Climate change action groups in Nakuru slums receive grants

Climate change action groups display dummy checque of Sh 1.1 million grant recieved to support their initiatives

Photo credit: Joseph Openda | Nation Media Group

Climate change action groups from Nakuru slums got a boost in their bid to earn from environmental conservation initiatives after receiving a Sh1 million grant.

The money, from the international network of community-based organisations Slum Dwellers International and the Nakuru County government, is meant to support and build the capacity of the groups to run and earn from their initiatives.

The beneficiaries are groups in informal settlements involved in environmental conservation and management activities and working under the umbrella of Muungano Wa Wanavijiji.

Speaking during the event held at Nakuru Kamukunji grounds, Mr Rashid Mutua, the chairman of Muungano Wa Wanavijiji, noted that there are numerous groups, particularly in slums, that are involved in environmental conservation initiatives and need to be supported.

He argued that the groups need to be empowered in order to come up with income-generating activities that support and promote climate justice.

The initiatives, he said, play a vital role in complementing the government and global efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

"We want to help the many groups improve their lives by empowering them to earn a living from their great efforts," said Mr Mutua.

The Muungano Wa Wanavijiji is supported by Just Climate Action.

A majority of group members, he said, are those affected by the negative impacts of climate change, including displacement from homes by the rising waters of Lake Nakuru in 2020.

Ms Julian Mody, whose group KMeg is one of the beneficiaries, said the money will help promote their activities of producing products from recycling waste.

"After we learnt that waste is a resource, we embarked on an initiative to make products by recycling the waste material. The money will help [resolve] some of the challenges that have been hampering our activities," said Ms Mody.

Ms Grace Karanja, the county director of environment and natural resources, said the government is committed to supporting efforts that promote environmental conservation.

She said the government has put in place legal frameworks to support the fight for climate justice, including allocating resources to livelihood and climate change initiatives.

She cited ward climate change committees set up in collaboration with SDI that are meant to mainstream climate change actions from the grassroots to higher levels.

She said the county is "ready to support such a community-driven project, which is deliberate, and will channel the resources to ensure that the mwananchi who is adversely affected is well capacitated".