Climate change is too scientific that struggle we can’t connect dots of its effect. We face prolonged and severe droughts. It provokes village elders to gather in African shrines for prayer to their gods for rain. But I never see them gather when there are flush floods. It is difficult to slice this elephant for all of us. Since now climate change does not only affect the poor but the rich also cry under this greatest challenge of 21st Century.
We might want to point fingers to scientists because of their secluded discussions held limited inclusion of the affected and polluters. Although, climate change does not happen in a night; it is a century analysis of weather patterns. Therefore, my grandma stands better to explain how many streams we have lost in our village and planting seasons have changed. She will mentioned how the village was green with indigenous trees, monkeys were easy to spot and food was plenty. Today we struggle with too much sun and handful tree forests. I am certain at half century we will have a story to share of air pollution and climate change.
It will be absurd for us to wait till 2050 to start climate change conversions. We all agree with the Chinese proverb; that the best time to plant was 20 years ago and the second best time is now. Our passion has been to lead the way and one year ago we commenced civic engagement in climate change.
We started with taking climate change stories on the streets of Nairobi. When we called for artists to submit their impressions on the same subject we were thrilled. By the time we trained them on climate change all dubbed this project, ‘Artists against climate change’. Hence our #ClimateArt project was taking shape and Kariobangi residents had a rare opportunity. This got attention of scientists gathered in Bonn, Germany. It was featured as an exemplary community engagement approach on creating climate change awareness under Paris Agreement.
Mandela of Sarabi performing at the event
At the time we hosted #Climate Art, Nairobi had just witnessed flush floods and Huruma residents were mourning loss of friends due to climate disasters and haphazard urban planning. Through songs, spoken word, photograph displays and graffiti we left locals aware of climate change impacts. Not only were locals looking forward to next event but artists were eager to participate in the next worth cause for mother nature. We all agreed that the voice of a musician is the most power public image besides politicians in our society.
For information on #ClimateArt visit http://ccss.greensuncities.org/