For a long time, climate change seemed like a topic only scientists discussed until its impact started being felt by oblivious families in Kenya. Just recently reports on mainstream media showed devastating losses being experienced across the country due to reasons that can be traced back to climate change. The following are the different ways in which families have been affected by the worsening effects of climate change:

Displacement

According to scientists, the flooding in Rift Valley lakes that has led to the displacement of locals can be attributed to climate change. Several schools, homes and tourist accommodation facilities are said to be submerged completely in water thus forcing the occupants to flee to higher grounds. This has disrupted the normal lives of people and learners among others.

Cases of displacement have also occurred in other locations of the country, especially during the rainy season which leads to abnormal cases of flooding.

Displaced families are now forced to put up with unfamiliar and minimal living conditions that to some extent put their lives in danger.

Loss of livelihoods

A good percentage of Kenyans depend on nature for their livelihoods, a good example being agriculture. Just recently the country experienced an unprecedented case of locust invasion which scientists can trace to climate change. Apparently, due to the warm climate, the rate at which such insects are multiplying has also gone up. This poses a great danger to people who depend on agriculture for their wages, it also threatens the availability of food.

Scientists also report that the drop in resources such as fish, climate change has led to acidification of ocean waters, as well as dilution which has destroyed coral reefs and caused death of certain fish species.  

ALSO READ: Kirinyaga farmers in panic after locusts are spotted in farms

Livestock loss

Perennial drought in the country has led to the death of livestock such as cows, donkeys, camels, sheep and goats. This has affected livestock keeping communities who depend on their livestock for subsistence and income. Due to these losses, most families are now battling poverty. Human life is being lost too because while looking for water, people have encountered dangerous wildlife.

Sicknesses

This goes without saying, families that have been exposed to the floods are likely to be battling cases of pneumonia. Especially because the likelihood of them getting a home immediately after their displacement did not work in their favour. Just like the locusts, malaria-causing mosquitoes are also breeding and multiplying at a higher rate thus leading to increased cases of the disease in the country. Scientists also report the occurrence of mosquitoes in locations that would barely accommodate mosquitoes. The warmer it gets, the more things change even for cool highlands.

It’s not about us digging our graves but us being in the grave
With two major climate change conferences taking place recently; COP26 and our very own 7th and final Annual Devolution Conference, what are the specs that link them together? Is Kenya in the right direction towards healing its immediate environment?

With the above in mind, it is important for all to participate in reversing climate change by reducing their greenhouse gases emissions and by planting as many trees as possible. Trees are known for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which would in return free the earth from the layer of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are trapping heat on the surface of the earth.

Be vigilant too, because these effects can reach absolutely anyone!  

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