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HomeYour CountyBaringoBaringo lobby group call for concerted efforts in tackling climate change

Baringo lobby group call for concerted efforts in tackling climate change

Environment enthusiasts in Baringo County have called upon stakeholders to actively participate in mitigating the effects of climate change, before its adverse effects impacts in areas prone to disasters.

They said that the impacts of climate change are worsening especially in the Rift Valley region but the concerned authorities are not handling the matter with the seriousness it deserves.

Led by Joshua Changwony, a resident from Loruk sub location in Baringo North Sub County, they said the natural catastrophe which has led to unprecedented rise in water levels of Lakes Baringo, Bogoria and 94 has tormented thousands of families living within the three lakes, as well as submerging critical infrastructural facilities like schools, tourist hotels, churches and hospitals.

Changwony said that communities displaced from the homes and their livelihoods destroyed were experiencing increased upsurge of waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera and malaria.

“Recently a 13-year-old girl was killed by a crocodile while washing clothes at the shores of Lake Baringo and calamities like flush floods and drought have also claimed the lives of our loved ones,” he explained.

The group held a procession in Kabarnet town on Wednesday, at a time when the world leaders, dignitaries and elected officials have convened at Glasgow, Scotland for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

Baringo Activista Chapter coordinator Evans Barsongol called on the international community to chip in to assist both levels of governments address some of the teething problems occasioned by climate change in the country.

Barsongol said issues of environmental conservation should be cascaded down up to the lowest level so that everyone get involved.

He challenged Baringo county government to allocate more resources in the 2022/2023 financial year to assist the disaster department in rolling out programmes like planting of indigenous or exotic trees thrice a year, in order to boost vegetation cover in most arid and semi-arid (ASAL) lands of the county.

At the same time, Barsongol called for the annual world summit to discuss appropriate climate change action to be held in Africa instead of developed countries because the continent was the most affected.

Janet Nandwa, another Activist Chapter official said apart from the support to vulnerable third world countries, residents too ought to switch to plant-based diet and use of renewable sources of energy as well as avoiding machines that contribute to air pollution.  

Baringo Human Rights Consortium chairman Bishop William Kitilit, in his remarks pointed out that transportation of charcoal within major highways of the county is happening under the watch of security personnel and county government officials.

Kitilit of Ways of Christ Church urged relevant authorities to act upon all those involved in the illegal business in order to save the region from further consequences of wanton destruction of trees for charcoal burning.

Martin Kirwok, a resident from Baringo North challenged leaders seeking elective seats in 2022 general elections to prioritize in their campaign manifestos the dangers of climate change, which he noted is responsible for the current unpredictable weather patterns especially indiscriminate tree cutting in order to regain the lost forest cover occasioned by continuous logging and burning of charcoal in the region.

Environment enthusiasts from Baringo chanting slogans during a procession in Kabarnet town on Wednesday to champion for climate change

Kirwok emphasized the need for concerted efforts from people of all walks of life to put in place measures to mitigate the adverse effects of climate before it becomes more devastating.

The activists said there is urgent need to conduct serious campaigns and awareness meetings particularly in areas susceptible to natural disasters, so as to educate the public on disaster preparedness and how to tackle the various forms of hazards.

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