My name is Kevin Mtai. I am 23 years old from Soy Kenya. I am a Medical laboratory technologist (Microbiologist) by profession, a climate activist and Environmentalist and I am also an activist for Children’s Rights. I am the Africa Continental Coordinator for Earth Uprising and Co-founder for Global Children Campaign.
I started climate activism because I had a passion and desire to protect nature. There is a beauty about nature that needs to be protected for example look at the beauty of our forests such as kakamega Rainforest. The late Wangari Maathai also inspired me a lot to start climate activism. Kenya has been affected by the climate crisis in many ways for example in 2018, we experienced a severe drought in parts of Turkana, Lodwar, and many people lost their crops after they dried up and they were pushed to a point of starvation as a result of food scarcity and water scarcity. In the year 2020 Kenya experienced heavy rainfall in west Pokot, western Kenya, Lamu and the Lake Victoria region. This heavy rainfall caused a lot of destruction of people’s property, farms, homes, many deaths were recorded, many people were displaced and over 300,000 people were rendered homeless. There was a desert locust invasion and this caused a lot of destruction of crops hence threatening the availability of food in Garissa, Marsabit, Meru, Embu, Bungoma.
We are in a crisis. Climate change is causing food scarcity and water scarcity in our country. Leaders need to come up with proper policies of how to deal with the climate crisis. We need to see government environmental projects such as planting of trees. Leaders must include youth activists in implementing some of these policies that ensure the protection of our planet.
We are almost losing Nairobi National Park. This park is home to over a 100 mammal species like Elephants, black Rhino, giraffes, Lions, cheetahs, Zebra, monkeys,different reptiles such as Snakes, Tortoises, Crocodiles and over 400 species of birds such as Black headed heron, Common moorhen, Ostrich, and also a home to endangered black rhinos and giraffes. The Maasai community that lives at the south of the park have been the custodians of nature and wildlife and they will be cut off from these lands that they identify with. The park was formed in the 1940s when Maasai elders foresaw Nairobi developing rapidly. As wildlife and nature is a huge part of their culture and heritage they decided that the land should be solely preserved. Over the years the park has been grabbed, encroached and forcefully developed. As a Kenyan climate activist, it is my duty to protect the heritage of my fellow Kenyan Maasai. We are at a time of the climate crisis and we should be jealously protecting our green spaces. I am deeply saddened at the impunity at which our government is operating and grabbing indigenous lands and public properties. The Rights of the Indigenous people must be protected. The destruction of Nairobi National Park will set a precedent for the destruction of other parks in Kenya and Africa at large.
I need to see the East African Community create more awareness about effects of Climate Change and organize climate change and environmental forums and workshops for the young people. We need a ban on the usage of plastic materials in East Africa. People should also be motivated to plant trees. We also need implementation of renewable energy and stop investment in the fossil fuel industry.
Climate Change is real. We need to come together and fight for climate justice
because we the people can transform this planet to a better future.