability and Resilience; The issues of climate change and green energy were intensely discussed. Climate change and youth involvement were given prominence in the strategy, thanks to invaluable input from AYICC-K representation and other youth and environmental groups in the initial drafting of the strategy.

2.4 Earth hour held on at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre Nairobi, Kenya

The 26th day of March 2011 presented itself rather engaging as AYICC-K jointly ventured to set out objectives for the road show to Durban through their involvement in Earth Hour[3]. This was the task ahead of us that Saturday before we marched down to attend the earth hour which was scheduled to begin at around 7pm Kenyan time. On arrival, the atmosphere was dull as the turn out by that time did not match the activities that were to come. Visual impact was felt when AYICC-K members arrived as we did so in commendable number having partnered with WWF in making the event a success. Before the evening event officially begun, AYICC-K members kept themselves occupied by dancing to the music which was playing. After some few minutes, the youths around were presented with t-shirts which spelled out the significance of the day.

We later proceeded to the VIP section inside the building where a PowerPoint presentation was made by NETFUND.

2.5 Environment Day with Youth for Life - Kenya at Athi River

On the 14th may 2011 AYICC-Kenya members had an opportunity to visit the Youth for Life Kenya, a youth group based in Athi River for environmental awareness day driven by the theme ‘Mobilizing the Youth for Environmental Management’. Presentations on the principles of waste management and environmental education were done by the members of AYICC-K present. More emphasis was on what youth could innovate to conserve their environment. In general, issues about natural resource management we tackled. The participants were allowed to engage in quizzes and ask questions in areas that they felt needed more elaboration.

2.6 Revisiting Back To Eden - Not Just a Mere Term but a Reality

“The Kenya Climate Youth Network, KYCN have this time made it perfect! For long, the network had been undertaking many activities. But the question, "what have you done?" remained almost constant amongst many people” said Richard Omondi, assistant projects and program coordinator AYICC-K. I think this has been the case partly because for a long time, we have been in advocacy which is equally important as it serves to instigate many others to start and run physical activities.

From the 2010’s Back to Eden Project, where we grew ten thousand trees in Eastern province in partnership with Muli Children’s Family, MCF. On Saturday May 28, 2011, some of the organizers to the tree planting had an opportunity to visit Yatta and monitor the whole tree planting process. Even though the target was 10,000 tree seedlings to be planted, only 4,500 were planted. Up to 95% of the 4,500 tree seedlings had survived. All the credit goes to the Muli Children’s Family and the various University students that were involved in the whole process.

2.7 Media Strategy Training

The African Youth Initiative on Climate Change- Kenya members had a rare opportunity to be trained on media. During the training, which was held at the Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers on the 15th of August, 2011, participants were taught how to package of their information in the most precise way since that forms the key to effective communication. Mr. Jonathan Ameka, a communications consultant in Nairobi who was conducting the training focused on preparing a press release. This is basically a document which is sent to media outlets informing them of an upcoming event which your organization is hosting or planning.

The following tips were issued out to ensure effective press releases;

· Your organization should have a communication structure

· Only send a press release when you have a viable event in the offing

· It is preferable to use organizational emails to send the press releases to commercial emails

· Avoid typos (typing errors) in your press release, making it outstanding so as to catch the eye of the intended recipients

· You can add short attachments for elaboration

· Always read relevant articles so as to keep tabs on the current issues in your domain of operations

· Use active verbs instead of passive verbs

· Always follow up on your press releases which you send, but not in a coercive manner

· Never send a press release to more than one person in the same media organization; this might turn out to be counter productive

· Do not send your press release too early nor too late; a time frame of at least between three to five days is preferable

· Target ‘quiet’ news days as when to send to send your press release

· Identify key people in your organization who are proficient in blogging and other aspects of communication

· Always keep tabs on your media contact people, maybe inviting them to drinks or something along that line in order to keep these contacts ‘alive’

2.8 Tree Nursery Establishment at Kibera Girls Centre

The African Youth Initiative on Climate Change-Kenya partnered with the Kibera Girls Centre to establish a tree nursery. Kibera Girls’ Centre (KGC) is located in Kibera slum of Kenya and is run by the Kenya Girl Guides Association. The Centre offers within the Kibera slums, informal education to the less fortunate girls who haven’t had the chance to proceed to secondary school. They are equipped with vocational skills to enable them be self reliant once they leave the centre including tailoring and computer skills. For comparison purposes, seeds were planted on two separate pieces of land after requisite preparations (tilling, manuring). Species included Jacaranda, Grevilia, and Cypress. The seeds will be transplanted as soon as they sprout and mature enough for the same. An environmental education forum was also conducted where the girls had a chance to ask questions and build their capacity on issues concerning environmental conservation. Pertinent and emerging environmental issues like climate change, global warming were discussed as the girls were engaged in identifying effects of the same on their immediate surroundings.

