MALILI CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS MEETING HELD ON 14TH OCT. 2009 REPORT.
Arid Lands Information Network Mutomo Knowledge center held a CCA meeting in Malili town 20 KM from Mutomo town. The meeting had 73 participants and two facilitators namely Andrew Nyamu (Community Information Volunteer Mutomo CKC) and Noah Lusaka Project Coordinator. The meeting mainly emphasized on the effects of changing Climatic conditions and ways in which communities can employ to reduce the impacts.
The meeting started at 9:30 AM, at Malili Africa Inland church. Participant arrived in group and found themselves place of the comport inside the church building where they sat and attentively listened
First they were led by a word of prayer, then members introduced themselves and the reason why they thought the meeting was important.
Mr. Noah Lusaka from Arid Lands Information Networks Nairobi introduced the topic of the Meeting. He explained to the participants what the climate change made in lame mans language: it is the drying of rivers, water getting saline, crop fails, low yields, extreme high temperatures and drying of trees. Either he explained to the participants the underlying causes of the change in Climate conditions. The participants participated in brainstorming the causes and effects of the climate change.
After Noah’s presentations the participants broke in to group discussions and each group had a topic in which they were to discuss and come up with findings which they were to present later to the participants.
There was a debate on whether decline in moral standards is a result of climate change or a resultant from the westernization. As some participant held firmly the idea that the increased drought and famine has pushed some residents to turning to anti-social acts such as thievery, prostitutions and use of satanic and magic to raise income some were the idea that it was from greed, and westernation of our culture. Each group held its opinion and no consensus was arrived at.
SOME OF THE KEY FACTORS WHICH THE PARTICIPANTS IDENTIFIED TO CONTRIBUTE TO CLIMATE CHANGE ARE
Factors contributing to climate change
Deforestation and adverse cutting down of trees
When trees have been cut down, the carbon which found at the atmosphere keeps on increasing because the tree acts as carbon sinks for the carbon dioxide which is emitted to the atmosphere through different ways both man made and natural processes.
During charcoal burning a lot of smoke is emitted to the atmosphere and also the charcoal to be burnt some trees will have been cut down. These two factors again contribute to climate change
Smoke arising from industries and out mobiles which mainly is carbon dioxide
Many industries emit a lot of smoke to the atmosphere, this smoke contains carbon atom which bond with oxygen atom found in the Atmosphere to form carbon dioxide gas and other green house gases. These gases while in the Atmosphere contribute to Climate change through increased temperatures
After discussing the above sub-titles the participants were subdivided into three main groups and each group given a topic to discuss.
It was to find the changes which have occurred in the past. And their finding was as follows.
Was focusing on the adaptation to Climate change
a) People to start using the indigenous foods such as millet, sorghum, Cassava and others which can resist drought especially during the dry season in mutomo district. This will be in a position to grow because of low water requirement as opposed to exotic crops whose water requirement is relatively high.
b) Use of herbal medicines to decrease the cases of malnutrition in the district especially in the young children, this herbal medicines are not only cheap and easily found but they are also free from toxic chemical which at times tend to have side effects. Some herbs are very convenient because they are also used as food.
c) Good care, maintenance and farm preparation for farmers to get good harvests, many farms have failed to provide for because of poor preparation which occurs especially immediately the rains start. Good preparation such as making terraces, application of compost and farm yard manure prior to rain season can earn the farmer good harvest
d) Stop cutting down of trees and start afforestation programmes, cutting of trees and especially in Mutomo District has been very intense, people blame the failure of rain and extreme poverty. Nevertheless this trait has to be ended if the resident Endeavour to combat climate change both at local and global scope. Tree planting programmes needs to be initiated to help change the scenario of desert in the areas.
e) Impose a ban of commercial and domestic charcoal burning to avoid soil erosion, charcoal burning can only be stopped successfully if a ban is imposed on both commercial and domestic charcoal burning. Proving alternative source of firewood can be of great significance towards reducing charcoal burning.
f) Plant indigenous grass for our livestock to feed on especially during the prolonged period of time. This indigenous grass can be gotten from extension officer of ministry of Agriculture and livestock and those farmers who may still be having the grass species with them.
g) Plant grass on top of terraces to reduce soil erosion. A good number of farmer have planted this grass on top of their terraces, this grass helps to reduce soil erosion on farms as much of the water passes over grass without eroding the top soil.
h) Practice family planning to reduce the population growth rates, like many regions in the country, Mutomo is experiencing rapid population, family planning is very essential to ensure that the population remains at check. Awareness creation is very important because many people are still misinformed as on how to effect family planning
i) Have toilets in every homestead to prevent water borne diseases like cholera, water borne diseases have been a burning issue and with the recent out break of Cholera it is very important that every household has toilet. According to the ministry of health only 49% of households have toilet and this make the prevalence of water borne disease very common.
j) Have small kitchen which can make use of waste water from domestic usage. Most of the domestic water after the final usage goes to waste. These kitchen gardens can make use of this waste water. The kitchen garden can be in the size of 1/8 an acre located near the kitchen and wash rooms.
THIS GROUP WAS FOCUSING ON HOW TO REDUCE CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS
Plant cover crops and drought resistant crops such as millet, sorghum, cowpeas, rootubers such as cassava, arrow roots, sweet potatoes
Say no to the following
1. Charcoal burning and Cutting down of trees: this will help conserve the available vegetation cover which will in return reduce global worming as the trees will act as carbon sinks for green house gases.
2. Stop Sand harvesting on river banks and bases of the rivers; this will ensure that there is reduced soil erosion and reduce the salinity in the rivers.
Usage of improved jikos; this Jikos help conserve power because they trap most of heat within, this lead to less pollution and easy cooking.
Plant grass stripes along the contours to reduce erosion
Keep drought and disease resistant animals like indigenous breeds of goat, cattle sheep and poultry.
Avoid open methods of grazing livestock; this open grazing encourages wasteful grazing and make the land prone to degradation and erosion.
All water reserves to be protected inquests through diplomatic ways to those industrised nation to reduce their emissions and also compensate to those countries which are the hardest hit by the climate change.
After the presentation the participants were issued with copies of Newsletter, Kilimo Endelevu and posters on climate change then snacks as they left.
They participant were happy for gesture noting that it was an eye opener although they lamented that the time was not sufficient for the learning process
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS OF MALILI CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS WORKSHOP