Climate Change: What’s Your Input?
Climate Change is one of the greatest threats to our existence on this planet. Nobody’s going to buy their way out of its effects. With this in mind, the Strathmore SDG Hub partnered with the Environmental and Sustainability club, Strathmore Business School, and Art Club to run the Climate Change Awareness Week.
When people think of solutions to climate change, it may seem difficult, overbearing, and perhaps too much to comprehend. Discussions in the week deduced the solution to climate change lies in the smallest things. It may look like consciously changing your habit of throwing waste anywhere to disposing of it in the right bin. It may look like taking part in runs or signing up for a workshop to learn more about climate change. It may look like reducing one’s carbon footprint and responsible consumption of goods. Reading more about the detrimental effects of plastic usage, learning fun facts about how long paper or plastic takes to decompose, and what it does to the environment and communities alike may help in making informed decisions. After all, we are all in this together.
Various sessions took place between the 12th- 15th of July 2022 to educate and raise awareness of the Climate-related issues the world is facing and how Africa is affected by the same.
During the art exhibition that took place at the Student Centre, artists expressed and communicated their feelings towards the environment on canvas. Some chose to create art pieces on leftover fabric, clearly illustrating how art and sustainability can co-exist especially with the textile problem African nations are facing. Additionally, it showed that there’s space for creativity to meet with sustainability in the form of advocacy.
These astounding artworks were coupled with an information desk which served the purpose of informing more people on Climate Change Awareness Week together with the activities we hoped to have in line with the various themes. Through this, students were encouraged to join either of the participating clubs and be of impact.
Moreover, the SDG Hub sold stickers to increase awareness about the environment and also to support creativity within the SDG Hub. The stickers varied in design but aimed to communicate climate conservation in pictorials.
Did you know that in September 2000, over 189 global leaders met at the United Nations Headquarters to assent to the historic Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?
In 2015, the world leaders met to review the achievement of the development goals. The outcome of these discussions was the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in building a sustainable world where environmental sustainability, social inclusion, and economic development are equally valued.
The SDG hub organized a trivia night as a fun way for more people to learn about the SDGs and how the youth can be of impact in promoting the achievement of these goals. We included fun facts about SDGs and some statistics about carbon emissions, gender inequalities, education, clean water and sanitation, and more. We threw in some fun general knowledge questions that were tied to the environment.
What is a Climate Change Awareness Week without tree planting?
We, as the Strathmore SDG Hub and the Environmental and Sustainability club, affirm the words of the late Wangari Maathai, a renowned environmentalist; “…when we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and of hope…”
On 13th July 2022, tree planting took place behind the Strathmore Business School. This activity went towards achieving the University’s goal of remaining a green university. It was also a good opportunity to engage students in caring for the environment.
Climate Change Summit
We finally wrapped up the week with a Summit on the 15th of July 2022. Our theme, Only One Earth revolved around Youth Inclusion in Climate Change. In attendance were MP Shah, Taka Taka Solutions, Red Cross, Wacha Story Kenya, One Voice Affinity Centre, We Don’t Have Time, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, and Kenya Inter-University Environmental Student’s Association.
With the majority of the audience being from the youth bracket, the forum was an interactive and insightful forum as we, the youth, are encouraged to get involved in making the world a better place to live in and demand #ClimateAction.
The main highlights revolved around sustainable recycling, personal effort towards conservation, disaster management, networking spaces for green initiatives, and how the youth can get involved in any working sector.
Journey to Justice
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (Rule of Law Program for Anglophone Sub-Saharan Africa) showcased a short film documentary that highlighted the journey to environmental justice in Kenya. A lot was uncovered regarding how governmental frameworks of development can result in environmental damage.
Click this link to watch the clip; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhoGgbVqmBQ
There was a mini expo where Wacha Story- Kenya showcased their zero waste products. This was positive exposure for those in the green and SDG space. It was also eye-opening on the possibilities of adapting to eco-friendly products. Additionally, a student sold beaded products which were very innovative and yet another reminder to the youth to always harness their talents and take part in initiatives like the SDG Summit that support such talents.
The day came to a close with a solution lab which was an engaging and fun activity to engage the crowd. The purpose was to solve an environmental issue from an all-encompassing perspective that takes sustainability, people, and culture into consideration. It was also purposed to show how the youth can take the lead in climate change and be progressive stewards of a sustainable future.
In abiding by the University’s theme, “Freedom and Responsibility”, we are reminded to be responsible in taking care of our environment. In the words of Greta Thunberg, “The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have the facts and the solutions. All we have to do is wake up and change. The time is now.”
This article was written by Samita Mwanicky, a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies and Philosophy student and Deputy SDG Hub Coordinator.
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