2.9 International Day of Youth

We mark the annual International Youth Day at a time of sadness for the tragic murders of youth leaders in Norway, but with the hope that more young people around the world will carry the torch for freedom, democracy and good governance. Our young generations are the future, and we need all their vitality, creativity and optimism. In a world where more than half the population lives in towns cities, and where the majority are young people, we need to ensure safe, wealthy, sustainable and well-planned cities for all. And at a time of economic downturn we need to work harder than ever. The impact of the downturn is heavier still on the millions who languish in poverty in slums and inner city neighborhoods around the world. This means that our cities must be places of opportunities for young people. In expressing my heartfelt support for this year's International Youth Day theme, Change our world, it is appropriate to highlight UN-HABITAT’s youth empowerment programme. It encourages young people to help build better communities by providing them with the means for self-improvement and job skills. Thanks to the generous backing of the Government of Norway, UN-HABITAT’s Urban Youth Fund launched in 2009, has supported many excellent youth-led projects around the world. Out of 5,700 applications received this year, today we will announce the shortlist of winning projects selected by the judges as beneficiaries of the fund. All of them are examples of the creative solutions we need ideas brought to us by young people. It is through programmes such as the UN-HABITAT Urban Youth Fund that young women and men can bring their ideas and partner with us to create better cities and better prospects. We at UN-HABITAT recognize the importance of promoting the empowerment and participation of young people in efforts towards changing our urban environments through entrepreneurship training, leadership training, construction skills development, disaster and risk management and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Another initiative, of our youth work was the very successful outcome of our first ever African Youth Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria this year, thanks to the support of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Norway. Its proposals will now be incorporated into the agenda of the World Urban Youth Assembly at next year’s sixth session of UN-HABITAT’s World Urban Forum in Naples, Italy. Together, in partnership with young people, we can achieve sustainable urban development through collective local action for the attainment of global goals. This requires turning innovative ideas into action. I am confident that young people can and will rise to this challenge.

2.10 All for a Worthy Cause: AYICC-K Day of Excellence

The maxims of knowledge is power and there is strength in numbers was revived during the AYICC-K Day of Excellence; its theme “Passion with Action”. The man objective of the event was “Creating a Volunteer Revolution”, so as it would benefit the aforementioned objective, the speakers for this event were young people who had a huge dent to the volunteer sphere through their volunteerism, as well as the audience in attendance. Important to note was that the person who conceived the event is an actual embodiment of the values enthused in the event: David Wainaina, a volunteer at AYICC-K and a catalyst and driving force in most, if not all, of AYICC-K’s activities. The first speaker on the podium was a young music artist, Simon Muoki, who talked about individual leadership and how to influence other young people to discover their potential and do things that would positively impact their lives and those of other people, especially young people. He cited his songs which are socially conscious, and that address the issues affecting young people.

Clayton, the next young speaker spoke on the theme of Sustainable Movements; he is a member of Change Makers, an offshoot of Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) that runs a youth exchange program that enable the youth involved to gain different perspectives on leadership and advocacy, creating a very viable platform for the young people to share their ideas and ways of implementing them. His presentation was quite insightful, as it delved deeply into the benefits of networking in achieving desired goals in a united front. George Auko, the chief coordinator of AYICC-K, also gave a presentation of how the Change Makers project helped to shape him to have a greater capacity as a volunteer and exceptional young leader.

