December 1, 2016


AYICC Kenya members during the Writers workshop 2016
by Fredrick Ouma, Dolphine Magero

The writers’ workshop took place at the Institute of Climate Change, Chiromo campus. The forum which sought out to build capacity for the young writers emphasizing on their academic writing skills, was organized by the Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) Kenyan chapter in collaboration with Chiromo Environmental Awareness club (CEAC) and the Institute of Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA). Gracing the event were; Head of  Institute of Climate Change Directorate, Prof. Shem Wandiga, Dr. Onyango Onyoyo a writer cum climate change consultant from the Institute of Climate Change, renown media personality, Mr.Johnson Mwakazi and an Oxford Alumni Dr. Grace Mwaura. This team of intellectuals would give the “sermon” for the day.
To kick off the day, Paul Mutuku, the current AYICC communication coordinator, gave welcoming remarks to acquaint participants who had thronged the event from as far as Kenyatta University on the objectives of the forum. The AYICC national coordinator, Mr. Fredrick Ouma cordially welcomed the guests to the forum. The panelists then proceeded to give their insightful wealth of knowledge on the writing world.
The ball would then roll to Dr. Onyango Onyoyo, who in the bid to highlight the basics to climate change communication issues would grade lack of awareness as “black innocence”. He would proceed to confirm the authenticity of IPCC updates in communicating global issues like melting of the arctic ice and concur with the fact that GHGs was a present world disaster holding the very existence of mankind at gunpoint. He would then proceed to second the already known fact that the “blanket-stratosphere” was holding the solar radiation in the atmosphere causing dire effects like sea level increase at the same time turning the sea and the arctic ice to a scapegoat for excess carbon. He would then urge the young people to take up the initiative to curb this dogging menace through capacity building and awareness creation all in the spirit of embracing the futuristic aspect of climate change for the benefit of humanity. He would then touch on issues of water scarcity, blaming food insecurity on loss of soil moisture and unpredictability of rains, in addition quoting GMO dependence as a threat to food production. He attributed the increased snake bites in arid and semi-arid areas to the seeking of a safe haven in people’s homesteads. His concluding remarks were that the ICT tools were vital in climate change communication to the people to the extent of influencing a behavioral change and that young people were to be part of the solution while also respecting those in leadership.
The ball was passed to Professor Shem Wandiga who reiterated the need to get the history of Climate Change well to enable young writers have profound understanding of the operations of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) fund which Africa was yet to access. He mentioned “100 billion Dollar climate finance” noting that Kenya and a few East African countries are all that was needed to exhaust the climate finance kitty, reiterating its inadequacy. He also urged the participants to engage the national assembly on the implementation of the Paris agreement through writing to

Guest speaker, Mr. Mwakazi expresses a point during the workshop

The panel session would be ushered in and facilitated by Mr. Phantus Wambiya, the AYICC Deputy National Coordinator. This was the highlight of the day as the renowned Mr. Johnson Mwakazi gave the four pointers to good writing, that is, surety, simplicity, authenticity and brevity. He informed young writers to add pictures, animations and comics where possible in order to reach a greater audience and if possible use audio forms to gain more traction. He stressed on the need of having good presentation skills and not being too wordy as this would put them in danger of losing the audience.
Dr. Grace Mwaura, one of the panelists, made it clear that there were writing opportunities and it was up to the young people to take up the chances and to ace the times. Dr. Mwaura challenged the young people to take action as soon as yesterday reiterating that they had a key role in the implemention of decisions in the current world. She encouraged the young people to write as many times as possible, make as many mistakes as possible as this would help them improve their writing. Dr. Mwaura would then give a snippet of the writing process which would start by problem identification, idea organization, and the outline and then the writing process itself. The connection of the dots to the different bodies would help in linking of the story.
All said and done, we cannot fail to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Institute of Climate Change directorate for hosting the event and for the invaluable time and space shared by Prof. Shem Wandiga, and Dr. Onyango Onyowo, from the institute. We e

xtend our special gratitude to Mr. Johnstone Mwakazi and Dr. Grace Mwaura for creating time to be with the participants, and to the participants for being there. We also applaud the organizing committee led by Ms Dolphine Magero (Chiromo Environmental Awareness Club, CEAC), Mr. Fredrick Ouma (Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change, AYICC) and Mr. James Kaoga (ICCA) for making sure that everything proceeded as planned. We thank God, above all for seeing us through the process.


Dr. Grace Mwaura enlightening the youth on better writing skills.      From left Dr. Grace Mwaura, Dr. Onyango Onyoyo, Mr. Johnson Mwakazi.

The panelist interacting with the audience.                  Environmental enthusiast and student, Dolphine Magero, from           
                                                                            University of Nairobi giving her presentation.

Mr. Stom presenting a spoken word                             
Mr. Phantus Wambiya from AYICC Kenya chairing the forum.

Attendees coming together for a group photo with Mr. Mwakazi.      Participants and guests following a presentation



  1. Thank you for the article. I'm glad to have Prof. Shem Wandiga as the Ag. Director for Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation (ICCA) at the University of Nairobi.

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