KARA Publishes Weapon against Climate Change 

KARA Publishes Weapon against Climate Change 
Kenya Alliance for Resident Associations unveils citizen handbook on Climate Change

By Thuku Kariuki

KARA, the Kenya Alliance for Resident Associations, has released a handbook on climate change aimed at inspiring citizen action against its detrimental effects. 

The document was introduced at an event on Monday, urging Kenyans to deepen their understanding of global warming. 

KARA hopes that armed with information, individuals will take action to reduce local contributions to greenhouse gasses heating the environment. They also aim to educate Kenyans on responding to climate change effects such as droughts, floods, erratic weather, and damage to wetlands.

"Climate change presents one of the greatest challenges of our time. Its impacts are profound, affecting our environment, economies, and most importantly, the well-being of every living being on this planet. It is a challenge that demands urgent and concerted action from all of us as individuals, communities, and nations," declared Richard Nyaga, Chairman of the Association, at the inaugural event.

KARA, which supports various member resident associations in improving government service delivery, collaborated closely with the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Kenya to compile information from diverse sources for the handbook.

The event was attended by KARA leaders, partners from the Hanns Seidel Foundation, and government officials from the State Department for Environment & Climate Change.

The handbook extensively covers the science of global warming, explaining the rise in global temperatures in detail, with particular emphasis on human activities such as widespread fossil fuel use that releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. 

It details activities like transportation (aircraft, ships, vehicles, trains), manufacturing, oil drilling, waste disposal, agriculture, and energy generation that contribute to negative effects. Additionally, it addresses the roles of deforestation, industry, forest fires, energy consumption, and cooking in exacerbating temperatures.

The publication then focuses on the specific effects of climate change on Kenya, from water supply to wildlife and livestock, tree cover to food production. It provides detailed information on specific challenges caused by global warming, including impacts on agriculture and diminishing water supplies. 

Extreme temperatures have led to heat waves, increased the spread of pests and diseases, escalated forest fires, weakened food security, and affected various industries including tourism.

While the handbook aims to raise awareness, it also provides actionable guidance. Chairman Nyaga underscored this during his address to officials, the press, and resident associations, stating, "The handbook we are launching today is more than just a book; it is a tool for empowerment and action. It seeks to empower every citizen with knowledge and practical steps to contribute meaningfully to the fight against climate change. Whether you are a student, parent, business owner, or policymaker, this handbook equips you with information and resources to make informed decisions and take concrete actions."

Indeed, the document encourages readers to plant trees and promotes renewable energy sources such as solar, hydroelectric, and wind power. It suggests methods for cleaner cooking with efficient stoves and cleaner fuels, as well as strategies to conserve fuel. 

The handbook also provides guidance on proper waste disposal, water conservation, forest fire prevention, strengthening agriculture, and creating green jobs.

Acknowledging government initiatives outlined in the 2010 Constitution to address climate change, Nyaga called on citizens to collaborate with both public and private sectors to effect meaningful change beneficial to all Kenyans. 

He concluded, "Let us recommit ourselves to this cause. Let us educate ourselves and others, advocate for bold policies, and embrace sustainable practices in all aspects of our lives. Together, we can build a more resilient and sustainable world."