Working with young people is central to her activities, and she has honed her mentoring skills; I can bet that no one in the audience that day had mentored more young people than Anne Karau. The organization she works with deals with the aforesaid objectives, but her inspiring story was actually defined at the point where she began volunteering, while still a university student, in mentoring young people, and shaping them to be responsible and proactive in their societies. This is an invaluable incentive as there is no more worthwhile investment than investing in a future generation. Advocacy is critical to achieving desired goals and objectives; Grace Wanjuki, a young volunteer, told us of how she was involved in a project aimed at lobbying against the construction of the Gibe 3 dam – for -electricity production - along the River Omo in Ethiopia. The opposition to this project stems from the fact that this project has been assessed to have dire negative environmental effects on the environment around it, and threatens the existence of Lake Turkana. She explored how advocacy can be used to by youth-oriented groups to achieve their desired goals. The main act of the day lived up to his billing as one of the exceptional motivational speakers in the country. Mr. Mbugua Mumbi has an intriguing life story; on of hope, passion and action, and this he extolled on all the volunteers present, and also those not present, to never give up, because it is never easy to be a volunteer. Noteworthy is that he gave his motivational speech for free, despite the fact that he is one of the most sought after motivational speakers in the country; thank you very much. The curtain closing presentation was by some exceptional young volunteers who are part of the African Young Volunteer Corps: Daniel Wasonga, David Wainaina and Kennedy Mbeva. They shared the virtues and importance of Pan-Africanism and how to synergistically tackle the challenges facing the continent by offering to volunteer in another country for a year, working with the host organization to address the key issues affecting the continent. Thus, this event lived up to its expectations.

The passion was reignited, and the young volunteers in attendance were all eager to go back to their endeavors and continue making a positive impact in their societies. You, too, have something that you can offer to your community for free; just look deep into yourself, have the conviction and commitment, and get it done, all for the good of our society.

2.11 The Launch of the ‘We Have Faith; Act Now for Climate Justice’

Over 300 youth gathered along the United Nations Avenue for a procession and a dance for Climate Justice. Voices of participants could be heard in whispers reaching a crescendo as the crowd of youth swelled to capacity. Participants were from, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Their faces were written with hope, faith and an earnest desire to make a difference, this is it! The Occasion: The Launch of the ‘We Have Faith-Act Now for Climate Justice’ Campaign on August 12, the International Day of Youth.

Dressed in T-shirts written ‘we have Faith: Act Now for Climate Justice’ the procession set off at about 10.30a.m towards the UN Complex and the US Embassy, bringing traffic to a standstill on the busy route. The event was flagged off by Peter Kenneth who was the Chief Guest. In the background ‘climate change’ songs play urging us all to make a difference. It was at the entrance of the UN Complex in Nairobi that the procession came to a halt and we all gather to listen and dance some more. Caroline Thuo of the Church World Service took charge as the MC does the introduction. Youth gyrate to the ‘Rauka’ song by Juliani then Juliani himself performs and we dance some more. See, climate change issues can be fun as well, but wait, it’s with purpose!

The youth deliver the key speech for the day calling for the world leaders to:

· Commit to a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement and to a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol to ensure the survival of coming generations.

· Set clear short and long term targets for carbon emission reductions that keep average global temperature increases well below 1.5degrees centigrade, and to support solutions that contribute to healing the earth.

· Ensure there is adequate finance for adaptation in Africa. Such finance should come from historically polluting nations in recognition of their ecological debt and be additional to existing development aid, governed inclusively and equitably under the United Nations.

Mutava Musyimi called for decisive action on climate change and lauds the youth for being proactive. Peter Kenneth marveled at the youth gathered as pacesetters; the youth that will take not only Kenya but Africa to the next level. Amina from UNEP promised to engage more with youth who are trying to make a difference. Moustapha of the African Council of Religious Leaders said he was humbled by this initiative and that it was clear that the message has permeated many places.

2.12 The Passionate Walk- Moving the Planet!

MOVING THE PLANET was a spectacular show of courage, bravery, energy, enjoyment and frustration. Yes, frustration, the youth were frustrated and indeed fed-up of people not taking responsibility for their daily actions that has progressively led to a pile up of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Who knew that such an event would turn out to be so enormous? Beyond the silent joy of having to walk along the various streets of the capital city with neither hustle nor bustle not to mention the state security escorting us; we were in oblivion of what lay in waiting! Setting out with our naiveté and humble jubilation, we were jolted awake at the venue of the event. Several youths taking part in the walk were ready. The traditional dancers and entertainers were adorning themselves in the beautiful cultural traditional attires &musical instruments and the music truck was ready to go complete with a public address system. The curiosity on the passers-by and hangers-on was not hard to spot.

