Monday 23 March 2015 at 19:37Sharing The Road On Foot
by Coudoro Jean-Marie FAYEMI, Healthy Living Network (Healnet)
For some who live in the West, it can be easy to ignore climate change, because, for many people, it’s not yet knocking on their door. But for so many others around the world, and some in the West already, climate change is part of their lives already.
The following is a moving piece by OurVoices member Coudoro and their experience with climate change in Nairobi, Kenya.
I live about two kilometres away from the Central Business District here in Nairobi. Because of the traffic jams that often make the commute much longer than it would without, I often choose to travel these 2km on foot.
On this walk, I share the road with thousands of cars and buses driving in and out of the city daily. In a hot and dry climate such as ours, pedestrians like myself must breath in the strong smoke of exhaust pipes and dust each day—it is not uncommon for me to see walkers covering their faces with a handkerchief or a wet Kleenex to avoid breathing in the pollutants, plus a cap on their heads because of the heat.
Outside of the city centre, farmers face increasing drier dry seasons. Many of these farmers are fighting for the little water that is available for their daily needs. This is resulting not only to the scarcity of pastures, but also in the death of livestock, namely cattle, sheep, goats, and camels. Rising temperatures continue to dry our land and many farmers are losing their livelihoods because of it. For communities, the lack of water is also leading to more human deaths.
Kenya has implemented a vision of attaining 10% forest cover of the land to combat climate change, but with these effects continuing to worsen, combined with severe deforestation, I’m not sure we can achieve this. And so I continue to work. Because all I want is a healthy environment for our future generations to live in, and I'm scared this won't be possible unless I do.
Photo via flickr user Olli Pitkänen