As the world prepares to mark the International Day of Peace on Saturday, Kenyan youths on Friday held demonstrations to demand action on climate change.
The march, dubbed global climate strike, saw youths from Action Aid, Mathare Green Movement and Dada Power among others protest against the slow pace at which the government has been implementing climate change policies.
“Our house is on fire, and we can no longer treat climate change as another passing event, we have to respond immediately,” said Action Aid Policy Governance and Youth Engagement Officer Irene Wairimu.
Ms Stella Nderitu, the founder of Dada Power, a Murang’a County-based community organisation said lives of women and girls were affected by climate change.
Dada Power engages women to be proactive in socio-economic and political issues.
Ms Nderitu said climate change manifests itself in droughts and unreliable rainfall. Due to this, she said, many women had to cover long distances in search of water for domestic use.
“It is sad that in some communities, girls have to miss school to search of water and firewood for their families due to the changing climate,” said Ms Nderitu.
Ahead of World Clean Up Day, also to be marked on September 21, Ms Nderitu said citizens, too, have a role in conserving the environment.’
“A lot of activities that contribute to environmental pollution result from improper waste disposal, we have to push for climate action,” she said.
During the march, the participants encouraged Kenyans to plant more trees and use of renewable energy.
In a petition, Dada Power asked the government to increase funding for climate change in the counties.
The organisation emphasised on the need for the government to enact more climate change policies. The organisation said this would ensure communities living in arid and semi-arid areas are mitigated against the effects of climate change.
It also urged the government to increase the pace at which it is implementing the climate change policies. They said people should be encouraged to use renewable energy.
Moses Wanjau from Mathare Green Movement said: “We want the government to plant more trees, reserve more natural forests, protect or indigenous trees.”
The fight for climate justice is a global initiative, with the theme of the international day of peace.
It is a call for immediate action by all to lower greenhouse emissions, build resilience and improve education on climate change.
In a report, United Nations says climate change threatens international peace and security since natural disasters displace three times as many people as conflicts.
The report also indicates that the salinisation of water and crops endangers food security.