Setting off from Jeevanjee gardens in Nairobi, the spectacle was a beauty to behold. It was all spread across the faces and actions of the participants. Faces of determination, hope, eagerness, anxiety, faces so tender yet so ripe in their message, restless for change, yearning and calling for environmental care, preaching the religion of environmentalism, warning of the happening and potential disastrous impacts of climate change; calling upon people to move the planet to safety! To use cleaner energy sources, to minimize the use of fossil fuels, to adopt sources that leave the least carbon footprints on the planet, to promote the use of better sustainable means of transport. The emphatic chants of jubilation, the strong echoes of the signature message ‘MOVING AWAY FROM FOSSIL FUELS’ & ‘WE HAVE FAITH- ACT NOW FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE’ and mix of dancing and joy. Occasionally pausing reach out to the masses along the streets of Nairobi and to entertain as well as we sought their petitions for climate change justice. Physically drained from the energetic performances, the participants were glad to have stepped out and been part of this step towards climate justice! As we took a well deserved sigh of relief after such a key event, we all geared up for more. We shall not allow ourselves to grow weary and lose sight of our vision until: the right ears listen, the silent mouths speak, the dusty pens take note, the sleeping actors implement, the right minds think, the cold hearts grow warmer and the lazy masses take action! We are proud of mother earth; we celebrated Moving the Planet.




2.13 AYICC Press Statement at the Climate Change and Development in Africa-1

The African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) was represented at the 1st Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-1) Conference by young climate activists, professionals and researchers from the six regions of Africa including Central, Eastern, Southern, Northern and Western Africa. As African youth form the bulk of the continent’s population; we therefore applaud the initiative of UNECA, AUC, ClimDev and the AfDB for organizing this conference and for facilitating our active participation. The initiative is indeed imperative in leading Africa on a sustainable development path, and in enhancing youth capacities as well as integrating our concerns in the continent’s plans. During the meeting, African youth laid down its strategy to have youth engaged in the forthcoming 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban.

2.14 The National Youth Conference on Climate Change (NYCCC)

Every end of the year, the youth from around Kenya converge to make possible the National youth climate change conference. The first conference was held in the year 2008 and dubbed NYCCC 1. Last year saw the fourth youth conference and took place at the multimedia university in Nairobi. All counties from Kenya were equally represented by two youth from each county. Gender balance was also considered and therefore equal representation was felt. From the 2nd-5th of November 2011, the youth familiarized themselves with climate change effects and ways in which they can actively participate to safeguard the environment.

The national youth climate change conference yearns to ensure that the young people are fully aware with what is happening towards matters environment in both the national and international level. The youth are also made aware of how they can economically empower and support themselves through green jobs and projects. Present during the conference was Dr. Kaudia the environment secretary, ministry of environment and mineral resources. She majorly highlighted the measures being taken by the government towards climate change adaptation and their involvement with the youth in Kenya. One of the projects hailed by the government is an organic project in Isinya, Kajiado County. The project situated on a 400 acre farm utilizes organic fertilizer produced from biogas.

An advisor to the prime minister focused on the green Economy and sited a workshop held in Nairobi to review Kenya’s progress towards it. Its main agenda explored opportunities and challenges facing Kenya’s transition towards green economy. Momentum is building up towards a green economy as it is viewed as a means of creating jobs and enhancing environmental sustainability. During the conference also, the youth got a splendid presentation from secondary school children who presented some of the projects they have been dealing with on environmental conservation. This was a clear indication that schools are taking up environmental responsibility in schools. The government through the environment minister Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources, officially launched the green schools programme which will provide a platform for young Kenyans to participate in environmental conservation not only at the school but at community level since children are considered to be effective agents of change. The conference was an engaging activity that provided space for the youth to not only learn but also present their ideas on how their fellow youth who do not enjoy the same privileges can tap into the developments. Through, exhibitions showcased during the conference, youth got to sample some of the artistic works being managed by fellow youths. At the end of it all, young people get to gather contacts and build rapport with others from different counties. The conference was privileged to act as a build up to the youth climate justice caravan that transversed through Africa to Durban for the seventeenth conference of parties (COP 17) in Durban.

