We had awesome discussions during the just concluded 3rd Young Earth Scientists (YES) Congress in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Bringing together more than four hundred delegates and over forty countries represented. Congratulations to the Tanzania team for hosting a wonderful Congress.
Everyone was interested in Paul’s poster from India. He did enormous work to present a poster on the diversity of Indian climate and its effect on Indian Music. The main objective was to assess spatial change of climate and its effects on musicals forms in different parts of India. We would compare this to story of Bongo evolution in East Africa. His work captured our eye on how climate variations adversely affected the number of new musicals in different geolocations. Regions with high rainfall and humidity recorded more new musicals compared with low rainfall areas. This earned Paul, the best overall poster on climate change during the YES Congress.
It is encouraging at the rate young ambassadors are engaged to send the message of climate change home. As we had opportunity not only share our green stories of Nairobi but shade light on climate change impacts on Horn of Africa’s economy. The question of mitigation vs adaptation should be addressed by Africa Leaders. Let us move the discussions on climate change from boardrooms, scientists conference to the grassroots. As we head to New York City on 21st September – for Peoples March – let us boldly call for actions by our leaders that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilise their political will for a meaningful Climate Action post – 2015.
“It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.” By Nobel Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai
Each day we walk, drive and board buses in silent fear. Who knows where the next siren will sound and lives lost. It is a scare that is killing our economy. Our breath is held by terror clip. I am left wondering who is a terrorist or why clear lives of innocent blood!
It is hard for families that have lost loved ones through this difficult cloud of terror. The world is full of things, good and bad. But my heart is not weary of the worst. For there is always an equal measure of goodness about to happen. Kenyans have built their economy with minimum natural resources. The dawn of oil in Turkana will not mean reversed era. We will not stop to hold up our national responsibility because of peace of our sisters and brothers in Somali.
The WestgatE terror incident united us – WeAreOne. Subsequent terrors at Thika road, Gikomba market, Likoni Church and many more places will leave us standing strong. Unfortunately, some of us have opted war than peace to reign for Africa’s emerging economy.
Where is this driving us to? An article by CityLab recently found that insecurity on streets of Cairo contributed to more traffic congestion. Nairobi and other cities will they be forced to adopt home workers or cycling to work – at least safer.
“It is possible to provide security against other ills, but as far as death is concerned, we men live in a city without walls.” – Epicurus quotes (Greek philosopher, BC 341-270)
Matatu New Era
Exactly a month ago and we woke up to new matatu rules that will revolutionise this private held sector. Kenya similar to any african government we struggle with lasting implementation. Kudos to new regime with new rules but how far will we burn our oil. Forget the new matatu rules, the smart bus idea is brilliant of all!
Maybe we should call them green buses. We all know about smart bus but nothing about its retirement. Our guess o its missing on our roads would lean towards unsuccessful execution. With Nairobi county government showing political divide into this noble idea. A bus that will see most commuters pay only Kshs 35 to and fro their estates. It will bring dream reality sanity in this man-eat-man society. It is not only affordable bus that we campaign for. The use of paperless travel idea; the smart cards and swipe on the go. Its sustainability will not be doomed so long as the management sets a is proper operations framework at an early stage.
An in depth study on similar ideas in developing cities such as Curitiba in Brazil, Delhi in India, Manila in Philippines and not to mention Lagos in Nigeria, reveals how these cities have robust infrastructure to fully sustain this idea. Commonly known as Bus Rapid Transit is what is missing here in Nairobi as illustrated below.
Courtesy of BRT- Report. Source: ITDP & GIZ, 2012
You may argue of Thika Super highway but do we have bus right-of-way roads to reduce delays. This is a key factor to encourage most middle income earners onto the bus and leave their cars at home. Imagine, if 200 buses of sixty-seater capacity that could be nearly 4,000 private cars off Nairobi’s congested roads. Transport related pollution is concern too as heads of state deliberated on Climate Action in Abu Dhabi.
This will contribute to a green city under the sun. Our carbon emissions from transport sector will be capped at 2.8tons or below by 2025. Congestion, traffic delays that cost our economy and reduce human capital productivity hours at work will be history. We need to board the green bus and enjoy green economy of East Africa’s largest city.
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