Monthly Archives: November 2015

The climate discussion: A letter to the second Kenyatta

Mombasa 2Sometimes being a county man has its high and low sides. First I am ¬†Kenyan by birth I tend to think and by naturalization as well. The country has beautiful and excellent resources leave alone the footprint. Kenya will forever be glued into people’s mind all for the good and sometimes for the bad reasons including the exploits on the track and field events, Mbalula the sports minister South Africa knows this well and, of course, the Obama factor. For today, I will leave the Kenyan beautiful experience for expounding on the commentary. My interest being the environmental sustainability of our coastal beautiful tourist attractive cities of Mombasa and lamu. As research is still going on and burning the midnight oil to keep this city up to international standards when we talk about climate change, especially sea level rise and the threat of inundation.

At around 2:30 am 22nd August 1978 I was hardly a year old the founding father of Kenya Mzee Jomo Kenyatta soul departed from the earth in the beautiful Mombasa island. Like the Africans would say, the spirit was around at least three days before the grim reaper carried it off to unknown destinations ( a subject I will leave to the pastors and priests to debate). I want to imagine that the last moments of the old Man saw the beautiful palm trees, and the calm thundering of the ocean as he went to bed that night never to wake up again. The feeling makes me want to be in Mombasa forever, it’s a city with a great attachment to the birth and the growth of Kenya as a country. I wonder if the founding father would be smiling from the earth yonder, when we allow climate-related disturbances to wipe out the city of Mombasa. What is he telling his son, the other Kenyatta the current president of Kenya? I would wonder if The late Prof Ali Mazrui buried a walk away fro the state house where the founding fathers soul departed, would have relaxed and settled to know that climate change is threatening the survival of Mombasa island. It is these reflections that make me quickly conclude, effort needs to be made to make sure that does not happen. That sea level changes will not find the island of Mombasa and Lamu unprepared.

Several professionals have significantly studied a message from the Minister of Environment of Paris (my condolences for their loss) the climate change phenomena. These include anthropologists physiologists and historian who have shown a relationship between humans and nature. Biologists have confirmed that biodiversity is being affected by the changes in the climate; climatologists are proving that the weather patterns are changing daily. Planners are telling us that a new thinking is required for Island nations survival. Otherwise, the concept of internally displaced climate refugees is not far fetched. A combination of action is emphasized so that action can take place, to avoid a scenario where we are not making changes in our daily activities that are affecting as climate deniers still exist. The 43 members states through Banki Moon have insisted that there’s the ability to speed up severely binding agreements, to reduce atmospheric gases and injection of fossil fuel residue into the environment.

Mombasa 3The spirit is towards a low carbon economy; there can’t be climate efficiency without climatic responsibility, from energy efficiency to clean smart energy networks, carbon capture, green energy, green building and architecture energy saving, active transport among others. The fifths IPCC evaluation report, call upon sectoral policies and regional and national forums to lessen the impacts of climate change.

Two-thirds of the global population in 2050 Will be in cities we need to work on smart cities to make the globe a better place, e.g., a low carbon economy not as a disaster but an opportunity to hold on and improve the lives. In many countries, Parliament is passing legislation to save landscapes, energy efficiency and saving and preparing for power use without oil and protecting our biodiversity and landscapes. Climate systems are complex with different angles and different disciplinary angles and need this kind of management to achieve a cleaner world.
Mombasa and Lamu island would do well if smart and clean energy options are enhanced, so that forever, we keep the legacy of this mound of soil that is home to many including the soul of the departed founder Father of the Nation.