2.16 Youth Climate Justice Caravan

Just to take you back in history, in medieval times to be precise, caravans were made up of people travelling together on camels for trade and other expeditions. Thus, the word caravan is derived from the Persian words meaning ‘mission’ and ‘guardian’. A thousand years later, youths from Africa, Asia and Europe went on a new kind of caravan. With them, they carried something they treasured more than silk or jewellery.’ The youth had physically and psychologically prepared themselves for the daring forty five day journey through the rough terrain of Africa. They had faith that was achievable, the faith for a better and safer future. Under the Kenya Youth Climate Network (KYCN), the youth embarked on a 45 day climate change caravan to increase climate change awareness and conduct climate change advocacy in seven countries including; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botsawa and South Africa. Up to 161 youth from 18 nations globally participated in this project

As the days passed and the procedures across borders became a norm, everyone got better acquainted with each other hence building networks. Soon we were in Tanzania where we held our first climate justice concert at the don Bosco hall in Dar es Salaam. The concert was privileged to have among it the vice president of Tanzania who later on signed the climate justice petition which contained a detailed layout of our key demands towards the seventeenth conference of parties. (COP17.) The vice president Mr. Mohammed Ali urged the youth to continue with the good work they were doing since the future is theirs and their future generations.

Other concerts that followed happened in Lilongwe, Malawi at the civil society stadium also known as the CIVO stadium. The guest who is also the minister for energy and natural resources Goodall Gondwe also reiterated the significance of safeguarding the environment for future generations. In Lusaka Zambia, the Barclays complex was full to capacity and artists like Juliani did what he does best and fully engaged the crowd. In Botswana, tensing from Norway and local artists like Daisaitsaneng (big five) cultural group and holy nation also entertained the crowd. The climax and the mother of all concerts culminated in Durban, South Africa at the king’s park stadium. Here, the concert was hosted by Archbishop Desmond Tutu who was very precise in his speech noting and insisting that there is only one planet and that if it perished, everyone would go down with it.

He also urged world leaders to take up responsibility and act accordingly for future generations. The very energetic youth took part in many different activities which happened parallel with the concerts.Some of those activities were helping the locals sign the petitions, having school children place their hand print on canvass and interactions which gave the locals space to share their ideas on how climate change has directly affected them.

These experiences were witnessed as we travelled down to Durban. Women travelled long distances to access clean water as rivers had dried up long ago. Farm produce had dried up in farms and they had very little to harvest. Africa remains prone to climate change and unless adaptation measures are taken, the vulnerable will continue to suffer and die from severe cases of drought, floods and other natural disasters.

Despite the challenges experienced during the journey, the youth did not despair as what they did came from within. The frustrations from camping on a rainy night and sharing tents with scorpions and sometimes harmful insects gave them even more courage to fight and achieve what they believed in. With God on our side; we achieved more than we had ever anticipated.

African youth groups set out key demands as talks enter final stages in the just ended 17th Conference of Parties in Durban.

COUNCLUSION

It is imperative that countries in Africa mainstream youth and gender in their quest to combat climate change in Africa. Youth are at a higher stake when it comes to adapting and mitigation to climate change. Be that as it may, youth in Africa need to show the world what they are made of in terms of mitigating and adapting to climate change; innovative approaches to address climate change in Africa using locally available resources is a stepping stone. The members to the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change- Kenya have done tremendously well and more is needs to be done. Mentorship of new and promising youth in the rural areas in the society is mandatory for enhancing ripple effects of sustainability. In addition to that, ownership by members of projects that address climate change is key for a sustainable youth movement that drives the climate change agenda at the national scene. This will indeed create the needed impetus for youth to be important stakeholders of addressing climate change in Kenya and beyond.

The old term used, “some of the best lessons are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom of the future.”

Compiled by Joshua O. Minai Edited&Published by Richard Omondi

African Youth Initiative on Climate Change-Kenya


[1] The African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) is an umbrella youth network that was conceived in 2006 in Nairobi Kenya, during the 2nd International Conference of Youth held before the UNFCCC, COP 12. This initiative has continued to connect, share knowledge, ideas, experiences, skills and strategies on youth action around the continent on climate change mitigation and adaptation. It has been identified by African youth as providing an effective platform in order to address regional challenges at international gatherings, such as the UNFCCC COP process among others. For more information, visit www.ayicc.net

[3] The Earth Hour is an annual event where Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history. More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 alone, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet. Without a doubt, it’s shown how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause. For more information, visit www.earthhour.org/

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