Every year, 1 June is a national holiday for all Kenyans to celebrate Madaraka Day, which commemorates the day in 1963 when Kenya obtained self-rule after having been a British colony since 1920. This year, I dedicated the day to cleaning our local community’s environment in the company of my junior environmental champions. We aimed to emphasize the need for our community to be independent from littering and plastic pollution for a more conducive, safer, and cleaner environment.
Junior Environmental Champions sensitizing communities on the need for a clean environment
Community building during Madaraka
As a forest restoration steward, mentoring and educating children on restoration and conservation issues is an integral part of my work. I hope to be joined by more stewards who are devoted to protecting the planet. According to UNEP, Kenya has invested heavily in policy and law enforcement in the fight against plastic pollution, but the menace of pollution is still felt within the country, including in our region, Meru. The harmful chemicals produced by plastics have degraded our soils, and the ripple effects include reduced outputs, failed crops, including trees, the death of livestock who feed on them, and pollution of the greater ecosystem. Poverty levels have increased in our community because we greatly rely on agriculture to sustain our livelihoods.
Together, we pulled up our sleeves and put our words into action in the Kiirua community. The dedication, joy and motivation of these kids gave me more reasons to continue stewarding the restoration and conservation of our only home. The green space we are establishing thanks to the funding support received from the GLF will enhance our restoration efforts by allowing for sustainable four-dimensional environmental learning among both our child mentees and the greater community.
I know we have a long way to go, but I believe if we come together in understanding, there is still hope for our planet Earth.