By M’thetho Lungu
09th November, 2015. Namanga Border Post, Kenya and Tanzania.
Kenya takes over campaign, as Tanzania calls for committed actions to stop climate change.
Kenya is in its second day into the famous We Have Faith – Act Now for Climate Justice campaign, after taking over from Tanzania at the Namanga border control on 9th November. The colourful ceremony took place in the Kenya immigration yard.
Tanzania climate justice ambassador Rev Prof Aiden Msafiri in his call to world leaders said climate change is real and negatively affecting Africa.
“You cannot solve climate change issues in conference and board rooms and jumbo jet cabins, but in the minds and hearts of people. As the faith we should show gratitude to God’s creation. We only have mother earth and we shall not go to any planet for relief, like Jupiter, Pluto and others. We must act now to take care of our earth. We have faith as a people of faith. Let this be a turning point for the world and in particular Africa,” he said, after he led YouthCAN in a livery musical performance that brought more life to the event.
The Deputy Governor for Kajiado County, Paul M. Ole Ntiati echoed his words, stressing the African ecosystem was also endangered by continued harmful gas emissions mainly by the West, and locally encroachments and cutting down of trees.
“As a Maasai county, we are experiencing a great change in their livelihoods which is culturally more dependent on natural resources such as water and greenery for livestock.
Additionally, our national and continue talking energy source which mainly is hydro based is greatly compromised. This is a big challenge to our social economic development agenda.”
On her part, the Norwegian Church Aid Area Representative for Kenya and Somalia, Kirsten Engebak, said it was important that all stakeholders engaged more in finding lasting solutions to climate change.
All the three senior officials appreciated the momentous official reception of the cycling campaign from Tanzania to Kenya, by joining Rev. Prof. Msafiri and YouthCAN in dancing.
The 9th November crossover marks the end of handover ceremonies in the three months long pan African climate justice awareness cycling crusade which kicked off in Maputo Mozambique in August 2015.
The country-to-country relay cycling intervention, which is Africa’s biggest and the world’s most creative initiatives to press for a fair and legally binding deal at any COP since the Kyoto Protocol, has been to 9 Sadc and east Africa n countries.
Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya have engaged communities, policy makers, and foreign dignitaries in highlighting need to reduce emissions by at least 1.5 degrees and in creating policies that also provide resources towards mitigating and adaptation – specifically in support of poor developing nations.
Today 12th November the ‘Harambee21’ will be riding to Machakos from Kajiado, some 87km, as Africa’s biggest climate justice cycling campaign nears its climax on 14th.