Thematic Green Messages

Author: Dr. Isaac

8th Aug 2014 at 03:51 pm

Climate Change

WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE


Author Dr Kalua writing on WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE
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Far away from the New York masses and speeches, climate change continues to stifle life in many parts of Africa. In several obscure villages in lower eastern Kenya, dozens of women spend days in search of water. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveals that up to eighty percent of cattle in this Southern part of Kenya died during the 2009 drought. After a few months, we forgot about the cattle disaster.

The same IPCC report further revealed that floods have in the past cost Kenya an estimated Ksh 94.3 billion annually. The infamous El Nino floods of 1997 – 1998 cost the country five times more. The La Nina drought that followed in the subsequent three years cost Kenya several even more billions than the flood. At the time, our television screens and newspaper headlines brought us harrowing images of the disease, death and pain resulting from the floods and drought. But after the images left our screens and the headlines left our newspapers, we forgot and became preoccupied with the politics of the day and other things.

On April 29, 1994, the mtongwe ferry in Mombasa capsized and killed 272 of the 400 people on board. A few weeks later, we forgot about the disaster. On August 29 2013, 41people died when a bus plunged into a valley off the Narok-Mai Mahiu highway.We mourned the dead but a few weeks later, we forgot about it. Just a few months later on September 21, four terrorists stormed the Westgate Shopping Mall and after their bloody rampage was over, 67 people had lost their lives. A few weeks later, we forgot and went on with our lives.

I am not asking us to carry conscious memories of every major disaster that has ever visited our beloved nations. Rather, I am pleading that we heed the words of GracaMachel, spoken in the closing moments of the New York Climate Summit, ‘there is a huge mismatch between the magnitude of the challenge and the response we heard here today.'

When there is a mismatch between a crisis and our response to that crisis, then we have forgotten. But when we rise to the occasion and respond in a manner that greatly minimizes the reoccurrence of a similar crisis, then we have not forgotten. Let us not forget the climate change crisis in our country.


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Dr. Isaac Kalua

Author - Thematic Green Messages

Dr Kalua's Commentary on the Standard


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